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Most marriages fail for "incompatibility" per Pastor Ed Young Senior.  It is either "income" (money) or "patibility" (sex).

Below is my marriage testimony.

GOD WILL MAKE A WAY


                                                                          

Genesis 2:24 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

As the Genesis passage tells us, the purpose for a man to leave his father and mother is Marriage.  Marriage was the first human institution God created.  God gave us a new and primary responsibility.  He joined a man and a woman together permanently by this institution. He made them one flesh, the perfect fit of spiritual and physical and emotional parts making them complete.  He made it a “covenant” relationship for one man and one woman for one lifetime.  That was God’s plan as we read scripture.

We have been married 37 years come this June 23rd.  It has been an amazing journey together.  I am not a marriage expert but I can at least reflect on what my marriage has been like.  Maybe you will see your marriage in a few of these observations. Maybe you will learn something new or maybe you will confirm what you have already learned in your marriage.  In any event, it is good to reflect on good things.

1.    It is a marriage of love- it seems we have always known we loved each other since we were 15-year old freshman in high school.  I think that it was the proverbial love at first sight.  I believe God actually did make us specifically for each other.  I cannot imagine having lived this life with anyone else nor would I want to. 

How did God arrange your meeting and marriage to each other?  Can you see God’s hand in your marriage now?  Do you believe God made you specifically for each other?

2.    It is marriage of two workers- we are both hard workers.  Madeleine worked from the time she was twelve coming from a very poor family and knowing what it was like to go to bed hungry.  I was from a middle class family and to the best of my knowledge never went without.  We have always found work and then worked hard and steady. When the kids were young, she stayed at home or worked part time around the kids schedule.  We always shared work responsibilities and raising the boys and keeping the house clean and taking care of the yard and all those things that it takes to keep a household up.  I can’t say that I ever felt like we had to work at marriage.  We were married and that is just it- the work was to keep everything going in an organized way.

Do you have to “work” at staying married?   Do you have marriages  where you have a bunch of rules about “who does what” rather than “what needs done”?  Are you both hard workers and do you appreciate the work that you have?


3.    It is a marriage of respect- one of the key things in our relationship has always been that we have respected each other.  We have always been two whole people who could stand on their own through anything.  But it has given us great strength to stand through it together.  I have never questioned Madeleine’s motives, intelligence, or desires-   they are always right and pure and in the best interest of us both. There was a time in my life that I gave her cause to doubt me and for that I am very sorry.

Do you truly respect each other?  Do you cause the other to question your motives and actions?  Do you need to get the respect for each other back in your marriage?


4.    It is a marriage that overcomes adversity- we have gone through lengthy times of being apart, long hours of work, hectic schedules, kids in year round sports (almost always on separate teams), parents and siblings living with us, death of parents, cancer, job changes, relocations, change of churches, etc.  It is just called life and it has been great to do it together.

Are you facing adversity in your marriage?  Are you overcoming it together or is it destroying your relationship?  Are you overcoming adversities like two Christian adults? 


5.    It is a marriage that doesn’t argue that much- contrary to what marriage councilors might say, we have had only a very few heated arguments in our married life.  We have found a way to reach solutions without having one or the other come out on the short end of the stick.  We started from a common set of values and those have served us well for settling disputes. We both grew up with abusive fathers and I am sure that is a factor in not wanting to have screaming matches.  That, by the way, affected us only in that it made us stronger

Do you have frequent screaming matches over even the simplest of disagreements?  Does one of you have to win every argument even if you are wrong?  Do you have a way of finding solutions in a respectful and loving manner?  Do your kids see you “handling problems” or “creating problems”?


6.    It is a marriage of faith- we were raised Catholic and remained so for about 55 years.  Madeleine was always an outstanding Catholic and I was not nearly that good a Catholic.  She has always loved Jesus and I had only known Him by name and reputation.  Much changed when I got saved some seven years ago.  We moved on from the Catholic Church, gave our lives to Christ, were baptized here at Crossroads, and we have grown as our faith and knowledge has grown   I now understand why I am not number one in her life and Christ is.
  
What is your faith like?  Is it a faith that puts priorities in order so that Jesus comes first?  Is it a faith that supports you in times of trials?  Do your kids see and experience the love of Christ in your marriage?  Do people see you as the model Christian marriage or are you just like everybody else? 


7.    It is a marriage of self-sacrifice- contrary to what our culture teaches us today about getting all your needs met, we have both worked to meet the needs of the other and of our family- and those came first- not our personal needs.  We have worked and saved money and stayed out of debt.  For the last ten years we have been debt free- 100% assets and 0% liabilities.  We don’t owe any money to anyone for anything.  We use our credit cards as a convenience and pay them off at their due date so as to incur no penalties or interest.  When we buy something, we pay for it right then and there or don’t buy it at all.  We have living expenses covered for several years in case anything happens.  We have investments and investment plans that take Madeleine through her expected lifetime. 

Who do you put first in your relationship?  Do you have a JOY view- Jesus, Others, You in terms of priorities?  Do you sacrifice now so that you will have what you need later?  Are you out of debt or working like crazy as a couple to get out of debt? Have you planned your financial future to the best of your ability?


8.    It is a marriage of complementary strengths and weaknesses- we are an incredibly good fit when it comes to making us stronger and better.  I tend to think strategically, big picture, headlines and Madeleine tends to be tactical, sees the picture inside the picture, and is detailed.  I am more the risk taker and she is the one who brings the right amount of caution.  I am more the spender and she the saver.  So we tend to balance actions and decisions with both types of thinking and it has worked very well for us. 
  
Are the two of you so much alike that every decision ends up being unchallenged?  Do you do things and then think them through later only to say “Woops”.  Do you try to balance decision making out so that you come to informed, well thought out decisions and do you do this together?  Does one of you make all the decisions and the other sits back and “second guesses”?


9.    It is a marriage of growth- both of us love to learn.  We both read a lot- not newspapers or magazines but books- good books.  Although it hasn’t always been this way, we now read the Bible every day.  It is a marriage that every night, we get on our knees together and thank God for the wonderful day we have been given.  In the mornings we get on our knees again and thank God for the wonderful day to come.  It is a marriage that has grown in worship.  We became members of Crossroads several years ago and through the preaching and teaching of our pastor and life group teachers we have taken our faith to a new level.  We also love to read Christian books by people like Charles Stanley, Jack Graham, John MacArthur and some of the fiction writers like Francine Rivers and Joel Rosenberg.  

Is your marriage growing or dying- it will be one of the two.  Are you doing those things as a married couple and as individuals which will allow you to grow in a Christian marriage?  Do you pray together- on your knees?  Do you read your Bibles and study and pray and worship as a top priority in your lives?


10.    It is a marriage that gets better over time- our marriage has grown better and better the older we get.  We are grandparents and love it.  We are gray headed and love it (we earned this gray hair and are proud of it). We are still physically healthy and love life.  We know for sure we are going to heaven .  We don’t get too hung up on health or age.  We adjust and keep on going forward.

Is your marriage getting better every day?  Are you looking forward to today and tomorrow together?  Do you love to spend time together even if you don’t have a word to say for hours at a time?  Do you know for sure that each of you will go to heaven when you die?

A few final thoughts:

One.    It has gone by like a flash- for many of you it is hard to believe that a sane person could say that 37 years went by in a flash- but it did.  On the other hand, it seems like yesterday when we got married and headed out on a honeymoon in my yellow VW bug.  There were days and weeks that seemed to last a long time but overall it went by quickly.  Enjoy each day together.


Two.    It is full of memories- and the older I get the fewer I remember but my wife remembers them all.  From just us in a little apartment in West Los Angeles to a house in Sherman Texas and two kids to a house in Arlington and the two kids plus Madeleine’s dad and sister.  It has been a wonderful life.  I think we both agree that we would not want to go back one day nor would we want to give up today but we look forward to “The Day” with joy and thanksgiving for a truly wonderful life.

In prayer, I would like to pray from 1Cor 13: 4-8 that our marriages would be characterized by what we read here.  “Love is patient; love is kind.  It does not envy; it does not boast, it is not proud.   It is not rude; it is not self- seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

And I would pray for each of our marriages that what God has put together you will respect, treasure, grow, prosper, love, live holy lives, support each other, and ultimately and most importantly be the wife or husband that encourages and exhorts your spouse to be the man or woman that God calls us to be so that through our marriages we will bring honor and glory to God and shine a light on  a world in desperate need of witnesses.

 
 
 
 

 The belief that does not save is the belief that does not change the person who believes. Jesus said that if you believe in Him, you would be changed