Do you know God?
If you asked me in my first marriage and the beginning of this marriage if I knew God, I would have answered, “Of course!” I grew up in a Baptist church. I attended Sunday school, church camp, and sang in the choir when I was old enough. I started a Fellowship of Christian Students in our high school and attended a Baptist college. I married a preacher. How could I not know God?
Five years into my second marriage, I realized my people pleasing personality had been “people pleasing” God, too. With intense Biblical counseling and Bible study, I realized that I was trying to keep the Lover of my soul from being disappointed with me. My view of God was smudged by my own insecurities. I had read and heard God is love, but my heart did not apply that truth. I suppose my brain filed it under “good to know.”
A Revelation of God’s Love
One day I was reading 1 Corinthians 13 and hearing myself read the words, “Love is patient, Love is kind.” Suddenly I knew that meant God, was patient and kind. Where had I been? The factoids of “God is love,” and “God loves you” suddenly meant, “God is patient and kind with you, Jennifer!” I was SO relieved. And there were a few less smudges on the window of my heart. I was finally seeing glimpses of who God truly is.
This experience of God’s love settled my panicky soul. My obsession with getting love and being loved finally found a safe place to land. I was surprised how this changed my heart toward my husband. I realized I was able to love and serve him without manipulative motives or a grumbling spirit.
The Battlefield of My Mind and My Marriage
Looking back, I realize that Satan had invited me to look at life and marriage through poverty lenses and I obliged him. I had been very concerned I would never be enough for my husband. I was afraid marriage would always hurt more than it helped. I wondered if I married the wrong guy.
I fell for Satan’s lies about marriage more than once. The first time, I choose to run away from my sacred vows in fear that nothing would change. In my second marriage, simple “Help me Jesus” prayers led me to an entirely new view of God and His power to restore broken people and their vows.
Along with the revelation that He is patient and kind, God also revealed to me that the peace I was longing for came from a life of obedience to Him. I had never known peace and I wanted it. So I launched a pursuit obedience to God with all of my heart.
The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17 NIV
God’s Word continues to clear up my view of God. It has given me faith that He really is able to help me in my times of trouble.
Immanuel, God with Us in Marriage
This God who is patient and kind is also with us as we fight for our marriages. He is Immanuel, the “with us God” and He is the Mighty Warrior who crushes His enemies.
The LORD will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies. Isaiah 42:13 NIV
God is fighting for us and He has promised to strengthen each one of us and protect us against the evil one who seeks to destroy our marriages.
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 NIV
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in me and empowers me to love my husband well. Christ in me is the source of the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control I need as David’s wife. Today, I join Him in the fight for my marriage with little prayers like this: “God, I’m going to need Your gentleness in this situation we are facing.”
Every Marriage Has a Fighting Chance with God
God is far more powerful than His enemy.
Daniel aligned himself with God by courageously praying to Him regardless of King Darius’s edict and threats. Then God’s power shut the mouths of the lions while Daniel was in the lion’s den.
David united with God in the fight against Goliath with bold faith in what God had done and would do again. He used what He had and God delivered victory to a humanly impossible situation.
The enemy of every marriage roars threatening to kill, steal and destroy what God has joined together. In my first marriage, I heard the roar and I ran. In the hard days of my second marriage, one little morsel of humility in me cried out to God for help. The roar continued, but God counseled me with His Word to wait. He taught me to join Him in the fight for my marriage by praying His Word. And now I know and trust Him as the marriage Savior.
Nothing is impossible with God. He’s proved it in my mind and marriage. Nicole, Evie, and Lyn share their stories of entrusting the hard days and years of their marriage with God here at PrayersforNewBrides.com.
Jennifer- Prayerfully Speaking