That was the question asked of me when Jon and I prepared for our soon-coming wedding day. My grandfather wanted to take the opportunity to shoot straight with me, and, boy, did I need it! After he asked the question, I quickly replied, “Of course, Grandpa!” The words he spoke next are invaluable: “You need to keep Jesus Christ centered in your life, and God will put everything else in its proper place.”
I understand better today why Grandpa had to ask me about longevity before Jon and I even had the chance to exchange I do’s. He knew something that I did not. The romantic love fueling our anticipation of becoming husband and wife held great promise for us, but something more would be needed once we encountered the grit and grime of life in the days ahead. We would need a sustaining love, a love that lays down one’s interests for the benefit of another. A love that honors the other even when he/she is not extremely lovable. A love that forgives and holds no record of wrongs.
Agapao is the word used in the original Greek text when Paul wrote, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). “Agapao is a love rooted in the mind and will of the subject and means to value, esteem, prize, treat as precious; to be devoted to.”1 The level of love described here is that which surrenders all, as God Himself demonstrated in the giving of His Son so that all who believe would have eternal life. This is the kind of devotion that outlasts hardships and bumps in the road; it goes beyond feelings.
So I ask you the same, “Do you want your marriage to last?” Jesus is your hope! His love in and through you will enable you to realize God’s sustaining power. But, indulge me in these concluding statements as I place a vision before you. What if Jesus not only wants to keep your marriage together and to keep your love sustained, but what if He wants to make your love stronger than the day you said, “I do?”
God will restore you and make you strong (1 Peter 5:10).
If you have navigated some difficult seasons in your marriage, then you understand how vital the Lord’s restoration is. Yet, we are also wise to acknowledge that even the small things lead to a gradual breakdown in the relationship, and we need rebuilding. Let’s come together this October 2-3 for the MARRIAGE BUILDING EVENT and learn God’s heart for our marriages.
Here’s what some attendees from last year’s events had to say:
“The Marriage Building Event reaches people in different stages of life.” (2014 Attendee)
“Our lives have been greatly blessed.” (Denise and John)
“A fun event.” (2014 Attendee)
“A blessed event. We felt welcomed and safe.” Willy and Brenda
“Our family is growing and changing, so we needed the ideas shared for enjoying time together as a couple.” (2014 Attendee)
“The Marriage Building Event was fabulous! If you missed it this weekend, make plans to go next year!” (Lee and Debbie Noble)
1 Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1996.
(Posted by Renee Beamer)