1 Corinthians 7:17 (MSG) “And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life. Don’t think I’m being harder on you than on the others. I give this same counsel in all the churches.”
Have you ever felt like your marriage has reached the point of hopeless? The relationship has gotten so bad that it’s barely recognizable. You say things like “Who is the man (or woman) I’m married to?” and “This is NOT what I signed up for all those years ago.” One day you may even think things have gotten so off track that everything in you wants to pull the big “D” card and just walk away. Can you relate?
Well, now it’s time to be honest about a few things. As a follower of Jesus Christ, the Bible becomes the standard by which we live our life. True? So naturally when things go crazy, especially in a spiritually mismatched marriage, we should turn to the Bible for guidance and direction. In 1 Corinthians 7:12 – 13 (MSG) Paul says “For the rest of you who are in mixed marriages—Christian married to non-Christian—we have no explicit command from the Master. So this is what you must do. If you are a man with a wife who is not a believer but who still wants to live with you, hold on to her. If you are a woman with a husband who is not a believer but he wants to live with you, hold on to him. The unbelieving husband shares to an extent in the holiness of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is likewise touched by the holiness of her husband.”
Personally I must admit this, and other verses like it, are hard for me to hear and even harder to abide by. But you know as hard as they are to hear, it was 1 Corinthians 7:17 that halted me dead in my tracks.
“…Where you are right now is God’s place for you. God, not your marital status, defines your life.”
Everything we experience in our life happens for a reason. God will use everything we have walked through in life to teach us a lesson, to increase our faith, and get us to the next level of our walk with Him. We just have to keep our eyes fixed on Him and not be deterred by circumstances that seem to close in from all sides. Who knows what God is trying to do through the very circumstances He has us in… we can’t see what He sees. We can only see what is directly in front of us.
If you are reading these words and are currently in a marriage that is “barely recognizable”, may I encourage you (and your spouse) to seek counsel. You never know how God will use that time. Continue to listen for God’s voice. Stay in close relationship with Christ by daily scripture reading and praying with a trusted friend. Oh yeah…one other thing – PRAY LIKE A MANIAC for your situation, for guidance and direction, for peace, and for your spouse. God knows your heart and He knows what’s going on in your marriage. You will feel a much better if you lay it all down at His feet and let God take the weight of the burden off of your shoulders.
Father – I pray for those who feel their marriages have reached the place of hopelessness. Please let them know that You’re with them and You see their pain. Also, please let them see that through You there is hope even when circumstances seem bleak. Help them to hold on to their marriage and realize that it’s only through You, their marriage can find restoration, life, and hope. Amen.
Psalm 121; Isaiah 26:3 – 4; Nahum 1:7