Keeping Your Christian Marriage Fresh -- A Christian Devotional
By Debra Torres My daughter’s sweet tooth got the better of me the other day when I gave in to her request for a cookie.
Even though I knew we were headed to some sweet treats at the grocery store, I thought I’d allow her one little indulgence.
Opening the bulk-sized box of Oreos in our cupboard, I was shocked at what I saw. There were nearly ten tubes of opened, untied packages of Oreos with varying amounts of cookies in each one.
Horrified at the waste, I called my Oreo-loving son, certain that he would know something about the situation.
“Oh yeah,” he said, “those cookies kept taking longer to soak up the milk when I dunked, so I just kept opening new packs.”
“You mean you did nothing to take care of the cookies?” I asked, not doing a very good job at keeping my anger in check, “No twisty, no baggy, no nothing?”
Ugh, what a waste.
Instead of taking care of each opened tube of cookies so they wouldn’t go stale, my son just went on to a new one each time the crunch disappeared.
I was still stewing about this when I began to think about how it could relate to life.
And something about the ruined cookies suddenly seemed strangely familiar.
I mean, we tend to do the same thing when things get old in our own lives don’t we?
Instead of taking care of what we have by treasuring it and keeping it fresh and alive even in adverse circumstances, we tend to bag it and move on to a new package.
My husband and I will celebrate a milestone anniversary next month -- we’ll be married 20 years and counting. We’ve got a great marriage that I can only credit God for.
But you know, if we’re keeping things honest here, I think my husband would agree with me in saying that marriage takes work.
It’s tempting to have more of a“temporary” concept of marriage – isn’t it? How about a simple handshake at the altar saying we’ll stick together –unless things get tough?
Well, you know how that story goes … things always get tough don’t they?
We can easily fall into the same pattern of thinking that my son had with the Oreos. Once one package gets a little old, we’re more than ready to find another one with a bit more crunch.
Fourteen years ago, my marriage would have fallen apart if my husband and I had followed that way of thinking.
We hit a bump in the road – a major one that had lots of potholes in between.
And our marriage hit some serious shaky ground.
It was an incredible low point in my life, and if I didn’t have an infant son to consider and two young rambunctious preschoolers, I would have hightailed it out of there.
I remember that I made a conscious decision to stay. I pictured myself standing firm, digging my feet deep into the ground, even though everything around me seemed to crumble.
Slowly, God rebuilt our marriage –and I think some of this was because of our commitment to stay in it.
Together and individually my husband and I went through counseling and deliverance ministry. We also sought godly counsel from wise friends, and we never stopped talking.
I can tell you that from the bottom of my heart, our decision to preserve our marriage helped to keep our family from falling apart.
Sometimes, things can get so hard that it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that upkeep is not worth the effort.
But yes it is -- a thousand times yes.
A few weeks ago, our pastor spoke about marriage. He had some tough stuff to say about this covenant that may have shocked some who carry a more temporary viewpoint.
But you know, I think he was right on. He pointed out that the marriage covenant was built to last and that there are no loopholes.
Frankly put, he said that marriage was meant to be for life.
A good marriage takes time, cultivation and preservation. There are many things we can do to maintain a love that’s as fresh at 50 years as it was at five.
What’s important is keeping an attitude of longevity here.
To put it in cookie terminology – we can’t let things go stale!
Here are some Bible verses that'll help you on your journey:
Matthew 19:4-6 New International Version “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Genesis 2:24 Amplified Bible Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 New Living Translation Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.