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United as One - Crosswalk Couples Devotional - January 19

United as One
By: Amanda Idleman

This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. - Genesis 2:24

In our culture the question, “Why even get married?” has become a common one.  Our modern society has lost touch with the meaning of marriage.  Many of us need reminders as to how sacred and valuable the sacrament of marriage is in the eyes of God.

So why get married? Why stay married when things get hard (as they most definitely will at some point of another)? The simplest answer is that we get married and stay married because God instructs us to do so in the Bible.  When we are Jesus followers, a part of the deal is doing our best to follow his instructions for our best God-glorifying lives.  We learn in scripture (Matthew 5:31-32, Ephesians 5:33) that He wants our marriages to last and be filled with love and respect.

Marriage matters because God created it way back in Genesis as a way to unify homes and communities.  He saw that men and women on their own didn’t live as good of lives when they lacked the commitment and accountability of a long-term relationship.  Sure, we could have gone out and filled the earth by living promiscuous and uncommitted lives but we all know this behavior creates strife rather than unity.  He knew if we want to avoid sin in our lives unity is key!  

It takes time for humans to grow, both physically and spiritually.  A lifetime together gives us the chance to grow into one God-glorifying unit.  Human nature makes it so we don’t grow into that kind of maturity overnight.   Marriage is our chance to see our hearts, minds, and spirits grow into maturity.  If you find yourself never getting past the same selfish complaints or getting angry about the same petty things, then you are missing the point of married life.  We are called to grow together in unity over time!

The Bible tells us that God wants us to learn how to be people who preserve (James 1:12).   Marriage is one of God’s greatest tools to help us flex our “perseverance muscles.” We have the chance to stick with this sacred relationship despite our circumstances, conflict, and even tragedy. The reward of loving well over a lifetime, is a sweet one though.  God describes those who persevere as ones who receive the “crown of life.”

If we are stuck in a hard season in our marriage, maybe it’s a good time to take a step back in your view of the situation.  Begin to look at your marriage in light of eternity.  Why did God call you to be married in the first place?  It wasn’t just for your happiness, even though He loves it when you're happy, but it’s also a place for you to serve, learn, grow, preserve, and learn how to live life in the context of something bigger than just yourself.

Don’t lose hope!   Know that God will help you through the hard space and teach you both to live as one flesh if you lean into Him during your time of need.  He created this marriage thing and will give you the power to see it through till the end.

Amanda Idleman is a wife, homeschooling Momma to three amazing kids and is passionate about encouraging others to live joyfully. Amanda also loves to write as a freelance writer and on her blog (when she finds a spare moment for it). You can find out more about Amanda at her blog rvahouseofjoy.wordpress.com or follow her on Instagram at rvahouseofjoy.

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