Matthew 19:6 says, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
We are all familiar with the phrase “until death do you part” in the wedding vows. The Christian view is that marriage is for keeps–a value that is under constant attack in our present-day culture.
Jesus’ words are a powerful reminder that God–not some human legal requirement–has joined you together.
I hear from many couples who are very sure of this. Regardless of marital bumps they say, “God brought us together, and that is all that matters,” or “We know God brought us together,” or typical of our cyberspace times, “We met online and God brought us together in the most wonderful way.”
Sincere believers agree with these enthusiastic testimonies. They start out wanting to keep their vows, but for many, something goes awry on the road to wedded bliss. One spouse writes,
“I believe in my heart that God brought us together, but we can’t talk to each other at all without getting into a huge fight.”
And another says,
“Because we felt so strongly that God led us together, we were so puzzled that after only one year we were so unhappy and having so much conflict.”
Many couples may believe that matrimony is engineered by God, but this belief does not necessarily prevent acrimony.
As Paul says, “Those who marry will face many troubles” (1 Corinthians 7:28 NIV).
For precisely this reason, Sarah and I are committed to traveling the land—actually the world—spreading the word about the Love and Respect connection, which can keep the marriage bond strong and, if necessary, heal hurts and pain from the past. As one wife attests,
“We made a promise to each other when we agreed to marry, that we would never divorce, no matter what…Love and Respect was the extra boost we needed to move beyond a negative stage, where we had gotten stuck. At last, we were able to give one another the benefit of the doubt and return love and respect to each other instead of suspicion and anger. I love where we are now in our journey together.”
Let’s reread Matthew 19:6 carefully.
“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
You and your spouse are one, joined together by God, not to be separated by anyone. I used to think it took a third-party to break up a marriage; now I realize the greatest danger lies within.
Having challenges in your marriage does not mean you or God made a mistake. It simply means you must obey God’s command to love and respect with renewed faith and commitment. Like you and your spouse, Sarah and I are committed to staying married until “death do us part.”
But if there’s anything that can kill a marriage faster, it is anger, suspicion and failing to give each other the benefit of the doubt. God brought us together and He will keep us together as we do our marriage “unto Him.”
Of course, we know all this, don’t we? I am simply reminding and urging you to live it out every day with love and respect.
PRAY: Thank God for joining you together and for allowing you to trust Him to help you, whatever the issue. God is there for you and expects you to look to Him to keep you together as a team, so ask Him for His help in the smallest of concerns.
ACT: During moments of irritation and disagreement, say words to this effect: “We know, in the big picture, that God joined us together. Let’s look for His way past this. What are we doing that feels unloving or disrespectful?”
Want to go deeper into this topic of marriage commitment?
This blog post is an excerpt from our husband-friendly devotional, The Love & Respect Experience. This 52-week devotional reviews the core principles of Love and Respect, while also inviting you as a couple to discover what God’s Word says to you both, individually and together.
You and your spouse will find discussion questions and additional ideas to consider on page 218 in the appendix.