“I can’t wait.”
The dreams of being married, having children and the “happily ever after” kept me awake at night as a teenager. Mr. Perfect was going to sweep me off my feet and I would be a pastor’s wife for the rest of my days, serving as joyfully in the church as I did all my teen years. We would have six children and though I didn’t have all the names chosen, I was certain I wanted a big family just like my parents had.
Just the chance to meet Mr. Right was all I needed. I headed off to a Christian college and I did indeed meet that special someone. We dated for three years, but the happily ever after part didn’t come. He decided that I was not the one for him. Then I met another “Mr. Perfect” and this time, I eagerly answered yes when he popped the question.
After marrying, we were about to embark on the ministry of my dreams. Until sin entered the scene. After battling what to do, instead of finding ourselves joyfully serving God, we found ourselves divorced.
The “D” word was NEVER a part of my dreams. I don’t think it is for anyone truthfully. But it happens, even to good, very good, almost perfect relationships. Without the grace of God guarding us, we can easily be robbed of our dreams by Satan.
Before I trudged through the dark valley of divorce, my judgment of other divorcees was pretty harsh. In fact, the harshest. But I’m telling you now that while I know from Scripture that divorce is not God’s best plan, it does happen. Even to good, well-meaning Christians. “Judge not, lest you be judged” is now my motto of heart.
Can I just tell you how gracious God is? In the middle of my fumbling, my stupidity, my immaturity, God generously gave me my husband, Matt. With a similar background as mine, his strong Christian heritage and his return to the Lord after some prodigal years was the perfect combination for God to join us together at just the right time.
Twelve years later, I look back with awe at everything God has brought forth from our lives merged together as one. The roles of being stepparents, special needs parents, and parents to 5 children together, making our total number of children 7, is nothing short of God’s miraculous power. 64% of second marriages end in divorce! Isn’t that number astronomical? But strangers often see our family together and compliment how large and wonderful it is- God’s handiwork on display.
Today I’d like to give you 5 little cliff notes for staying married through thick and thin:
1. Be confident that your mentors and closest advisors foresee no problems with your future spouse.
2. Love each other, commit to be together no matter the cost, and keep your vows.
3. Be the first to ask forgiveness- whether husband or wife. If both are willing to admit their wrongs easily, then forgiveness will freely flow.
4. Let go of anger as quickly as you catch it; don’t hold grudges.
5. Stay in the Word and pray for your marriage; be faithful to church and keep Christ as the head of your home and marriage.
Owning a dozen or so marriage books, I just wanted to encourage you today through my own story:
God wants to use you right where you are at. No matter the past, no matter the mistakes you’ve either made or endured by others, God wants to do a work in YOU.
Have you given yourself and your marriage to Him?
Rachel is originally a small town country girl who converted to a suburban mother of seven by way of life happening. She and her husband, Matt, enjoy caring for their busy family, whose ages span from 13 months to 21 years old, including a special needs daughter. Rachel leads community ladies’ Bible studies in central Ohio and serves as an event planner and speaker for special needs parenting groups. She is a member of Ohio Writers’ Guild and the National MPS Society; and loves to inspire others through her blog by sharing faith, family, and fun. Rachel also recently released her first ebook The Sensational Scent of Prayer
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