By Andrew Calabrese
Let me ask all the ladies out there a question: when you were a little girl, did you ever dream of growing up one day, getting married to the “perfect guy” with the perfect wedding, having your prince charming carry you over the threshold of the perfect house, loving you, rubbing your back, and doing all the dishes? You probably have dreamed something like that at some point or time in your life.
Now men, hopefully none of you have dreamed that before, but I’m sure you have probably dreamed of one day getting married and doing other things—several times a day. Am I right?
One more question: how many of you are still dreaming? We have a lot of expectations in our minds going into marriage, and a lot of times when we finally do get married, those expectations don’t get met. Therefore, we get disappointed, let down, or hurt.
Statistics say that about 50% of marriages that start will not make it. They will end up in divorce. Of the 50% of marriages that do make it, statistics inform us that the majority of them are miserable, have irregular intimacy or none at all, or are just sticking together for the sake of their children. With that being the case, some may pose the question, “Is a good marriage even possible?” That’s a fair question.
I believe we can draw the answer to that question from God’s Word in Matthew 22:37-39. While this passage doesn’t have to do with the marriage relationship directly, the principle we can draw from this passage can impact our marriages in a significant way if applied.
One man stated, “God is your One, and your spouse is your two.” Honestly, this is one of the most foundational principles to understand in order to have any healthy relationships. God is to be your one. When Jesus was asked in Matthew 22, “What is the greatest commandment?” Notice, He didn’t say, “Love your spouse with all your heart, soul, and mind.” What did He say? In essence, He said, “God is your One. Make Him your One.”
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,” Matthew 22:37-39.
You must always seek your One with your two. Our marriages will never be what God intended them to be unless God is our One and our spouse is our two. So often, we get this all mixed up. We make our spouse our “one,” or our kids become our “one” when that is never the spot God intended for them. We must always put God first.
How do we practically do this in our marriages? I want to suggest the best way you and your spouse can ensure you seek God in your marriage is by faithfully praying together. Some of you may get excited about this and think, “Oh! You’re asking him to pray with me?!” And others of you may be thinking, “I don’t want to pray together. I’ll get nervous; I don’t know what to say. It’s going to be awkward.” I’ll admit, it may be awkward at first, but how important is your marriage to you?
Family life did a survey years ago, and they found that fewer than 8% of Christian couples pray together regularly. They also discovered this: of those 8% that do pray together, less than 1% of those couples divorce. That’s incredible! How important is your marriage to you?
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, the Bible says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land,” or to loosely apply this principle, “I will heal their marriages.”
Pray together. It will strengthen your marriage. You can make it organized—set a time and a place to do this together each day. You can say a simple prayer together before either one of you leave the house for work. You can text a prayer to your spouse.
Think about the benefits this can generate. If you seek God together by praying together, God will answer some of your prayers, and that will build your faith. Beyond that, it’s really hard to fight with someone that you are praying with and for regularly. It’s hard to commit adultery or get hooked on pornography when you have consistent, spiritual intimacy with one another. I challenge you to grab the hand of your spouse sometime today and commit with them that you two will seek God in your marriage for the rest of your lives.