We never see what happens when Prince Charming comes home after a long day of slaying dragons and Cinderella's been having her own troubles with the kids all day. Or when Sleeping Beauty slept too long and forgot to do something Prince Phillip needed her to do. We never see this part of the story. : )
Marriage....the union between a man and a woman.
When two people come together it is a powerful force. However, when God is in the center of one's marriage, it becomes unbreakable.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
This force is so strong, that the enemy wants to break it, he wants to destroy it. You might be thinking.....but so many marriage between Christians end in divorce today. The number is the about 50%.
Just like in the fairy tales, we have a villain who is out to destroy love. Only this villain is real. That is right, there is an enemy out there that hates marriage, hates what God has designed, hates God's creation and hates love.
This kind of love found in marriage is not fairy tale love, but it can end happily ever after.
There is nothing quite as beautiful as an 80 year old couple holding hands, or sitting by the deathbed of the one they have loved for 50 years. My grandmother (who I mentioned in another post turned 90 recently) was married to my grandpa for over 60 years. When he was in a nursing home, she went everyday to sit with him for hours. Now, that is love.
If you have gotten a divorce or your marriage has not been good, this is not meant to condemn you. Like I said before, there is an enemy and...... it is not your spouse. Most people do not know or forget there is an enemy.....
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood (the enemy is not a person), but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12 (parentheses added)
Now, I am not one to pay much attention to the enemy. I rebuke him when needed (like Jesus did), but I think he likes attention, so I don't give him much. Jesus defeated him at the cross and that is that! We do however have to be aware that he is there and that he wants to destroy what God created.
"The theif does not come except to steal, to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they have it more abundantly." John 10:10
We need to be aware of what the enemy uses to try to destroy us. (1 Cor 2:11) He uses pride, strife, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, offense, etc. We need to be aware that when we are fighting with our spouse, when we won't forgive them, when we hold bitterness or anger against them that the enemy is trying to get a foothold into our marriage. And at that moment, we need to say "NO! I am not going to let him have my marriage or my family."
When we let those poisons in our marriage, they start eating away at the cord. It is then that God is left out and cord becomes weakened. After time, if the wrong attitudes (poison) remain, God is no longer the center of the marriage, no longer is the third cord able to hold the marriage together and the cord is either staying together by a thread (very weak) or broken. God never intended for us to have weak marriages, or frail marriages void of life and love. He designed marriage to be beautiful, to complete each other, to be a representative of His relationship with us.
So, we are in a fight for our marriages! As in any fight, it is always best to be on the offense than defense.
To do that, every day we need to be aware of the enemy we face. Above I mentioned the verses in Ephesians about who our enemy is (Eph 4: 12-13). The verses right after those tell how to defeat him....
"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand. Having girded yourself with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with preparaion of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faithwith which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 4:13-17.
There is so much I could say about that verse...maybe another time.
Chris and I are excited to be hosting Family Life's "The Art of Marriage" marriage conference at our church in 2 weeks. It is April 8 and 9. We believe every marriage needs a tune up from time to time. Just like your car, it may be running just fine, but what happens if you never take your car in for a tune up? I would encourage everyone reading this to consider going. You can go to www.familylife.com for more details about the conference. You can call Redemption Church 865-521-7777 to register.
We are in a fight dear friends and with God we will win it!