On Jesus and Marriage and Hard Things

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I have to tell you something about Jesus and marriage.

There will be nights when you will go to bed and you will think that your spouse is your enemy. They’ll do something stupid (or you’ll do something stupid) and man, it’ll be hard and one of you will want to scratch the other’s eyes out. You’ll feel your heart callous up and fortify itself in some kind of concrete barricade.

You will think that change is not even possible. Even if you’re a Christian, you’ll start to question if there’s enough power in Jesus to really help you, or them, overcome this particular sin and selfishness.

Listen, my loves. Jesus is a very present Help in time of trouble. It’s true. I know because I felt Him last night and this morning after Brent and I had a massively hard time working through something painful.

There will be these moments when we need to remember that there is a real Enemy, who is always seeking to destroy us, and our husband or our wife is not him. There will be moments when we’re gonna need to remember that we’re on the same team. We’ll have to choose to believe that people are capable of change. That God still does miracles. We can’t lose hope in this God who is real and working in the lives of those around us. And that He’s listening to our prayers and using those prayers to help and affect change. We can’t lose hope. We can’t give in to despair. (And trust me, despair will come and knock on your door and try to finagle himself in. You’ll have to resist violently with this intruder.)

We have to take our sore hearts to God because there will be some things that we won’t be able to handle, and we won’t be able to bear. We’re gonna need a Good Shepherd who will carry us. Who will walk with us through the dark valleys and the deep shadows. We’re gonna need that Good Shepherd to meet with us. So, we’ll have to keep talking to Him. Even when we want to shut down. Even when we want to block out. Even when we want to run away, we keep the conversation going. We keep the line of communication open. We keep the relationship strong and real.

Our hearts will need mending. So, we’ll have to surrender our broken lives to Him. We’ll have to take a time-out to actually tend to our crippled hearts if we want them to grow strong again and capable of loving.

This morning, I sat with Jesus and listened to this and asked Him to fill me:

During the song, Jesus gave me the sweetest picture of His intentions for us. (Some of you are a little weirded out with using your imaginations in your spiritual life, but bear with me.)

Brent and I were standing on the edge of the ocean looking out at these thunderous, restless waves. We needed to get across, but we knew the waves would completely pull us under, suck us in, overcome us. That’s when Jesus came. He was the boat. So, Brent and I grabbed hold of each other’s hand, choosing to love one another something fierce and we stepped out in faith together in the safety and strength of our Savior. That’s how we made it. We clung to each other. And we trusted in the ability of Christ to get us through all this.

That’s for you too, my friends. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He’s a very present Help in our time of need. And He’s our lifeboat, strong and stable and close at hand.

It’s been said that a three-stranded rope is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12) The strength of two people, bound together in love, can overcome a multitude of things.

And Jesus, would You enter into this with us? We want You to be the third strand.

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