Why a God-Centered Marriage Matters

God is the center of our marriage

My husband and I have been married for almost 25 years. As we approach our silver anniversary, I look back fondly at how our relationship started, how we eventually found God, and the difference He has made in our lives.

“Time before Tinder

There was no Tinder or Coffee Meets Bagel then. My husband and I met through our parents. He was based in the UK, and I was in Singapore. We would write letters to each other, oh how great the anticipation was to receive a letter from a loved one by post! We got to know each other little by little in each letter and eventually decided to get married and settle in Malaysia.

Life after marriage

Having spent most of our time being apart prior to being married, it was an exponential learning curve for both of us. It meant quickly discovering that he is a morning person, a very light sleeper, and is not a lover of the outdoors. While I think he might have discovered the exact opposite of me! Even though we were different in some aspects, our relationship was barely tested until a tragedy struck.

God found my husband

My husband tragically lost his brother to cancer soon after we were married. The loss of his sibling took a massive toll on his entire family. He felt helpless and lost. I tried really hard to support him, but the pain had left him feeling very hurt.

A number of years later, a close friend of ours introduced the gospel to my husband, and he was led to Christ. I immediately noticed the transformation and the impact it had on him. It was as if a heavy burden had been lifted, and he was able to move on positively. I was delighted that he could find peace and understanding through reading the word of God, and he could experience God’s love for him. It made me wonder if I, too, could find God one day.

God found me

God handed me a miracle. He saved my second child as a baby after the umbilical cord was caught around his neck. The situation seemed dire, but after a night of desperate prayers, he was suddenly found to be able to breathe and could function normally. In a day or two, he was home safely with us. It was divine intervention. I have believed in Christ since then, and there was no turning back.

God in the center

Since both of us became believers, God has become the center of our marriage. The presence of God has impacted our marriage life in 3 areas.

1. Our unity

We uphold each other in prayer. We pray for our family, for our children, and for matters that give us joy or make us grieve. We prayed when we thought we might lose each other in the face of an illness. We often pray together, presenting ourselves before God in unity. We become partners, encouraging and reminding each other to anchor our hope in God.

2. The way we love

There are so many lessons about love in the Bible. The love we know since we knew God and the love we know before are so profoundly different!

The love from God is “agape love,” the selfless, unconditional kind of love that we are encouraged to model in our marriage and as a family unit. In the book of Ephesians 4:32, it says to be kind to each other, tender-hearted, and forgiving one another, just as Christ has forgiven us. When we love in this manner, we consciously choose to focus on each other’s strengths rather than weaknesses and put each other’s needs before our own.

Agape love keeps our marriage and family life intact. While it is not easy to practice agape love all the time, praying together will bring us back on track.

Having a loving marriage is the greatest gift we can give our children. We are examples of selfless love to our children. Children keenly observe what we as parents do and how we treat each other as a couple.

3. Our family life

As parents, we are partners in our children’s upbringing—a collective effort to take care of them and commit their lives to God. Our habit of praying together was inculcated in our children, and this has brought the family closer as we confide in one another. As we pray, we also teach our children to respect God’s authority and view God’s teachings as their moral compass.

We are also thankful that our children have a group of peers they grew up with in Sunday School. They now have a little “out of home” support system for themselves as they journey into young adulthood.

While there are definitely times when we stumble as a family, God always has a way to reunite us in love. God has established a safe house in our family for all of us.

Marriage is a gift from God

To sustain a marriage over a lifetime can be trying for any couple, as life’s trials can strain any marriage. The Christian marriage offers hope. The hope is that a husband and wife, intentionally choosing to learn how to love faithfully and sacrificially as Jesus did, can strive to keep their covenant promises for a lifetime. Marriage is truly a blessing from God.

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