Do you and your spouse keep revisiting a pesky issue that is unresolved? Is it threatening your companionship? Are you discouraged?
Marriage exposes the real us.
When we stood dressed in our finest at the altar and exchanged our wedding vows, our hearts and minds were filled with hope, not all sorts of complexities that seem to tangle up the life we imagined. Financial problems, in-law problems, parenting problems, confusion over roles and expectations are like long octopus’ arms that wrap around us and squeeze. Your problem may not be one of these. Fill in the blank.
Are you in a squeeze?
You can get out of this mess. But you have to stop doing the same old things. You must stop thinking the same old things. And you must stop, go back to that day at the altar, and remember.
You and your spouse entered into a Covenant of Companionship, vowing to go through all the ups and downs of life together, in a companionable spirit, until you die. We’re released from our vows when our mates pass away. (There are two exceptions: Infidelity and Desertion.) What’s interesting is that not only does death release us from our vows, but’s it’s also fundamental to making the covenant binding in the first place. Covenants were God’s idea and they required the death of an animal or in the case of the New Covenant, Christ himself, to make the covenants binding. There are several mentioned in the Bible. We are part of the New Covenant explained in the New Testament. In the case of marriage, we die to our singleness. And to create a harmonious or companionable relationship, we undertook vows that required another kind of death to ensure the marital bliss we’re both hoping for. Also, in order for this to happen, God joined not only you and your spouse together, but He joined Himself and intertwined Himself into this new arrangement to ensure that this life-time covenant would be successful.
We weren’t alone at the altar. He’s still present in our marriages and has woven Himself into our covenants. He knows the complexities and entanglements that have been discouraging us. He knows how to untangle messes.
When we turn to Him, humble ourselves and pray, hope will revive. He will hear our words and our hearts and is a present help.
Prayer works. He hears.
Have you been praying together as a couple? It is central to becoming a companionable couple. Let Him revive the companionable in your companionship.
What else had we agreed to die to at the altar besides our singleness?
Ourselves, meaning our self-centeredness or in other words, we’re meant to orient our lives to a new way of being and doing, not just ourselves. In order to grow together in oneness, we not only need the presence of Christ through the presence of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of submission to Him in prayer, but also the strength to build new patterns of selflessness and sacrifice. A reorienting must happen.
In the next blog post, we’ll look at the nuts and bolts of how to reorient.