We said “I do” over 16 years ago. Wow! That’s crazy to put in writing out. In our wedding photos, you see a 20-something couple grinning ear-to-ear, clueless concerning the tests, trials, and triumphs ahead.
Now in our late-30s with five kids under 10, you may imagine all that our marriage has been through. But we’ve also laughed hard and loved deeply. We once were two, and now we’re a family woven together.
Along the way in which, we’ve learned just a few unexpected secrets to constructing a wedding that goes the gap. These pillars keep us grounded when storms hit, united in our purpose, and willing to every day select “us.”
I need to share them with you today. If you’re dreaming of a wedding that stands strong for the long haul, read on.
When I used to be a brand-new husband, I imagined that our marriage was going to be filled with passion and excitement and that those feelings would simply last eternally.
But we quickly came upon just how unfaithful that was. Marriage has seasons of struggle and times that can test your commitment. As reality set in, I needed to anchor to something more.
I discovered that marriage is way over a legal contract or piece of paper. According to the Bible, the covenant of marriage is sacred since it involves not only us but God.
We stood before God and promised faithfulness, service, and love until death do us part. Our union is exclusive and everlasting. We became one flesh in a bond and promise before God.
This covenant perspective modified all the things. During times when feelings faded or circumstances crushed dreams, we could still say: “But God, we made a vow, and we want you to assist us keep it.” Clinging to this truth stabilized us when storms hit.
We needed to rely fully on God’s power to connect us back together, humble ourselves, and move forward in unity. And He has been so faithful to try this many times!
2. Embrace Your Shared Purpose for Greater Impact
Early on, we saw marriage as being mostly about us. We desired to feel completely satisfied, satisfied, and loved in the connection. When things got rocky, I believed, “This marriage isn’t working. Why, Lord?”
Slowly, God opened my eyes to the reality that marriage isn’t ultimately about my feelings or “what I get out of it.” Marriage is a ministry meant to reflect the love of Christ!
We are called to put down our lives for one another and love one another without condition and out of affection for Christ. Our union is supposed to function a light-weight and blessing to others.
Embracing this shared purpose modified our entire outlook. We began asking, “How can we honor God and point people to him through our marriage?”
Instead of tearing one another down during conflict, we construct one another up in love. We parent our children with wisdom and charm in order that they grow to follow Jesus. We open our hearts and residential to welcome others.
United in vision, we now weather hardship not only for our sake but for the sake of witnessing God’s faithfulness to the world. Our trials have a purpose in glorifying Him!
3. Offer Your Spouse a Willing Heart
Let’s be real: some days, your heart desires to shut down. Resentment, exhaustion, and disappointment can brew slightly below the surface.
During those times, we have now two options:
- Stay stubborn, cold, and self-protective.
- Soften our hearts, let go of “rights,” and freely give love.
The second option might sound nearly unimaginable once you’re hurt or worn thin. But over time, I’ve learned that willingness is important for intimacy, communication, and sacrifice.
Here are some ways to supply a willing heart:
- Initiate meaningful conversations even when it’s demanding.
- Fight the temptation to stonewall during a conflict.
- Pursue physical connection joyfully, even on drained nights.
- Accept imperfect apologies and let go of petty offenses.
- Surrender your schedule and priorities when your spouse really needs you.
I always have to ascertain my heart. Will I embrace opportunities to like, listen, and be present? Or do resentment and stubbornness shut me down?
Pursuing willingness does not imply being a doormat. You can still set healthy boundaries! But it does mean bearing one another’s burdens, forgiving quickly, and giving your best even once you don’t feel prefer it.
The more you exercise willingness, the better it becomes. You reap exponential blessings in your bond.
Lasting Love Is Possible
If you are navigating difficult seasons or feel like giving up, take heart: it is feasible to construct a wedding that stands the test of time. God desires to make use of your union for His glory!
When you anchor to Him as your rock and refuge, you gain perspective. The storms still rage, but you have got a secure foundation.
I urge you to reject hopelessness and cynicism. Your sweetest victories, most overcoming testimonies, and deepest intimacy are still ahead.
Commit to covenant, seek purpose, and select willing love. One day, you’ll look back in awe of how the Lord sustained you thru all of it.
Here’s to marriages built to last!
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Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/fizkes
Aaron and Jennifer Smith recognize the sweetness and power of how God designed every marriage unique. We are enthusiastic about encouraging couples to set their eyes on God while boldly asking the query, “God, what can our marriage do for you?” In our books, we share personal stories of failure and victory from our own marriage while pointing to the wisdom in God’s Holy Word. We have been married for over 16 years and are currently raising five young children, and we are not any strangers to the enemy’s attack on marriage. We hope to equip you to be prepared, inspired, and encouraged to live boldly, chasing after God’s purposes together. Ever since we got married, we have now purposed to serve God and construct His kingdom together. We blog, write books, and host a weekly podcast urging couples to say yes to God and to be utilized by God for His extraordinary purposes.
The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are those of the speakers and don’t necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
This article originally appeared on Christianity.com. For more faith-building resources, visit