A military friend of mine sent a book in the mail to me called "Faith Deployed" shortly after Seth left. It is a great devotional directed toward military spouses and not just for families who are going through a deployment. The great thing about this book is that although it is directed toward military, it could be for anyone. Just simply swap the military scenario for yours. I read this excerpt today and I thought it was worth sharing with you all. In a society where 50% of first marriages end in divorce, 67% of second and 74% of third, I think it is important to remember that marriage is worth fighting for.
by Vanessa Peters (excerpt from Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives)
So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.
Tonight I lay in bed awake for a long time. I listened to my husband’s sweet, rhythmic breathing as he slept beside me, and tried to imagine what life would be like without him there.
Earlier, I’d received news that some old friends of ours had divorced. This was a lovely family so similar to ours in many ways: my friend’s husband attended the Air Force Academy along with mine, we were stationed at the same base, our husbands were in the same squadron and flew the same plane, we started having babies together and attended the same social functions. So, when the news came that this couple was now divorced and he already remarried, leaving two scarred young children in the wake, my heart broke. I wept over a world gone wrong, Satan’s victories at the very core of God’s army—breaking apart the family.
The news was freshly poignant to me as David and I had recently experienced a significant fight in which tempers flared. In a moment of despair, I asked him, “Do you really think we’ll make it?” Later, he prayed with me that I would see our marriage as worth fighting for. That really resonated with my heart.
What caused this beautiful family to break up? While I certainly don’t know all the details, I consider this question quite stridently with the humbling realization that it could have just as easily been us. “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
We know God desires marriages to be healthy and whole. “’I hate divorce,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘…So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith’” (Malachi 2:16-17 NIV). But lest we think we are immune because we’re Christians, let’s consider the evidence: Over half of marriages in the United States end in divorce, and the rate among “Christian” marriages is no better. Some good friends of ours serve with Campus Crusade’s Military Ministry. Their entire ministry is based on defending the military marriage. With staggering rates of troubled marriage and divorce in the military, exacerbated by deployment and war, they fight to keep these marriages together – for God’s glory.
Relationships are hard, and in my own power, my marriage is surely on sandy ground. My own sinfulness will too often prevail when I rely on my strength. Yet, I have a powerful One who intercedes on my behalf when I am weak. He specializes in resurrecting that which would otherwise be dead. What assurance returned as I pondered the words of John Newton at age 82, soon to see Jesus face to face. The author of the famous hymn “Amazing Grace,” was once a slave trader, then a sinner saved by grace and later a powerful preacher: “My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.”
Do I have a prideful attitude about marriage and think that mine would never fail?
What am I doing to proactively protect my marriage now?
Lord Jesus, You created marriage for our good and Your glory. However, we live in a fallen world, and marriage is one of the most attacked institutions of our faith. Give us your supernatural strength and grace to bind us together forever. Help me to be the kind of wife who fights fiercely for her marriage. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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