One of the persistent myths that hobbles people’s mental architecture of how marriage is supposed to work is the notion that good marriages are “made in heaven.” True enough—the blueprints were designed by God himself. But marriage comes in kit form—you have to build it yourselves. Good marriages are divinely designed in heaven, but they are built on earth by the daily choices, words, and attitudes of ordinary human beings like you and me.
Marriage is possible without God in it. But it’s way better when the two people who are twining their lives together make a conscious decision to twine God in too. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). Why are three better than two?
All the things a married person needs to give to a spouse must first come from God: patience to let a spouse develop, daily forgiveness for daily irritations and misunderstandings, unconditional love, steady kindness, a generous spirit, a willingness to take the other’s words and actions in the nicest possible way, willingness to sacrifice personal preferences and comfort for the good of the team, the heart of a servant, finding greater satisfaction in benefiting another before yourself.
When God is your third strand; when your home is a place of prayer, Bible reading, singing, and giving of thanks; when you set aside a day for worship and build God into your financial budget, you are on your way to a happy life.
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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