“Two thousand years ago, in the midst of a marriage, Jesus met an impossible need with His supernatural intervention. Today, the scene is set again with you and the one you have promised your life to. The couple, the need —the miracle.” (Ron Hutchcraft)
Being in marriage ministry, Cindy and I find it interesting that Jesus chose to perform His first miracle at a wedding —His glory revealed in marriage. (You can read about it in John 2:1-11.)
We believe that most marriages face times when they need a touch from God. We are certain, that if we had not “invited Christ” into our lives and marriage back in 1974, in all likelihood, we would be divorced by now (and we’d certainly never be in marriage ministry.) Even today, many years later, we still depend on the Lord’s help to keep our marriage strong —one that reflects the heart of Christ.
In his book, “Start Your Trip With A Full Tank” (no longer in print), Ron Hutchcraft talks about “Marriage Miracles” which can be an encouragement for all of us. He writes:
“Maybe your marriage could use a miracle right now. That day in Cana there was a change that no man or woman could make. Nobody can change water into wine, but Jesus did. Maybe right now some change is urgently needed in your home. There is a need that must be met if your relationship is going to be what it needs to be.
“Maybe it is time for Cana revisited —a marriage miracle. Right now there’s a strain, a distance, resentment, and frustration. Maybe there are thoughts of bitterness and giving up.
“Have you been to your knees yet? Have you prayed —pouring out your mess, your pain, and your dark feelings to the Lord —crying out together for Jesus’ healing in your marriage? The less you feel like doing it, the more you need to. And if your partner will not, don’t let that stop you.
“This passage in John 2, says Jesus had been invited to this wedding, to this marriage. If you have not done so before, why not invite Him into your marriage? Close the door on quitting. Ask God to show you the HOPE FACTORS you can build upon. You have looked at the hopelessness factors long enough. Can you pray this? ‘Lord, we can’t make it work. And we/I don’t know how You would, but we beg You to help us to do what WE CAN’T, at this point in our marriage.'”
If both of you are followers of Christ, yet your unhappiness causes you to feel like giving up on your marriage, we urge you to empty yourselves of whatever agendas you may be clinging onto. Pray TOGETHER that God will pour out His Spirit of reconciliation upon you and help you see the hope factors, and learn how to become partners rather than adversaries, to the glory of God.
“If happiness is our primary goal, we’ll get a divorce as soon as happiness seems to wane. If receiving love is our primary goal, we’ll dump our spouse as soon as they seem to be less attentive. But if we marry for the glory of God, to model His love and commitment to our children, and reveal His witness to the world, divorce makes no sense.” (Gary Thomas)
Fred and Florence Littauer in their book, Daily Marriage Builders for Couples, give the following thoughts on “Curing Marriage Problems.” They wrote:
“Is there any hope? Is there any possibility that change can be affected in your lives in the way you treat one another? Can you change the way you react to your mate when something unkind or cutting is said to you? Somehow on our own we are not able to control our own reactions to what we perceive to be hurtful negatives. But the Bible tells me I can do all things! Yes, we can do all things, but we must complete the verse: ‘I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens me.‘
“There lies the answer. All my known resolutions will probably go for naught, but when I enlist the Lord Jesus to help me, to do what I cannot do on my own, amazing and rewarding changes can take place. We must not, however, forget the first part of that verse. It says, ‘I can do all things.‘ We are not directed to let Christ to do it for us. We must do it ourselves BUT with His help.”
Oswald Chambers wrote:
“We cannot do what God does and …God will not do what we can do. We cannot save ourselves nor sanctify ourselves, God does that; but God will not give us good habits. He will not give us character. He will not make us walk aright. We have to get into the habit of hearkening to God about everything, to form the habit of finding out what God says.”
Bible teacher, Beth Moore, who has worked through her share of marital problems, reminds us:
“Sometimes God works through miracles and other times through the individual.”
…”When we trust our lives to the unseen but ever-present God, He will write our lives into His story and every last one of them will turn out out be a great read, with a grand ending.”
But we must not lose sight of the ultimate “grand ending” we’re to aim for in our lives as followers of Jesus Christ. It’s is to one day hear the Lord tell us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Paul Tripp, in his book, What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage challenges us with the following thoughts:
“Our desire is that our marriages would be the location of our comfort, ease, and enjoyment; we often have desires no bigger than this. But God’s purpose is that each of our marriages would be a tool for something that is way more miraculous and glorious than our tiny, little, self-focussed definition of happiness. He has designed marriage to be one of the most effective and efficient tools of personal holiness. He has designed your marriage to change you.”
Another reminder from Beth Moore may be good to consider:
“We lose our strength when we wait upon an event, but our strength will be renewed when we wait upon the Lord.”
Keep your eyes upon the Lord. Ask for HIS perspective, HIS strength, and HIS help in unraveling this thing —to help you approach issues in your marriage in ways that reflect His heart. When you do, the results will be no less miraculous than when Jesus turned the water into wine.
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!“ (Romans 15:5-6)
Steve and Cindy Wright