To Live In Marriage IS Choosing God

I’ve been pondering the idea of marriage. If you live in the United States then you are or have had to think about what defines the concept of marriage as well. We are all watching the country begin to shift toward a different legal definition of marriage. However, the concept of marriage and the origins can not be redefined.

Marriage, whether a conscience decision or not, is a spiritual one. And therefore to live in marriage IS choosing God. If that concept intrigues you, please continue to read and see how I came to this conclusion over buttermilk pancakes one day.

A friend and I met the other day and among the many things we talked about, we landed on the subject of getting married. We both married our spouses prior to becoming Christians. We discussed the issues that lurked in our hearts and within our relationships prior to dedicating ourselves to live as the Bible has taught us, and how to live it out with those issues still present in marriage. Through the conversation of broken homes, bad habits, and emotional bankruptcy within our childhood & adulthood, we realized that we encountered God in a tangible way the day we married. Both of us had very different circumstances and ceremonies to our wedding day but afterwards, whether we realized it or not, we had stepped into the heavenly realm, even if it had been accidental on our part.

When I was a kid, my friends and I did this crazy thing where we closed ourselves up in a bathroom with all the lights off and tried to say “Candyman” 10 times without freaking out. I’m glad I was in that bathroom because I was about to pee my pants on the 3rd time and by the 5th time we were all running out of the bathroom screaming. Later as a teenager, someone invited me to play a game on the Ouija board. I declined because I was a scaredy cat…still am. Then as as an adult I was invited to go to some sacred land and participate in a chant to the “gods” of that land. Again, something within me, was scared.

What do those examples have to do with the sanctity of marriage? In all three of those situations, I was being tempted to step into the realm of darkness. I was ignorant of it in my mind but my spirit wasn’t. I know people who accidentally stepped into the realm of darkness by shrugging these thing off as just “fun activities”. I have stepped accidentally into the realm of darkness by doing drugs, drinking excessively, viewing pornographic material, all of which have had some effect on me because I thought these would just be fun activities to participate in. But here is the good news, if you can accidentally step into darkness then you can accidentally step into the heavenly.

Now I realize I should define my use of “accidentally”. I mean I was not making a conscience effort to pick any side of spirituality. I was not thinking of God or the devil. I was just living and making choices that benefited me or brought me happiness, no matter how temporary it might have been. I went on the church bus occasionally as a kid when my mom needed some time to herself. It was okay; I got some little treat on the bus and everyone was always nice at the churches. I also use to pray for what was happening in my life i.e. “God please help me look hot so this guy wants me” or “God help my mom to be happy so we can all be happy” or “Oh Jesus, help me get an A on this test.” At 17 years old, I married my husband. There was a part of me that was just trying to escape my home life but mostly I married because he made me see good in myself and I loved him for that. In all these situations, I had stepped into the heavenly realm.

Marriage is a covenant. It is a biblical concept or promise created and maintained by God. He gave it to us to represent three very distinct things: the relationship He wants with each of is most represented in the concept of marriage (bride and groom), to partner in bringing life to this earth through childbirth, and to complement each other (men and women definitely think differently) on this journey of life on earth.  When you enter into a marriage, you are stepping into the heavenly realm.

Marriage is not a moral issue, or an institution. Both of those are dependent on how society views morals and a contract by law. Marriage is a biblical concept and it can only be fully enjoyed within the confines of biblical living. How many people have you encountered, or heard, of that were together for a long time or lived together, got married, and then divorced soon after? How many people do you know who married in a church but divorced in a court? Unfortunately, I know quite a few, and let me tell you, I was very close to being one of them. The fact is that most people say “oh I don’t need a sheet of paper to tell me I love someone” or “you get married and everything changes so ‘thanks but no thanks'” They are absolutely right!

You see, marriage is hard (that is not nearly a strong enough word) and when you step into the heavenly realm and the full weight of God’s promise rests within marriage, well, you either turn to the Inventor to see how it works, or you crumble under the weight of it. I am not saying people don’t do their absolute best to make it work, believer or nonbeliever, but I am saying that a biblical concept can only be lived out within the parameters of biblical living.

For those stepping into the institution of marriage as defined by the State, whether believer, nonbeliever, regardless of sexual orientation, you are committing to abide by the law of the land. But if you want to be in a covenant marriage defined by God, one blessed by God, then you have to be dedicated to living within the parameters set forth in the Bible. Like I heard said regarding your marital relationship: “You can be a 100% blessed by the State but 0% blessed by God.” You have to choose whether to follow the law of the land (meaning what has been made ‘legal’ by the country) or the laws of Heaven.

So let’s start cleaning house. Lets rid our marriages of anything not of God – Playboy magazines, strip club visits, (maybe watching True Blood), excessive partying (incl. drug use or excessive alcohol), degrading comments to and about each other, physical abuse, etc…we all know it is a long list and it may seem impossible to do. “But difficult doesn’t mean impossible. Imperfect changes are slow steps of progress wrapped in grace…imperfect progress.”(1)

Phillipians 1:27 (NLT) Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic. Leave a comment below!

Additional Readings: Malachi 2:2-14 (AMP), Mat 19:4-6 (MSG) 
(1) Mrs. Lysa Terkeurst, Unglued: Making Wise Choices In The Midst Of Raw Emotions, pub. 2012, Ch. 1
*Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Institution – a significant practice, relationship, or organization in a society or culture <the institution of marriage>
Covenant – a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action.*  In the Hebrew scriptures, an agreement or treaty among peoples or nations, but most memorably the promises that God extended to humankind.

Suffering From Impatience? Me too.

Exodus 6:9 (NLT)

So Moses told the people of Israel what the LORD had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery.

Hi my name is Christy and I’m an impatient person. I’ve been suffering with this all my life. It seems to partner itself with my need to be in control of all situations. Together, these characteristics are a force to be reckoned with on any given day. I see the improvements that the Holy Spirit is doing in me. I haven’t yelled at my children in 3 weeks, although, in my mind, I have a thousand times. It’s challenging to balance so many roles in my life, as I am sure it is for everyone.  I see myself being just as many of the children of Israel – so caught up in the harsh reality of life and the bitterness that settles in when nothing seems to be working in my favor that I can ‘t even muster enough hope, much less faith in action, to even listen to what God is saying. My current situations deafen me to hearing God’s plan.

But not only is His voice comforting, it comes with the full power of heaven enforcing (or imposing) His will into the situation. On any given day, I am in desperate need for an encounter with Jehovah Jireh, my Provider. And there is one place I am guaranteed to meet up with Him – in HIS WORD. It is life. It is the source of all hope. It is THE game plan on winning in the battle against impatience.

When the circumstances of life have you loaded down, let His word relieve the burden. It will still be difficult to move through the tasks because you can’t control everything, at least that is what I keep finding out, but you can control self and you can exhibit patience IF you have the love of God in you.  No matter how dark the times, He is light. His compassion and mercy are fresh everyday!

Following a Dream

Psalms 105:19 Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.

Psalms 111:3 Everything He does reveals His glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails.

1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

James 1:14-15 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

As I have reflected on some of my past desires, mistaken for dreams, I begin to see that if they had come to fruition they would not necessarily have led down a path of satisfaction. Some dreams can take us captive, make us so busy and consumed with desire that it overshadows the desire to do God’s will. When I have found myself at the crossroads of my dream or God’s dream, these questions have helped me decipher what part of my decision is being made with my desire and what part is God’s calling.

1. Does my dream stay in line with God’s character? Is it cliche to say “WWJD”? Maybe. However that is exactly what we need to do.

2. Am I willing to submit to His timing and direction? Dreams don’t need to be rushed or forced. If it is of God then this particular area of time and path to take will be clear, NOT EASY, but peaceful.

3. Am I remembering to celebrate present day life? THIS is the day the Lord has made, rejoice. Don’t forget – nothing is promised for tomorrow. He doesn’t want you so consumed with the future dreams that you don’t live out the one for today.