NIV Devotions for Couples - Week of January 17
Help for a Shaky Marriage
Verse: Psalms 46
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
— Psalm 46:1
What could shake the very foundation of your marriage?
For Rick and Amanda, it started with Rick’s working too much. With each promotion, Rick spent more time on the road and less time with Amanda. But success at work left him empty. He bought things he couldn’t afford to reward himself for his long hours away. Soon he and Amanda were arguing over money.
To pay the mounting bills, Amanda found a job. She also found a sympathetic friend at work and tried to heal her hurts with an affair. When Rick found out about the affair, he quietly made plans to divorce Amanda. Before the papers could be filed, however, Amanda got sick with a minor illness. But complications set in, and she was put into the hospital. More than once, the doctors told Rick that she wouldn’t make it through the night.
That night Rick began to see things differently. He wanted to save the marriage, but he didn’t know how. As Amanda’s illness became progressively worse, she went into a coma. Rick feared for her life and spent every waking moment by her side.
In Psalm 46, we see the world being torn apart by cataclysmic disasters—mountains collapsing into the sea, earthquakes, floods and military conquests. But the author of this psalm tells us that we shouldn’t fear. How could we not be afraid when faced with such terrifying events?
The psalmist tells us that through all of the turbulence, God is with us. God is our refuge and strength when problems shake our world. He has such awesome power that the world actually melts at the sound of his voice. God is in control and will be exalted.
As Amanda lay in the hospital, fighting to live, Rick was fired from his job. He had to sell their house and their car. But when everything he thought was important was stripped away, Rick found God was there through it all. When he heard God’s voice, it was as if his earthly troubles melted away. Rick believed God was in control and that Amanda would live.
And she did.
Today Amanda is permanently disabled. She requires full-time care. Life will never be the same for this couple. But their marriage has withstood the worst threats possible. They now trust God daily for healing, forgiveness and the restoration of their marriage. They endured past trials and found that God was their refuge. They will face future trials knowing he is their strength. Their marriage has never been stronger.
Whatever long, dark nights you face as a couple, let this passage remind you that God is ever-present, the morning will come, and the battle has already been won.
• This psalm inspired the hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” What spiritual fortresses can we build to protect our marriage in times of trials?
• Recognizing that God is our refuge and our strength during trials means understanding his character before trials occur. What is God really like? How does knowing who he is provide us with strength and refuge?
• When our world is shaken, how hard is it for us to believe that God is really in control?
This devotion is from the Couples' Devotional Bible by Zondervan. Used with permission.