You and your spouse can build a healthy, lifelong marriage. One way to strengthen your relationship is to study the Bible together. To start, you can read the following devotions adapted from the Kingdom Marriage Devotional by Dr. Tony Evans, and discuss the questions with your husband or wife.
Kingdom couples embrace covenant
"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." — 1 Corinthians 13:7.
Marriage has taken on a new hue in our culture.
While Californian Glynn "Scotty" Wolfe had the distinction of 29 marriages during his lifetime, many couples see no reason to tie the knot at all. Only about 40 percent of those surveyed in a 2010 study by Pew Research Center saw cohabitation as a negative for society, and almost the same percentage contended that marriage itself has become "obsolete." Even so, this centerpiece of family that God designed for our good remains the best place for individuals to realize the destiny God has for them, even as society casts its ballot on whether the institution is still valid.
Marriages today are crumbling at a high rate — not because we no longer get along, but because we have lost sight of the blessing tied to a biblical marriage. Marriage is not merely a social contract; it is a sacred covenant. It is not simply a means of looking for love, happiness and fulfillment. These things are important. In fact, they are critical. However, they are just not the most important, or the most critical. Yet because we have made second things first, as important as second things are, we are having trouble living out either. When God's purpose and principles for marriage are undermined, then His image becomes distorted.
Kingdom couples must view marriage through God's kingdom lens. Marriage is a covenantal union designed by God in order to strengthen the capacity of each partner to carry out His plan in their lives.
- What does the word covenant mean to our relationship?
- Why does God still place such a high value on marriage?
- How can we as a couple protect our marriage?
Father, thank You for the gift You have given us in marriage. Please help us to glorify You through this lifelong covenant. Amen.
Kingdom couples become one
"From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh." — Mark 10:6-8 (NASB)
Imagine what an impressive concert pianist can do, then multiply times two — on a single piano. The Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo goes beyond what a single pair of hands could accomplish "in range, rhythm and technique." The two performers don't play the same notes, but they create single seamless pieces of music with an impeccable sense of timing. Both are incredibly talented and could be performing as soloists, but together they push musical boundaries to create even more. 1
Marriage is not a solo; it is a duet. It takes a husband and wife playing the same song, uniting as one single unit. Tragically, most people don't know what true oneness is. Oneness doesn't mean sameness. Oneness means working together toward the same goal. Couples working together toward the same goal will have to communicate, cooperate and merge strengths while overlooking or overcoming weaknesses. You are your spouse's partner. The stronger you are together, the stronger you will be as individuals. This not only requires time; it requires an authentic commitment. Marriage makes two individuals even stronger as one.
- How do our differences drive us apart?
- How can we fine-tune the music of our marriage by honoring our differences and working toward oneness?
- Talk about a time when, as a couple, we were stronger as one.
Lord, thank You that You created each of us with unique strengths and weaknesses. Please help us to work toward honoring each other and becoming one in You. Amen.
Kingdom couples choose not to quit
Certain things just can't be done, and someone is always there to tell us what they are:
"TV won't be able to hold any market after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." — Darryl Zanuck, head of 20th Century Fox movie studios, 1946 2
They say things like that about marriage, too. Think yours can't be revived? Think it's too late to return to your first love? Plenty of naysayers, including the Devil himself, would be all too happy to tell you that. But nothing is impossible with God.
The good news for married couples who may have lost their first love is that it can be regained.
Marriage is one of the most intimate, rewarding experiences in life. Treat it with the honor, attention and love that it deserves. And you'll revive that which caused you to marry in the first place.
- What's one way I can "be the solution" in our marriage?
- Who can help us in this process of being the solution in our marriage?
- How could memorizing Philippians 1:6 or 4:13 keep us motivated?
Lord, we know nothing is too hard for You. Thank You for providing an opportunity to return to our first love. Amen.