What Story Does Your Marriage Tell?

Every marriage tells its own story. What story does yours tell?

My husband, Dennis, and I make it a habit of reading books on marriage together. Attending a marriage course or workshop annually and reading (or listening) to books on improving our marriage are keys to our classic marriage.

Currently we are listening* to You and Me FOREVER: Marriage in light of eternity by Francis and Lisa Chan. It is unlike any other book on marriage we have ever learned from.

The question that threads throughout the book is this:

Does your marriage story point others to Jesus? Does your marriage make the Gospel attractive?

We all need to prioritize our eternal relationship with our Creator above all things. Besides, until you relate properly to God, you won’t be much help to anyone else. People who aren’t living well make matters worse by living together.

When two people are right with {Christ}, they will be right with each other….I have come to the conclusion that most marriage problems are not really marriage problems. They are God problems. They can be traced back to one or both people having a poor relationship with God or a faulty understanding of Him. ~ Francis & Lisa Chan

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This book has been such food for thought as Dennis and I have discussed the story of our marriage. We’ve looked back at the very bad times and seen when being married to the other was a struggle.

Our focus was more on what the other had done or not done, rather than on our walk with God.

Our first priority must be on pursuing Christ and the mission He has for our marriage story to tell.

But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you alsoMatthew 6:33

When I stand before God on that day when I meet Him face-to-face, I imagine He won’t ask me how good of a marriage I had, or what kind of a wife or mom I was. (Although these are good goals to attain.)

I think the focus is going to be how I prioritized my relationship with Him.  Does my story whisper His name? Have I allowed the good stories, the difficult stories, or the pain-filled stories to tell the Gospel of Christ’s love, goodness and faithfulness?

I want to hear Him say, “Well done, girl. Because you loved me with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind, those I sent you to love have seen Me.”

Every story whispers His name, even the hard stories, because they reveal the comprehensive brokenness of our world and our need for a Rescuer. Every act, every event, every intervention points to the redemption God designed for His wayward loved ones; to bring us back to Himself. ~ Elisa Morgan

What story does your marriage tell?

An exercise that the Chan’s recommend is to make a timeline of your marriage.

  1. First on the timeline, start by describing what you were each like when you first met.
  2. Describe what you are each like now. How have you grown or regressed over the course of your relationship?
  3. Then look forward 10 years. If your marriage were to be exactly what you want it to be in 10 years, what would it look like?
  4. From where you started, and where you stand right now, what steps will you need to take to get to where you want to be in 10 years?
  5. Prayerfully ask Holy Spirit what needs to change in YOU?
  6. What sacrifices will you need to make? What habits and pursuits will you need to cultivate? Which will you need to do away with? How can you help each other toward having a marriage that attracts others to the Gospel of Jesus?

The way to have a great marriage is by not focusing on marriage, but by pursuing the Lover of your soul.

Don’t let the pain and brokenness of your past  be your excuse for how your story looks.

Let it be your story.  One that whispers His name.

♥♥♥♥♥

There is a free app available that you can download to read or listen to this book. *Hoopla can be downloaded to mobile phones, IPads and Kindles. Local libraries offer audible and e-books for check-out using this app. YouVersion is a free Bible experience for smartphones, tablets, and online. I am enjoying a 30-day devotional of You & Me FOREVER using this app. 

Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash

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