Marriage Missions International

A Marriage Worth Fighting For – Marriage Message #90

“If we’re serious about having a Christian marriage, then sometimes the best thing we can do is fight. After all, it’s God’s way. If that sounds strange, perhaps it’s because we forget that God is married. He calls Himself a husband to Israel. He refers to the church as the Bride of Israel. God has remained faithful to His marriage vows despite centuries of heartache. But that doesn’t mean He’s been complacent. He’s fought hard for His beloved.” (Al Janssen)

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And if God fights “hard for His beloved” and remains “faithful” then shouldn’t we, as Christ Followers, do the same? To answer this question, we’re going to share a portion of an article titled “Worth Fighting For” written by Al Janssen, which was featured in a past issue of Marriage Partnership Magazine. We hope the powerful message in this article speaks to your heart as it has ours. It reads:

“Based on God’s covenant and passion, God fights hard for his marriage. Writer John Eldredge has stated that we can better understand the Old Testament prophets if we read their words as a lover’s quarrel. The intensity of God’s confrontations with Israel convinces me that many Christians exit their marriages too easily. In fact, God has been in a one-sided marriage yet has remained faithful to his beloved over the centuries.

“This leads to the climax of the drama that is God’s love story. His is a heroic marriage. To have His beloved, God’s son laid down His life for her. That example is the challenge to Christian marriages. How much am I willing to sacrifice of myself for my spouse? Christ is the example to husbands in Ephesians 5:25, which I like to paraphrase, ‘Husbands be the hero to your wives just as Christ was the hero for the church by giving himself up for her.’

“Likewise Christ is the role model for wives: ‘Wives be heroic by submitting to your husbands as to the Lord’ is how I might paraphrase Ephesians 5:22.

“So what does this picture of God’s marriage have to do with Pete (a husband mentioned in this article who’s been unfaithful to his wife)? Jenny (his wife) wisely used this model as motivation for her marriage. Rather than endure his on-going unfaithfulness, she fought him. God did the same in Ezekiel 16. In that powerful passage, God reveals His covenant commitment and His passion for Jerusalem and goes to great effort to win back her love.

“…God acts like a proud husband, showering His bride with beautiful clothes and valuable jewelry and the finest foods. But the bride has a problem with pride. ‘You trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute’ (verse 15). Now the sparks really fly. God accuses his wife of some very serious charges. She’s given her gifts away to other lovers. She has slaughtered their children. She has devalued her relationship with God, and she has violated their covenant commitment.

“So what is God going to do about it? It’s one thing to be angry and hurl accusations. God certainly does that, but He also exercises tough love: ‘You will bear the consequences of your lewdness and your detestable practices, declares the Lord’ (verse 58). God spells out various consequences.

“But God doesn’t end with judgment. Near the end of this long prophecy, His anger finally spent, He concludes: ‘I will deal with you as you deserve, because you have despised my oath by breaking the covenant. Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and will establish an everlasting covenant with you’ (verses 59-60). The predicted reaction is that Jerusalem will be ashamed and return to the Lord. The goal of this confrontation is clearly reconciliation and restoration of the relationship.

“If God didn’t care so much, He would just toss His wife away. Unfortunately, that’s what happens all too often in our culture. Fortunately, Pete’s wife refused to take that route.

“Pete offered to file for divorce, but his wife said, ‘I’m not letting you off the hook that easy. I don’t want a divorce. I love you, Pete. But you need help. What you’re doing is wrong. It’s hurting me, and it’s hurting our children. We cannot continue to live this way. When you’re willing to get help and become the man God created you to be, then I’ll welcome you back.’

“Fortunately, in this case this wise wife’s words, backed up by action, were a wake-up call for Pete. He did seek help, and though there were several setbacks, the couple was reconciled a year later. Without his wife’s tough love, I seriously doubt that Pete would have changed. It occurs to me that too many couples let important issues slide until they become major problems.

“Jo and I have decided to keep a tight hedge of protection around our marriage. That means dealing with any concern quickly before it becomes a problem.

“If God feels His marriage is worth fighting for, mine is worth fighting for, too. God wasn’t silent about how He felt when His marriage was threatened. He pleaded, cajoled, shouted, argued, insulted, and expressed in many ways His deep and underlying love. The point is clear —He wanted His wife back, and He would do whatever was necessary to draw her back to Himself. Can we do any less?”

We hope that what you just read will make you think more seriously about fighting FOR your marriage—with the same resolve that God has shown us by His example of fighting for His bride—the church. Whatever you are going through, determine to fight against the enemy of our faith (who is working against your marriage) with the same perseverance that God has shown throughout history.

If you’d like to read the entire article featured above which is posted on the Kyria.com web site, please click onto the link, Worth Fighting For.  Also a few additional resources you might find helpful as well to read are:

Our love and prayers are with you as we work together to make our marriages reflect the never-ending love of Christ.

Cindy and Steve Wright

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Comments

8 Responses to “A Marriage Worth Fighting For – Marriage Message #90”
  1. Jerry says:

    (USA)  Steve and Cindy, The story of Jacob, Leah & Rachel is our favorite story. Here is why: We were making a long drive through Georgia in 1994 after I had just confessed to our adult daughter & her husband my entire story of unfaithfulness. My wife was extremely upset and unloaded on me, which was a good thing. After she was done (one hour later), we tuned the radio to a Christian station and the program was interviewing Dr. Bob Moeller, the author of “For Worse, for Better, for Keeps” (Mulmonth Press). Bob tells the same story about Jacob and that you never marry the wrong person, even when you think you do.

    As the station drifted away into the darkness, I changed the tuner and found another Christian station repeating the same program with Bob Moeller. We go a little further down the road and you guessed it, God would have us hear Bob Moeller repeat the same challenge for the third time, “we never marry a mistake”.

    We heard enough and the day after we arrived home in Jacksonville, I called all of the Christian book stores and found the book. It was tremendous and I would recommend the book to anyone who has a great marriage as well as the spouse who thinks they married the wrong person.

    A few days after the book purchase, I then drove 450 miles to spend a week of intensive counseling for sex addiction with Dr. Mark Laaser. When I got to my room to unpack, Susan had packed Bob Moeller’s book with a love note saying that she had married me for better, for worse and for keeps. God bless!

    Jerry & Susan Sinclair, Marriage Missionaries, Faithful & True of Jacksonville, FL
    904 443 0246

  2. Christina says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA)  Thank you Steve and Cindy & Jerry for your words of encouragement. I too found out (again) that my husband has been unfaithful to me. And though our Pastors have encouraged us to stay together, some apologies have been done, I still feel like a walking zombie (most of the time). I feel that I could not have been loved by my husband. Even though I am supposed to stay and fight, pray and wait, I am so despondent.

    But service yesterday (Sunday) was most encouraging, building my strength. The message was centered on the fact that we are blessed and favored. Our victory, in every adversity, was secured on Calvary. I believe that Jesus is all I need. I am going to fight for my marriage!! I do have my moments of sadness and let my pain rise to the surface (maybe I should’nt show my husband this) but I have endeavored to take back what is mine – for my daughter and me!! I too thought I had married the wrong person, but thank you for allowing the Spirit to use you in my life. Bless you.

  3. Wayne says:

    (S.AFRICA)  Christina. I can’t say that I know what you are going through. My wife filed for Divorce 09/02/2010 after 3 years of marriage. I admit that I was wrong, I emotionally abused my wife and due to external circumstances gave up on my family. We have a son that is almost 17 months old now. I have been fighting from day one to save what is left of my marriage. My wife keeps telling me to give up and forget that we will ever get back together, but I know that with God’s help and can heal my marriage and my family. I have given my life to Christ and I trust that He has a plan for our family. I will pray for you. God Bless

  4. Monica says:

    (US)  It is crazy that I came across this site as I googled “Christian book winning back an unfaithful spouse thats left.” Pretty long, I know. However, in about late July of this year my husband too decided to leave both our daughter and I. He came to this conclusion the night he decided it was going to be okay for him to sleep with another woman to forget the troubles of a marriage he grew tired of.

    To make matters worse he and I worked together along with the girl he had an affair with. We have only been married since March of ’09. Our daughter just turned a year old this Sunday and everyone at work was talking about my pathetic story. He and I are both strong believers in the Lord, although I don’t know whats happened. Its been a few months now and things are still awful.

    At first I was resolute to save this marriage but things have been such a roller coaster. Its been hard for me to hold on. I still acknowledge that I am his wife and so on but he has told me to my face he is single. I feel I’ve tried everything I can to save this marriage but things have gone from bad to worse. I feel like I am in a bad nightmare I can’t wake up from. I think that “you never marry a mistake” would be a huge aid for me. Thank you.

    I’m praying for you, Wayne because I know the feeling. Although I’ve never been unfaithful to my husband I know what it’s like to want to right such a huge wrong and save your marriage and not be given the slightest chance. I know what it’s like to be cheated on by a spouse and never wanting to look back again. I don’t judge you for your mistake, I really sympathize for you.

    My husbands swears to this day that he loves me with all his heart but says he just doesn’t want to keep trying and doesn’t want to be with me. Regardless of how wrong, he knows he is simply by God’s word, even though he sees how he has destroyed this family. I’ve been needing some kind of Christian book about a situation like my own. I read the Bible but it’s more spiritually uplifting than it is relatable to my situation. If any other Godly books are out there that can help me, please let me know. Thank you.

  5. Brian says:

    (UNITED STATES)  (Monica): Be encouraged, know that no matter what takes place that GOD loves you. He is the healer, father, provider that you need and you deserve a husband that will do those things too. Be patient and trust in the lord with ALL of your heart. I too am a stander. My court date is next week. I am trusting GOD for a break through. I dont know what to do. I know GOD has all my interests in his heart and he WILL lead the way. Just trust GOD. I know from experience, obedience and trust will be rewarded.

  6. Miriam says:

    (KENYA)  I totally agree that marriages are worth fighting for and some of the simple spiritual steps that one can take to fight for their marriage include:

    1. Praying the Word by using Scriptures such as 1. Father God, your Word says, “What God has joined together, let not man separate” therefore I pray in the name of Jesus that no man or woman or power or problem will be able to come between my spouse and I and cause us to separate or divorce. (Adapted Matthew 19:6)

    2. Slaying negative marriage thoughts by meditating on and confession marriage
    Scriptures such as I will love my wife just as Christ loved the church (Adapted Ephesians 5:25) and I will respect my husband. (Adapted Ephesians 5:33)
    http://www.christianstressmanagement.com/2011/10/how-to-fight-for-your-marriage-with.html

  7. Sue says:

    (MALAWI) I’ve been married only a year and sometimes think we made a mistake or rather that I married a mistake… or my husband married a mistake. You would not believe if I told you that 97% of our married life has been full of hurt and tears and fears and all the other negatives. Sometimes I just dont know if it’s worth fighting for this marriage. I think I’m still young (27) to be going through this pain. I know God hates divorce but sometimes I really feel trapped. Please help me! I’m torn!

  8. Wayne from United States says:

    Marriages are worth fighting for. My wife has a sexual/love addiction. She has had 8 affairs during the first 11 years of our marriage. I wanted to leave so many times, but something wouldn’t let me. I didn’t know God at the time, but I just couldn’t leave. I knew there was something wrong with her. I too was addicted, but to drugs.

    When I finally hit my bottom and checked into a rehab program. My wife had to go to counseling for codependency. Then a miracle happened. She discovered the true nature of her problem. She is a Sex and love addict. She began working a 12 step program as did I. We found the Lord while working our programs. Our marriage has been solid though by no means perfect. I know in my heart that the Lord placed us together all those years ago to have each other to love and support one another through the worst times of our lives. We have grown so very close.

    I never thought we would survive let alone have a 37 year long marriage. I would encourage you to hang in there and reach out to the Lord. He places us together for reasons we may not know or understand. But it is in his time and on his schedule. Keep the faith.

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