When Marriage Gets Messy God is Uninvited

When Marriage Gets Messy – God is Uninvited

The #1 most referenced reason Marriage Gets Messy: God is Uninvited.

I thought this was going to be a no brainer of an answer.

I expected “good Christians,” the ones who follow Jesus and imitate Him, would be best at marriage. You know, since God is love (1 John 4:8) and we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). And because God created woman for man instituting marriage in the very beginning of Genesis (Genesis 2:18-24). The Bible tells us to model our marriages after Jesus’ relationship to the church (Ephesians 5:22-32) and Jesus admonishes us not to separate what God has joined (Mark 10:9).

But it seems to be much more complicated than I first assumed.

When Marriage Gets Messy God is UninvitedI suspect the predominantly Christian respondents to our initial survey thought this was the best “Sunday School Answer” –  leaving God out of marriage makes it messy.

But the statistics tell a different story.

The Truth About Marriage

This article by Thought Co in March of 2017 shows that Atheists have the lowest divorce rate in America. Additionally, it claims divorce rates are higher in the Bible Belt than any other area in America, and conservative Protestants are more likely to end their marriages than other groups.

Feminists use statistics pointing to the rise of feminism as the cause of declining divorce rates in America. Another article touts the increase in cohabitation before marriage as a factor in longer lasting marriages, because mismatched couples break up before they actually get married. Yet another source said divorced people are so stigmatized they leave the church, and therefore the number of divorced Christians is actually higher than reported. Some studies show inter-faith and atheistic or agnostics relationships are more likely to go the distance than “equally yoked” Christian marriages.

Christians aren’t the only ones who desire good marriages.

Nobody wants to be miserable with their mate.

Marriage Advice

Over the course of the last 11 weeks, I’ve noticed even secular marital advice stems from biblical truths. They just aren’t citing their sources, or perhaps they don’t even realize their origins. But the truth is, you don’t have to knowingly involve God to have a good, or even great, marriage.

But we cannot have God-glorifying, masterpiece marriages without inviting the Master.

We cannot have God-glorifying, masterpiece marriages without inviting the Master. #whenmarriagegetsmessy #messymarriage Click To Tweet

Those who deny the existence of God cannot please or glorify Him. And that is my desire for my marriage and every other aspect of my life. And, I suspect it is your wish, too.

God designed and instituted marriage, and created all those who are married or will marry one day. He knows each of us intimately, including our gifts, weaknesses, temptations, and failures. Why on earth would we deliberately leave Him out of this equation?

My guess is it’s not intentional, just inconvenient.

Inviting God is Inconvenient

It takes time to stop, pray, and seek God’s guidance for every messy situation. It’s a sacrifice to suppress our fleshly desires and to place the needs of another above our own. It takes commitment and intentional action to avoid complacency. We need to lay aside endless commitments and obligations demanding our attention in order to properly focus on our spouse.

This is what I know:  much of what I need to make my marriage a masterpiece comes as fruit of the Holy Spirit. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control. These are not from my self. Left to my own own devices, I would only, and often do, make a mess of my marriage. Because I’m a sinner, just like everybody else. No matter what else you call it, sin is what makes marriage messy.

But, we were also all (Christians, Jews, Atheists, and everybody else) created in God’s image and with an awareness of His law written on our hearts (Romans 2:14-15), so each of us have an innate sense of the right and wrong that makes marriage work.

Christians would like to think we have the upper hand in marriage. But we don’t. Because claiming Christianity and inviting God into your marriage are two vastly different situations. Just because I have access to Christ’s power doesn’t mean I’m claiming it for my marriage.

Make no mistake. God is at work in marriage whether we choose to acknowledge Him or not. He is for our marriages, even if our spouses neglect the gift. But, for me, the real power comes from acknowledging His presence through prayer. He is the third strand that makes marriage strong, the closer we abide in Him, the closer we cling to our spouse, and the less likely we are to turn our marriages into broken messes.

Four ways we can invite God into our marriages.When Marriage Gets Messy God is Uninvited

1. Pray for yourself. Ask God to show you how to be the wife your husband needs, to fill you with the fruit of the Spirit that makes marriage work, and to give you His love for your mate. Invite God to transform your marriage. Ask Him to help you respect your husband in the way the Church is called to make Jesus its head.

2. Pray for your spouse. Pray that God would work in his heart to transform him into the husband you need. Ask God to inspire him to the be spiritual leader of your family. Ask God to show him how to love you as Jesus loves the Church, and to protect him from all the enemy’s evil advances.

3. Ask Others to pray for your marriage. Whether it is a friend, a mentor, or a member of your inner circle, it is important to have warriors committed to covering your marriage in prayer. This isn’t an invitation to air your dirty laundry and you don’t necessarily have to share any intimate details when asking for prayer. God knows what our marriages need.

4. Pray together. This is where many couples struggle, but it could be the most powerful prayer of all. We’ve been taught to pray in secret so that others don’t see or hear us. But there ought to be no secrets between husband and wife. By sharing prayer we increase intimacy in ways impossible to imagine. Thank God for each other and His gift of marriage. Ask Him to increase your intimacy and commitment to each other so that no earthly circumstance would tear apart what He has joined. Request the strength to love and serve each other selflessly. Ask His Spirit to inspire you to see your spouse as God sees him and to extend the same forgiveness you’ve each been given.

Prayer invites God’s power to transform messy marriages into masterpieces.

Prayer invites God’s power to transform messy marriages into masterpieces. #messymarriage #prayer #whenmarriagegetsmessy #inviteGod Click To Tweet

For more testimony about the benefits of inviting God into marriage, visit Tiffiney at Welcome Home Ministry.  http://welcomehomeministry.com/christian-living/little-house-thrive-family-life/

Don’t forget to join us next week for the Wrap Up and Resources post. Rumor has it there will be a give-away!

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Don’t miss the other posts in this series:

     10. Finances

     9. Unmet Expectations

     8. Adultery

     7. Outside Influences

     6. Complacency

     5.  Selfishness

     4.  Misaligned Priorities

     3. Unequally Yoked

     2. Communication Breakdown

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When Marriage Gets Messy God is Uninvited

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Linking Up With

For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne EllerFaith On FireSusan B. MeadFaith Filled FridayGrace and TruthFaith and Fellowship FridaySoul SurvivalRah Rah Link UpTell His StorySitting Among FriendsTestimony TuesdayPlanting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday, Salt and Light.

25 thoughts on “When Marriage Gets Messy – God is Uninvited

  1. Just last night my husband and I were able to go out to dinner minus our little ones. It was so nice to be able to get away and having meaningful adult conversation about our lives. So often I know that even for us we can go through the motions of doing the right thing as a Christian couple but it takes effort and purpose to make our marriage work.

    1. We can’t just “go through the motions” and expect masterpiece results! We’ve got to intentionally invest where we hope for growth! So glad you and your hubby were able to get that time together! So important! Blessings!

  2. This has been such a great series. Statistics are also hard to rely on. There are many individuals who identify as Christian but don’t live a Christian life. At the same time, I have worked with many Christian couples that make the assumption that their marriage should be “blessed” and therefore easy. God doesn’t promise easy! But a marriage without God becomes much harder!

    1. I know, right! I’m sure we could make numbers say just about anything we wanted them to! I think that is the prevailing prideful premise of many who claim Christianity… That things should be easy for us. But, you’re right… God never promised us easy in this life! Blessings!

  3. This is great, Liz. And yes to prayer. I love that you encourage us to pray for ourselves. I think we get so caught up in praying for situations, that we neglect our own need. And in the area of relationships–it begins with us.

    1. I have lots of needs and places I need God’s intervention. I’m glad to know I’m not alone! Lord, change my heart to be like Yours! Amen. Blessings!

  4. What a great article, Liz! A girl can never go wrong with prayer. Not only can God use it to change our circumstance, He uses it to change our heart. Pray with my husband…this is definitely the reminder I needed today! Thank you for pointing us to the only One who can make an eternal difference in our marriage (and thank you for the mention). Blessings!

    1. It’s a reminder I need often! I love sharing great content, Tiffiney, and I find lots of it over on your virtual front porch! Blessings to you and yours!

  5. Love This praying for yourself, because we as women often put everybody first and forget ourselves, but we need His power too. We need to be heard, and we need to cast our cares thanks for this message

  6. Just a few minutes ago I was in the car praying for the marriages in my family. Yup, we’re all believers, but I also know the whole “prone to wander, Lord, I feel it” song applies to us, and you have given me very poignant words to bring before the Father because I always want our kids (and Us) to invite God into our marriages — the good and the struggles.

  7. We always tell our kids, choosing your spouse is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. I love this: “But we cannot have God-glorifying, masterpiece marriages without inviting the Master.” So much truth there! We really can’t. Your 4 ways to bring prayer into your marriage are wonderful ideas. I really want to start praying with my husband. That’s something we’ve never done. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. The statistics you cite are fascinating! I wonder fo the world has a better grip on grace and forgiveness. So grateful for prayer, God’s intervention, and His guidance.

  9. I’ve set some marriage goals for the upcoming year and one of them is to read the Bible with my husband (we both read on our own, but not together). It’s one way we’re going to invite God in this year!

  10. So true!!! No matter if they’re longtime Christians or not, couples have got to stop assuming that their salvation will save their marriage! It takes an active effort of inviting God into their marriage on a consistent basis to make it fresh, fun, and stable!! Love your tips!

    1. I think that’s a mistake we make even beyond marriage, too, Selina. We think everything in this life will be blessed, but Jesus never promised us that! Blessings!

  11. Prayer is the essential ingredient to everything, isn’t it? Because we can’t see an immediate, direct result, it’s easy to see prayer as a last resort at times, isn’t it? When we stop to remember the actual…legit power of prayer…it’s freeing. There’s such peace in knowing, and believing, and claiming the power of prayer—especially in marriage. The seat of the family—which satan is on a mission to destroy. — Good word today, Liz. Thanks for sharing. xoxo

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