Thoughts on Marriage

My husband, John and I (Julie) have been married 31 years; neither of us ever married before.    We have had some tough times to be sure, but we promised something to each other on our wedding day (at the advice of my dad):  Never go to bed angry.  We have lived true to that advice all of these years … talking everything out so the devil doesn’t get a foothold in our relationship.  Forgiveness is a huge concept in marriage whether one is a believer or not.  It is commanded by Yeshua to his disciples.   It is the first step in realizing our own part in every disagreement and the second step to bringing restoration. 

Did we bring junk into our marriage? Of course.  We’re human and we were unbelieving sinners!  But we never focused on that or blamed the junk when there were issues.  In fact, in some cases we hit the issues head on.  For example, many years ago an old girlfriend of my husband’s stayed with us for two days and we attended her brother’s wedding.  More recently, I met an old girlfriend of my husband’s on a trip to Arizona.  My husband went to a Denver  football game with me to watch an old beau from college play on the Seattle team.  Sometimes we just have to know who we are in Messiah and know who we are in the marriage relationship and go with the flow.  All of these awkward situations brought healing to both of us rather than driving a wedge between us.  We sin against God and against each other enough times that to allow past junk to fester and destroy our marriage is pointless. 

What I see in marriage relationships around us is that there is no personal responsibility.  Husbands and wives tend to blame each other and/or other people and situations for their problems.   When we are born again into God’s Kingdom, the past is in the past and should not be thrown into anyone’s face or be the cause for judging our spouse.  That’s the work of the devil.  Period.  Of course our past affects who we are, but again, if we’re born again, we’re new creations and the old has passed away.  That is how I like to live in my marriage relationship and I appreciate that my husband does too.  And, yes, we do sometimes talk about our pasts and have regrets or even huge moments of laughter at our own stupidity.

I remember being married only a few weeks and my husband confessed something from his past that was pretty shocking to me.  I remember stopping while we were walking and looking at him and asking, “Are you born again?”  He responded, “Yes.”  I asked, “Have you asked forgiveness?”  He responded, “Yes.”  At that point the discussion was over.  The event has never come up again and this is the first time in 31 years that I’ve even acknowledged it happened.

I also feel that many times a husband, but mostly wives since that’s my world as a woman, want to be the Holy Spirit (Ruach) in their spouse’s life.  That is not the job of a spouse.  If you don’t like something figure out if it’s just personal or judgmental.  Then let it go!  If your spouse is sinning, present it as a sin and then allow the Ruach to deal with it.  It’s called faith and trust in God to bring us to His perfection.  If your husband is not a believer, then women are commanded to live such pure and holy lives that their husbands are convicted.  Pure and holy again doesn’t mean being the Ruach, but allowing the Ruach to live, rule and convict your life.

Another example.  I had a friend years ago who was pregnant with her third child.  Her husband wanted her to have an abortion.  He was not a believer.  She didn’t know what to do as their first child was born out of wedlock and they married when he was 7 months.  They had been through this before.  God brought a opportunity in her life to leave for three days on a little boat trip.  She went.  When she came back, her husband apologized and is now pro-life.  That little girl is his special child.  This friend had faith that God would work while she was gone.  He did.

If you are both believers (and even if you’re not), I believe God joins people together – for better or worse (and it amazes me what people think is worse as I would be divorced numerous times over by now if I had those same standards) and no one is to divide them – no one, not a friend, a child, a pastor or a parent.  Especially a parent.

Parents have no place in a marriage.  This is why the woman leaves her home and a man leaves his mother.  Torah says that for the first year the married couple is to be ‘left alone’ in order to begin their own home – leave and cleave are the buzz words.   When my son got married, we did just that.  We only visited them or them us when they initiated it.  They needed to start their own life together without interference from us.  My husband and I had it good as my family lives on the east coast of the U.S. and my husband’s family lives on the west coast.  We lived in the middle and neither family ever interfered with us because of distance even though neither side ever understood our walk of faith and struggled when we stopped celebrating the holidays.

Another thing we agreed on early is that we would never ever use the D (divorce) word.  That just opens doors for the enemy to take hold of one of our sins and we would follow its obvious course.  It a sign of wanting to give up rather than to press on toward an upward higher calling in life. 

I was a staunch feminist when I met my husband. In college I had a book bag that said, “A woman’s place is in the House and the Senate.”  I was all for equal rights and everything that went with it.  However, today I am so far removed from that thought process for two reasons.  First, it is founded in the Jezebel spirit and and creates a woman’s ruling household including the congregation of the Messiah.  If a woman wants a leading man, then let him lead!   Second, according to Scripture we’re only equal in terms of sin, redemption and forgiveness.  There is a line of authority and I am asked to submit to my husband as I would to the Lord – like the holy women in the past.   For me it has been a journey of learning how to do both simultaneously because like a father is the essence of how we feel about God as a Father; a husband and how we treat him is the essence of how we feel about God as our Husband.

I was blessed to have parents who were Christians,  loving and married until death parted them after only 21 years of marriage (my father remarried and has been married 36 years).  My grandparents were Mennonite and plain people and that is how I was raised.  My husband’s parents divorced when he was 18 and he purposed in his heart that he would never take that path BEFORE he ever met me or the Lord.  My husband and I were both blessed (we were just talking about this yesterday) that we did not come from manipulative homes where there was alcohol, drugs, or control freak, overbearing moms or dads; consequently, we are not controlling and overbearing to one another or even our children.

More importantly, we have trust in our marriage.  This doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been stretched a time or two and even to the point of breaking, but if one doesn’t trust their spouse, then what is there?  Remember YHVH divorced Israel for their faithlessness!  Faithfulness is everything.  I do not care to know my husband’s passwords to his computer or phone except in the event he dies,  nor do I stalk him on Facebook because he has his own life and I have mine and we trust each other.   This trust comes not only from early years when we both did foolish things with other men and women and found ourselves in dangerous situations, but in trust is how we have chosen to ground our marriage.  

Several months ago we listened to a teaching on marriage for young people.  My husband said, “We did it all wrong.”  Yes, we did.  We lived together, one a believer; the other not.  We didn’t understand anything about purity of the marriage bed, protecting our hearts and minds, or even the spiritual warfare that is strong and steady against the marriage covenant.   Let us all remember that it’s not how you began the race that matters, but how you finish it.  Forgive, press on, and pray your hearts out for your spouses.  Have faith that God will work in His perfect timing.  There are still things that bug me about my husband as I’m sure there are things that bug him about me.  BUT, we have overcome a lot and will continue to do so because that’s what marriage is about.

©2015 Tentstake Ministries

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