Many times, I’ve set in my office across from the look of hope and fear. As a counselor, I love pre-marital counseling. There’s something about new love, hope for the future, and that almost school-age giddiness. It’s the new beginning to their new life!
We sit and talk about how becoming better communicators will help the relationship, how financial responsibilities will be handled, and how their marriage can be successful. However, in many cases, I see fear and anxiety overtaking our sessions. Unlike the dreams of most youngsters, many of these pre-marital sessions are their 2nd or maybe 3rd time around the block. They may have married too young the first time, they just weren’t compatible with their spouse, or maybe they escaped an abusive spouse. Either way, they are doing something they hoped would only happen once.
Now, in the midst of their happiness, they are left with a society view of their perfect marriage as imperfect, or a do-over. You know what I mean, right? It’s that inner feeling you get when someone tells you it’s their 2nd marriage. That “oh gosh, something really bad must have happened.” That reflection, in itself, can be challenging for any couple, but for those with children from a previous marriage or relationship, the struggles may be just starting. It may be hard to fathom, but is the perfect remarriage impossible? Will I ever see my new marriage in the same way when I first walked down the aisle? Will or could your children recognize their perfect childhood? Can I correct the mistakes? Will I have my happier ever after and defy the stats?
If your answers are: Well maybe. Couldn’t hurt to try. Possible, but not likely, or maybe, but it better not shows signs of my previous relationship, then let’s take a peek at the gospel and what God says is possible.
Luke 1:37 says, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Yes, you read it correctly. According to the gospel of Luke, nothing, not even your circumstances, your history, your faults, your spouses’ faults, your children, your PERFECT, is impossible with God. Please allow me to rephrase. It.Is.Possible!
Whoa, wait a second God. But you don’t know my story or how I’ve messed up. Have you had a chance to review the recent statistical studies on success of remarriage? If you had Mr. Luke, you might have a different answer. It’s almost, but basically impossible to see my marriage, my family, my future as perfect. At best, it’s going to be pretty good and I’m good with that.
Should we be satisfied with “pretty good” or “good enough”? What if we are surrendering what God meant to be perfect to please our inner fears of failure? God may hate divorce, but he loves divorced people. It doesn’t matter if this is your first, second, or eighth marriage, if you do it God’s way, it’s perfect.
So, what is God’s way? I’ve been asked this multiple times in marriage counseling. The question seems to come with the desire for an exact list. Item 1, Item 2 and so on. So, let’s lay out a few best practices.
1) If you’re not a believer, I strongly encourage you to find a great bible-based church and ask a Pastor to help you to know Jesus.
2) Ask God for forgiveness from your past. Additionally, ask him to help you forgive those who have hurt you in the past.
3) Make a commitment in your marriage to join a great church and pray that he will surround you guys with amazing role models and Christian examples.
4) Seek wisdom from resources designed to help couples thrive in marriage.
5) Pray together, often. There is nothing more intimate and personal then praying together.
6) Surround yourself with other Godly couples who are for your marriage, for your spouse and for your own personal growth with the Lord.
7) Don’t get discouraged with arguments occur. In marriage, your going to fight, but learn to fight the correct way. Never go to bed angry.
8) Lastly, Ask God for the gift to see your marriage exactly as he does. Perfect.
God is for your marriage. He gifted the two of you together, perfectly. He wants your children to have a perfect example of love and commitment. Remember, God is the designer of marriage and he wants you to prosper.
“For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11)
The devil wants to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10)
Jesus has another plan, a better plan. But you have to do the work too. That love you feel for your spouse is very real and good. You have the ability to have a perfect marriage if you desire to do it God’s way. I really think you are worth the effort!
One last time. “For nothing will be impossible with God” Luke 1:37
Scott Martindale 101, It.Is.Possible!