“Marriage is hard work.”– said by Everyone
I wonder how many times that sentence has either been spoken or put into writing?
What I like about this statement is, it points out that marriage is not just a noun, but ALSO a verb. Marriage is something that changes and evolves over time. One could draw the conclusion that it changes, mainly, based off of the input from you and your spouse.
So if marriage is a verb, how many of us are putting it into action and pouring into our marriage? Versus, how many of us are coasting and hoping for the best? I’m going to share a story with you, that I ran across the other day, and how it’s an easy application to start strengthening your marriage, today.
First, we always have to acknowledge the “why”. Why should we invest in our marriage and take action towards making improvements?
If you haven’t yet, check out my blog on The Importance of Marriage. Here is a powerful quote mentioned,
Healthy marriages are good for couples’ mental and physical health. They are also good for children; growing up in a happy home protects children from mental, physical, educational and social problems.The American Psychological Association
There is much more to that post so please take some time to read and review the resources provided. I included 3 Marriage Game Changers and they are just that. I really believe those teachings can save, restore and launch a remarkable marriage.
So we have the “why”. Next, is the “what”. “What” is the action we can start taking today in order to put our marriage on the fast track to strong and thriving?
The answer: prayer.
Before you click off (ha), just know that I am a no non-sense type gal. I am also a very saved and redeemed gal. If you’ve given your life to Christ then you already know the power of prayer. However, even as a Christian, I can find myself falling into complacency when it comes to my prayer life. I mean, it’s really important when you didn’t see that cop and you know you were speeding, or when you had that big test and you weren’t prepared or when your family is hit with tragedy. Prayer always seems to be a “last resort”.
Let this be your reminder that prayer is incredibly powerful and something that your marriage needs!
Onto the story I was telling you about. Recently, I was having “a day”. You know, the kind where if you see another set of eye balls needing something from you, you might just cave and fall within the shell of your own body? Ha! We’ve all been there. So I have having my day and, thankfully, my husband was home. I said, “here’s the child, I’m going upstairs for about an hour. Don’t talk to me or ask me anything. I just need an hour.”
I brought my bible and journal, the two things that help me combat any bad day. Side note: if you’re ever having your own “day” then checkout my post on Mind Mapping. This exercise will keep you sane 🙂
Finally alone, I opened my bible to John 2: Jesus Changes Water to Wine.
Many of us have heard this story before. My first thought is, “I’d like some wine.” Ha!! My next thought is to skip over it because the title is the gist of the story: water -> wine. Got it. But, I’ve been trying to be more disciplined and really read every word when I study scripture. On I read:
1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4“Woman,[a] why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
What?! Wait a minute, why is this even in the bible?
Honestly…who cares about water turning into wine??? I mean, cool power, but, why? I read this through a few times, trying to understand why such a story would grace the powerful pages of the Bible.
Then, it was revealed. Check this out!
First, I find it interesting that his mother, Mary, mentioned to him that the wine ran out. What was her concern? Why did it matter? It wasn’t even like it was a party that she was hosting. Then, I realized something.
She identified a need of someone else’s and made Christ aware of it…
If you’ve ever had someone praying for you, pleading for you, intervening for you, then you understand how significant this is. How would you like it if someone cared enough to bring your needs before the Lord, making them known? That’s pretty special.
How about you? Are you praying for your spouse and for your marriage? Are you praying for yourself? We each have many needs. Marriage is a combination of you and your spouse’s needs. Are you making those known to Christ or are you in “fix it” mode?
Now, moving onto Jesus’ response.
In NIV (New International Version) he says, “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” In The Message version, it says, “Is that any of our business, Mother—yours or mine?”
Alrighty then…not really the response I was anticipating! Maybe this story is more interesting than I thought!!! Ha!
But, before you think this is a statement of discouragement, think about this.
It appears that Jesus isn’t interested. But, when he asks, “is that any of your business?” He’s saying, “I already know”.
How many people know that Jesus sees you? He already knows. He’s sized up your problems WAY before someone else is able to mutter a word about them. We have a God like that – an all-knowing and all-caring God. Jesus is basically saying, “why do you bring me into YOUR interpretation of what that person needs?
For example, to us, it looks like someone may need more resources. To Jesus, he’s teaching them how to be resourceful – there’s a difference. For us, it looks like that couple should just split up and be done with each other. To Jesus, he’s teaching them holiness and refining each other’s character.
He says, “I’m already working on it!” Amazing!
The next part is funny to me. Jesus continued, “This isn’t my time. Don’t push me.” So what does Mary do? Verse 5 says, “She went ahead anyway, telling the servants, ‘Whatever he tells you, do it’.” I think I like her – ha!
But this is significant. Don’t miss this.
Mary has the best intention. She sees a need, she brings it to the Lord AND THEN she moves forward with such faith that her request will be met with resolution. Notice how she didn’t pause. She didn’t let any time lapse between her bringing the need and her moving into a state of belief and faith. Mary instantly moved forward with the full faith in the Lord’s ability to meet her request.
She didn’t let her mind stop her for a second. She threw her full faith at the servants, saying “he’s got it. I believe it.”
Do you have full faith that the Lord will answer your prayers? How many times do we give up in the gap. In the space of saying that prayer and then waiting for a resolution. How many times, within that gap do we doubt, give up, say, “well I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”
The scripture says to call those things that are not as though they were. Are you doing this? Are you treating your spouse as the Godly man that he is becoming? Or are you criticizing him for not being everything you think he’s supposed to be?
I will be the first to admit that I suck at this and have to make a conscious effort, every day. However, I have learned to take comfort in the fact that I don’t have to be the “fixer” of all situations. In fact, most of the time, it’s better if I give it to God and leave it alone (anyone else with me?).
That’s where I’m stopping with the story. And, yes, Jesus turns the water into wine. Weird! I would never have gotten that from the title!! I hope this was helpful and I hope this encourages you to start praying more and more for your marriage. Remember, YOU are a lady well-loved.
Photo credits to www.unsplash.com sources: Ben White, Nathan Walker, Annie Spratt