Mark 10 Nine


Are you happily married and looking for tips on maintaining a God-honoring marriage? This weekly devotional will give you encouragement for your marriage.

Should Your Marriage Include a No-Divorce Agreement?

Today’s devotional is written by Lori Steinkamp Lassen. She is our only daughter, who has been married to her husband, Scott for 27 years. Lori is the mother of four children, and has worked with the ministry for many years. May her devotional deepen your spiritual walk with the Lord. – Charlyne

When my husband and I were engaged, we agreed that we would not mention the word divorce in our marriage. My parents divorced (and later reconciled) when I was a teenager. My in-laws had been married for years, despite my father-in-law not being a Christian. Fortunately, shortly before his death, he entered into a personal relationship with Christ.

Over the last 28 years of marriage, my husband Scott and I have reminded ourselves of the no-divorce agreement. It is something that we have decided not to entertain. The back door of walking away doesn’t exist, forcing us to deal with any difficulties that arise by looking towards healing and not escaping.

Can you imagine if we had an escape plan with other relatives, like our children? I can imagine parents would be walking away from their toddlers and teenagers day after day. I vividly remember the terrible threes with my twins. They were so tiny and adorable, but yikes – so strong-willed. We would never imagine giving up on our kids, and we need to adopt that same attitude in our marriage.

At times, there is one spouse that is feeling more disconnected. That may be because they have other things competing with their focus. They may be dealing with unforgiveness or possibly even pressures of daily life. When you are the spouse who is investing in your marriage, keep pushing the walls of silence down. Don’t give up on your marriage.

Do you remember what it was like when things were going well in your relationship?

How did you speak to each other? Was it filled with kindness or sarcasm?

Did you make time together a priority?

Were you intentional about encouraging your spouse?

Did you focus on your spouse’s strengths instead of their weaknesses?

How are things today?

Do you seek to serve your spouse with unconditional love?

Have you stopped trying to carve out time together because you no longer care about being alone with your spouse?

Have you stopped leaving encouraging notes or sending texts of appreciation and love?

Is your thought life filled with a list of your spouse’s shortcomings?

In Revelation 2, God reprimanded the church in Ephesus because they had forsaken their love for Him. He can understand the hurt you are feeling if your spouse is behaving like they have fallen out of love with you.

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.  Revelation 2:4 

The instructions He gives the church apply to your marriage.

Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.  Revelation 2:5 

God’s instructions to “repent and do the things you did at first” are great tips for your marriage. If you feel like you have fallen out of love, repent and ask God to give you the love for your spouse that He has for them. If you have allowed other things to replace your relationship, repent and ask the Lord to help you fix the priorities in your marriage. Ask the Lord to fill you with memories of things as they once were.

When my parents divorced, my dad attempted to move on through other relationships. My mom was praying and standing with God that their marriage would be restored one day. After they were back together, they compared journals and discovered how often my dad would be flooded with memories of their past when my mom prayed and asked God to remind him.

Don’t ever doubt the power that exists in prayer.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  James 5:16 

There is hope for healing in your marriage. It may require counseling or even time apart if you are in an unsafe situation, but with Jesus, we can trust that He can make our marriages all that He intended them to be.

God bless,

 

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