This blog, as many of you have come to know, really focuses on a stepmom’s personal relationship and walk with Christ. I hope my posts inspire you to seek after that relationship and lean on the Lord to help you navigate and persevere through the sometimes murky waters of stepparenting. However, my heart this week has been on the importance of pursuing a healthy marriage. Yes I said PURSUING. I think we can all atest to the fact that great marriage doesn’t “just happen.”
The Bible gives both men and women clear commands as to our roles in the marital covenant. In Ephesians 5:25-26 it is written, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.” Conversely women earlier in Ephesians chapter 5 verses 22-23 women are commanded, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” Now, ladies please don’t start throwing things since I used the “submit” word. I truly believe our society has turned this word on its head and we’ve lost the beauty in it. I like to think of marriage as a dance. When everything is in harmony the man is constantly seeking after the Lord and receiving instruction. The man, loving his wife shares these instructions with her and she has the opportunity to respond by moving gracefully with him in the direction the Lord is leading- not fighting his every move or trying to be the Holy Spirit for the both of them. When two people are operating out of God’s design for marriage, it is a beautiful image. However, add in a couple of stepkids and an ex-spouse and we can be left wondering whether or not that design works for our personal lives. The lines are quite blurred and the odds for a successful marriage go down quite a bit. The divorce rate for first time marriages is 50% and the rate for second-time marriage divorces jumps up to 67%. These blurred expecations, roles, standards and statistics help solidify in my mind the need to invest in your marriage.
So what can you do? I firmly believe husbands and wives need to spend time praying together and playing together. Too often we simply jump into “family” mode and forget to invest in edifying each other. To be honest we forget that we need Christ in the middle to make any marriage work – especially a blended family.
You might be wondering where to start – maybe your husband is a stone wall and doesn’t want anything to do with feelings let alone talking about them or praying out loud with you, but I believe the Lord can soften even the hardest heart. I was listening to Bott Radio Network today and the Family Life Today broadcast was on. Family Life Today is known for their Weekend to Remember getaways for couples. This week and next they are celebrating the life and legacy of a woman by the name of Cheryl Spangler. Cheryl and her husband Sandy have quite a testimony from attending one of these marriage conferences and, in memory of her, Family Life Today is offering a huge discount on their Weekend to Remember admission fee. Instead of paying for both you and your spouse, you pay for yourself and your spouse gets in FREE! That means for a three day conference that is rooted in solid biblical teaching for marriage you pay $150 for the both of you (not including the hotel costs) They have events all around the country. I urge you to take advantage of this opportunity if you can – the promotion only lasts through next week. The Promo code is: Love!
Blessings to all of you. I pray your husband will take this journey with you.
New International Version (NIV)
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.