That’s what I asked her over our dinner together.
But my friend seemed surprised at my question. Not sure what I was exactly asking.
So I elaborated.
Do you ever have any concerns about your marriage? You know, with everything that’s been happening lately? All the bad news and marriages that appear to be falling apart everywhere?
Infidelity. Irreconcilable differences. Distance and divorce.
No matter where you look, it seems to be the same. Not merely documented in the news, but also seen in many families, dear friends, and even churches.
So how does that affect you two?
I took another bite of my roasted beet salad, while she thoughtfully considered my question.
“No,” she eventually answered. “I really don’t. I just don’t worry too much about it.”
She went on to say that she was confident in their marriage. Not only was she sure of the man she married, but she was sure of herself.
Not in a prideful way, mind you. But with a certain simplicity and assurance that did my heart good.
Because you know something? I liked her answer. A lot.
I came to realize that I had slowly let fear creep into my own heart over the past few years. I looked at what other people were doing – or not doing – and it made me question if we were next. If those same things were going to sneak up on us as well.
Thankfully, I’ve married a very patient man. So whenever I start throwing about my wild concerns or deepest fears, he only smiles and pulls me in tighter. He reminds me that that’s not what we’re all about.
That he loves me. And plans on loving me for the rest of our days.
He also reminds me that he has a healthy fear of God and that, ultimately, he is accountable to Him for being loving and faithful to me.
And I breath a sigh of relief. Again.
So maybe you’re like me and sometimes wonder. Or worry.
You look around and see marriages crumbling and vows broken. Perhaps you come from a long line of broken hearts, like several of my close friends. Not certain if you even stand a chance.
But you do “stand a chance.” Because it’s not up to chance. It’s up to God and He is more than able to keep you together.
So look to Him. Not to the news. Not to your extended family. Not to your friends or neighbors (unless they’re an encouraging example).
And remember what’s true.
We don’t need to live in fear.
When we become anxious and fearful, we are forgetting that our God is loving and powerful. There is nothing too hard for Him and nothing catches Him “by surprise” either.
Our confidence is not based on what a great guy he is or what a wonderful wife I am (ha!), but on Christ Himself. We love Him, fear Him, and we can trust Him with our marriage.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
What other people have – or don’t have – doesn’t determine what we have.
No matter what is going down around you, or what kind of (broken) legacy you might come from, you and your spouse can make your own decisions on what kind of marriage you desire.
When my husband and I were going through a sad season when a few of our closest friends were choosing divorce, we clung to each other and determined all the more that we were going to commit to loving one another. No matter what.
What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. ~ Mark 10:9
We should focus more on what is true and right – than what is going wrong in the world.
We can’t let the sins and hurts of this world define or influence our hearts toward our own marriage. So don’t let the situations around you make you anxious (note to self!), but keep your eye on Him who joined you together.
Then take it one step further. Fix your thoughts on all that is good and and lovely and be encouraged by these things!
Because, you know, there’s still some really good stuff going on. I can say that about my friend’s marriage and I can say it about ours.
And I’ll look forward to saying it about your marriage.
The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~ Phil. 4:5b-8
So why not love each other for the rest of your days? That’s what we want to do!
In His grace,
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