My ex-boyfriend (now my husband) and I weren’t fully Christians when we first met. I never prayed to God about whom I wanted to marry because marriage was never on my mind back then, and my ex-boyfriend, though already a Christian, didn’t have a relationship with God.
Entering a relationship without God was like entering the gates of hell. We both lived selfishly without the wisdom of God and got our hearts badly broken in those days. I thought of ending our relationship many times, but God had a plan. A real encounter with Jesus Christ came into our lives, the turning point of our life. The Son of God deeply impacted us that we both decided to lay our lives for Jesus.
And over the years now of being married to a wonderful husband with Jesus Christ at the center, I just want to share these learnings in our journey:
1. Christ is all that matters in marriage.
I used to question God the purpose of this marriage with such a painful and ugly past until He led me to the life of the Apostle Paul, who found the depths of God’s grace and love despite his terrible past.
What can be worse than a past of being a murderer of the Lord’s servants? I am thankful for the life of the Apostle Paul, who gave his life to Christ, overcame his thorn in the flesh, and made every ugly past look like mere dust to shake off.
Jesus Christ came for the sinners like Paul, me, and Patrick to repentance, the real message of the Gospel.
I am thankful that I have nothing to boast about myself, this marriage, or even my spouse because we can only boast about the Gospel of Christ Jesus and the sufficiency of His grace in our lives.
It’s not about how perfectly or worse you’ve started in the journey but how the Lord comes and changes the whole story. It’s all about Him.
2. Marriage is for God’s purpose and His glory.
I kept my relationship with my ex-boyfriend back then despite the painful memories of the past, as Jesus assured me, “If you choose him, I will be with you on the journey always. If you don’t choose him, I will still be with you supporting you on your decision.”
God never controls whom we want to love. Like Him, He chose us not for anything but because He loves us. Even in our failings, He remains faithful.
And true to His words of assurance for me, He faithfully healed the wounds of our hearts and the brokenness of our past as we go through the journey with Him. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm chapter 147, verse 3)
When your marriage is in Christ, everything carries a meaningful message, a significant lesson to learn, a story to encourage, and a testimony about God’s victory and His goodness, for His purpose and glory alone.
My husband and I are always thankful to God for all that we have experienced because it allowed us to live in the reality that God is greater than all the happenings in our lives, both past, present, and future. Nothing is too hard for the Lord.
3. Spiritual warfare is real. Know your true enemy - Satan, who loves to tear marriages and families apart.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John chapter 10, verse 10).
You can’t walk victoriously in Christ if you are fighting the wrong enemy –your spouse! The movie “War Room” taught me a lot about the power of a praying wife and fighting battles the right way.
Instead of thinking and speaking negatively about my husband every time we fought, I learned to pray for him and let God take over our marriage. Over the years of praying to God for my husband and our marriage, I am so proud of him and for who he truly is that I realized I didn’t see things right before.
As you pray for your spouse, God is changing you somehow. And when my husband and I pray together, we can only imagine how that torments Satan. I can’t wait for the day to see the devil burn in the lakes of fire for all the evil things he has done to people. He is the real enemy, not your spouse, so don’t you get fooled.
My husband and I are grateful to God for all our experiences that have become a tool to advance His Kingdom, help restore marriages, expose Satan, and give back all the glory He deserves.
A relationship with God at the center is the game-changer, whether in friendship, romantic relationship, marriage, and family. If God is genuinely involved in each one’s lives, He is able to work things out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose - past, present, and future (Romans chapter 8, verse 28).
Know that whatever you are going through right now, you will walk in the victory of Christ Jesus. He is for you and not against you. He has beautiful plans for your future as you let Christ be the center of your life, marriage, and family.
Lovely Lao is a Sunday school teacher and is involved in children’s ministry at a local church. She is a passionate lover of God and people, especially children. Jesus is her ultimate joy and excitement in life and she is hungry to know and learn more about him. She is also married to a youth pastor who is a man after God’s heart.
Lovely Lao’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/lovely-salcedo.html