I was looking through a devotional book titled, “Bible Readings for Couples,” and I came across something that is appropriate to consider, within our marriages. I’m going to share some of what the authors wrote. It concerns reworking your marriage relationship when it is needed.
The authors, Margaret and Erling Wold, referred to the scriptures in Jeremiah 18:1-4. This is where Jeremiah was told by the Lord “to go down to the potter’s house.” He would then find a potter working at his wheel. And yet “the clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand.” He then “reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do this.”
As I went to my Bible to look up those scriptures for myself, I then read further what is recorded in verses 5 and 6. It says:
“Then the word of the LORD came to me, ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as the Potter has done?“
It occurred to me that this is what the Lord has done for my marriage to Steve many times. When things have come up that could spoil our marriage, or we’ve done dumb/sinful things that can turn our relationship in bad directions, we’ve turned to the Lord. He has helped us to rework things. Sometimes we have to find a “new normal.” It’s not comfortable, or easy, but it has been important. This is all a part of this journey we’re on together called marriage. It’s one that we vowed to keep traveling on with one another, for the rest of our lives.
In the devotional thoughts written by Margaret and Erling, they refer to God being the potter at His wheel. He is “always reshaping His relationship with us and His world” because of the changes we encounter. They write:
“Nothing is static in creation. We are different today than yesterday. Newspapers rework the headlines from the day before. And politicians seek issues to replace those the public responded to yesterday.
“…Pressures from our changing selves and our fickle culture alter the shape of our relationships. One day’s tiredness flattens them. The next day’s energy spins the wheel a little faster and perks it up. The clay of our marriage fits the contours of our moods.”
Needed: Reworking and Realigning
And as a result, things change and often go in a “spoiled” direction, even though God’s will for us doesn’t. Despite pressures and sin within the world and within us, His will for us is that we will go to Him for a realignment. We are not to give up or go in a bad direction, but in His direction. It’s the one He knows will be best for us and those around us.
“The divine potter does not abandon the wheel because the clay spins out of shape. Nor does he throw the clay away because it collapses under His hands. Throwing it back on the rotating wheel, He molds it into another vessel.”
As a result:
“The wheel of marriage spins on and the shape of our relationship changes. Does the change frighten you? Will you abandon the clay because the vessel is becoming different from the original plan? Put your hands together on the wheel and discover the excitement of helping to develop the direction of your life together.”
I confess that most of the time I’m not in a state of “excitement” when things change in a way that can be scary. But I know it’s important to go God’s way, rather than mine. He is God and I am not, and obviously, he knows a better outcome than I do. God has helped us get through the good, the bad, the scary, as well as the exciting times, and ultimately, the outcome is good.
I see how God has helped us/me to be more patient, kind, loving, giving, and caring, when it was the last thing we/I thought was needed at the time. But it has been and is important.
We’ve gone through so many tough times together in our 45+ years of marriage. And yet, as we’ve looked to God to help us through them and to find new “normals” God has been faithful. Sometimes we just didn’t know if we could make it, or that we would ever find our smile again. Each of us have even wondered if our love for one another could grow again. And yet God is amazing in the ways in which He brings good out of even the worst of times and situations. He has been our “very present help in a time of need.” And over-all, it’s been good, very, very good.
And the bonus is that He has helped us to personally change in positive ways. Plus, He has helped us to love one another more than I ever thought possible on our wedding day.
Reworking with Hope
How I pray that we can continue to be of help to God in waking up other spouses to these facts. If they/we “don’t lose hope” and look to God, it is amazing what He can do with the garbage presented to Him. So often, spouses give up just before the “getting gets good.” And how very sad that is and can be.
To those of you who need it, I want to close with the simple prayer. It is inspired by the writings of Margaret and Erling. I pray this with all my hearts for you and for us:
“Heavenly potter, our Heavenly Father, please put Your hand over ours as we yield to You to mold our marriage in the way that You know is best, beyond anything we can do as simple human beings.”
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.
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