Marriage is meant to be life-long with kisses sweeter than wine lasting beyond the honeymoon.
And it takes two who not only tango in the dark but tough it out together in the cold, hard light of day.
Especially when the stresses of life and bills to pay and children to rear and bosses to endure and temptations to resist will be thrust onto the path daily.
You must come to this holy estate, kingdom on earth, with your sleeves rolled up prepared to serve and ready to die to the selfish cries of your wounded heart all touchy.
You can’t sleepwalk through marriage believing it will grow or remain strong but you and your husband must keep showing up wide awake to your own flaws more than each others’.
And when he snaps or you go silent after a fight the cord that binds you to each other frays just a bit. Not the Jesus strand of the three cords, but yours and his that are comprised of free-will fibers that are only as strong as you choose to let them be.
And if one can overpower him who is alone,
two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not
quickly torn apart.
~ Ecclesiastes 4:12
And to have a solid marriage you must train yourself to choose wisely and to follow closely your Commander in Chief who is the chief cornerstone and the solid foundation upon which you must build your union.
So come to marriage as a soldier prepared to fight. Not with each other, but together against forces sent to destroy.
Enemy eager to divide and conquer, tearing unions asunder and tossing spouses singed atop the smoldering pile of statistics and charred pieces dismembered, broken hearts bleeding. And me stumbling upon the word cinged when checking spelling to find out it is from the Latin cingere meaning to surround, girdle, envelop. And that is exactly what the enemy hopes to do to us as he purposes to take down our marriage.
But we can’t let him.
We must not aid and abet the enemy with our selfish, sinful choices, words and deeds.
And sometimes couples stay together for the sake of the kids and hating every moment, or maybe for finances greedy or perhaps even for the keeping up of church appearances and what others will think, but sharing a tormented togetherness that is a living hell from which there seems no escape. Grinning and bearing it but never happy.
Separated, divorced, and families fracturing either way.
Yet there is another way regardless of what the lies whispered or sometimes screamed may say.
The way hard, bloody, painful but resulting in glory, joy and triumph. Christ’s Way, Via Dolorosa.
And we pick up our crosses, gazing straight ahead towards the New Jerusalem. Walking the path Jesus trod for us in love through Old Jerusalem on way to the cross. Us laying down our lives, surrendering to truth, sacrificing “rights” all wrong to humbly honor God and each other.
Realizing that the enemy is not the one we lay down with at night or pay bills with or even with whom we sometimes squabble.
The enemy against us is beyond the veil in unseen realm real, and demons warring angels but Christ already victorious.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers, against the powers,
against the world forces of this darkness,
against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Love won and keeps on winning. For love never ends, never fails.
But we do.
We keep on shouting or slandering, sinning and shuddering, cogs in the wheel of a war machine set on destroying our marriage.
Forgetting the real menace.
Tearing each other apart in the flesh instead of banding together, gold rings matching. Fused at the heart beating stronger together than apart. And in the power of our Risen Lord tearing down every stronghold that erects tall walls which over time crumble the foundation of our friendship wed.
And possibly resulting in such significant loss that we may never recover. During moments like these we may think, if only my spouse was more like me.
Pride puffed snickers as you fall for his line and he takes your hand and invites you to dance and when you do he’ll step on your toes and take you all the way.
Down into a pit dark and deep and very, very sad.
Evil never gets enough, never satisfied with anything less than complete destruction, prisoners always taken. Caged. And us maybe walking out on our mate and maybe God in the process because what we thought would be bliss was just one arduous battle after battle.
And this is just it: we must, husbands and wives, remember that we ARE in a battle but we are on the same side. The winning side.
And our differences are given as strengths combined, equal in essence though different in function. Paired by Perfection for the purification of souls petty and sometimes putrid.
And when the sin that so easily entangles takes us far from our mate’s heart even though he is sitting across the table at dinner, turn around on this black ice road. Humble and repent before God and ask forgiveness.
Say you are sorry.
Tell them you are wrong.
Ask them to please forgive you.
And hopefully their hearts will humble, too, for truth be told we are each the worst of sinners in marriage and in life. Only those that stoop low will be lifted high.
When we do, His heart soaring on the wings of the wind as we allow the wind of the Holy Spirit to fill us fresh. Laser focus on love wiping away the fear that distorts and us helping each other dress for battle, armor set in place by prayer.
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And us following Christ through any wilderness smoking to the land flowing with milk and honey sweet.
Drawing our honey closer, one plus one in One standing against a thousand invading armies. The Lord hedging us in and behind our rear guard, and always going before us.
Battle hymn of the relationship is our God reigns.
Both hearts joined singing loud, singing strong until the shelling stops and dust settling.
Making love and music more beautiful than before…
All our longings end in love