“Lift up your tired hands and strengthen your trembling knees. Keep walking on straight paths so that the lame foot may not be disabled, but instead be healed. Try to be at peace with everyone and try to live a holy life …” (Heb. 12:12-14).
God’s highest, utmost desire is always to restore. That’s His greatest purpose for any of us, and He especially wants to restore and heal marriages that seem to be sinking. The greatest miracle we can hope for is marriages to be restored to wholeness.
To do that, we must recognize faults that surface, deal with those faults and resolve them without losing the marriage. Restoration is our ultimate goal and that is the core of marriage.
To help us recognize these faults that will arise in a marriage or in any relationship, here are three guidelines to follow. The first is …
1. Prepare Well in Advance
Because life is going to be a long trip together, you will want to make some agreements right at the beginning. The most important thing that you must do at the point of contact (your beginning) is to make sure that both of you are charting your course form the same map. God gives strong advice concerning this matter.
“Don’t be unequally yoked with someone who’s charting their life with another chart” (2 Cor. 6:14).
When you get married, make sure that you’re not unequally yoked. In other words, sometimes you overlook things that are major foundational problems in the making.
Now, once you make the decision to marry and you’re both “on the same wavelength,” two critical attitudes must be present:
Treasure Your Marriage
Make your marriage the most important thing in the world. You must both be committed to treasuring your union as the most important thing either of you will achieve. Our marriages require repair from time to time. They’re going to experience problems, but if you treasure it, you will repair it at any cost.
Set the tone by treasuring and giving value to your marriage. And that comes from a lifelong habit of prioritizing relationships and learning balance. That is why you must learn:
The Principle of the Fulcrum
Life is like a seesaw — your life consists of you sitting on one end and the rest of your life sitting on the other, including your job, your finances and, most especially, your spouse.
If you’re able to stay balanced, nobody gets hurt. But if any unexpected weight is added, one of you could go down.
Life moves, it grows, it changes. The Holy Spirit works in helping you to balance life. The principle of the fulcrum works this way: when the Holy Spirit puts His finger on a part of your life, such as your marriage, you’ll notice a teetering. He puts some weight down on that end of the stick and intentionally puts you off-balance. “You need to pay attention over here,” He says.
The best way to keep your life in balance is not to push God aside, but to listen and move your fulcrum toward the pressure, under the point where He’s putting His finger.
The fulcrum is your heart. Move toward what God is doing and partner with Him and work on it. Then you will be able to regain your balance.
2. Stay Committed to What Will Never Change
“So God has given us both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable … therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can take new courage, for we can hold onto His promise with confidence. This confidence is like a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls …” (Heb. 6:18-19).
God is saying that your faith must not fail. Even when all else fails, you must stay committed to what never changes: God. Sometimes, marriages do not survive, but we will if we hold onto our faith. Even in the midst of everything spinning out of control around us, God will be able to lead you safely home if you’re clinging to Him.
Restore and Maintain Good Relationships
God advises us that, in order to restore relationships, we have to first confess our faults. In other words, humble yourself and confess that you’re not always right. Become deeply invested in your friendship with your spouse. That will be your greatest treasure.
Pray Like Crazy
When your marriage is failing, pray like crazy. We war not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces. That person—your spouse—is not your enemy. Satan is your enemy and he would love nothing more than to have you think that your spouse is your enemy.
3. Seek and Submit to Godly Counsel
We should have an agreement with our spouse that if anything goes wrong in our marriage, we will seek and submit to godly counsel. If we don’t plan this in advance, when things go bad, pride usually sets in and one or both of you will refuse to get counseling.
Many times, we need a third person to help us see clearly. We need to seek and submit.
Find Your Anchor in Christ
In the very unfortunate case that you should find yourself in a failed marriage, you will be devastated, but you must survive. It’s one of the greatest pains you will ever face, but you can and you will make it through if you are anchored in Christ.
Your anchor, joy, fulfillment and wholeness are not determined by whether or not you perform well. It doesn’t matter if your marriage failed or if you’re even liked anymore. Your wholeness has always been and always will be in Christ.
The above article by Pastor Wayne Cordeiro is a repost from the Mentoring Leaders storehouse.