Welcome to week 6!!!! I am SOOO thrilled if you are still hanging with us!! Garrick and I are very humbled that God is using us to spread His promise of restoration and victory for those couples that submit fully to Him.
We would absolutely LOVE to hear from any couples or individuals that are doing this devotional with us! We would love to pray for you and hear how God has spoken to you through the devotions!! We would also love to hear any topics that you would really like to focus on in your own marriage. I guarantee there isn't one that we haven't more than likely dealt with in our marriage. So please, consider commenting or shooting us a message.... we seriously would LOVE that!
We have moved on to the book of Ecclesiastes! This is one of my favorite books of the Bible and I specifically LOVE this scripture!
When God unifies you as ONE when you married.... the goal was to make you STRONGER together, with a spouse that is praying on your behalf, helping to encourage you in the Lord and build you up spiritually. If you have ever been around a spiritually encouraging person, you know exactly what I am talking about. They shed a light in your life that is coming straight from the greatest light source there is!
This should be your marriage. I LOVE this excerpt from Stormie Omartian on prayer in marriage....
"A wife’s prayers for her husband have a far greater effect on him than anyone else’s, even his mother’s. (Sorry, Mom.) A mother’s prayers for her child are certainly fervent. But when a man marries, he leaves his father and mother and becomes one with his wife (Matthew 19:5). They are a team, one unit, unified in spirit. The strength of a man and wife joined together in God’s sight is far greater than the sum of the strengths of each of the two individuals. That’s because the Holy Spirit unites them and gives added power to their prayers.That’s also why there is so much at stake if we don’t pray. Can you imagine praying for the right side of your body and not the left? If the right side is not sustained and protected and it falls, it’s going to bring down the left side with it. The same is true of you and your husband. If you pray for yourself and not him, you will never find the blessings and fulfillment you want. What happens to him happens to you and you can’t get around it."
I love her analogy of only praying for one half of your body! How ridiculous right? Well, that is exactly what we are doing when we neglect to pray for our spouse. They are now part of us and any struggle they endure, we also will endure.
Solomon states in this scripture that two are better than one. As Garrick and I pondered Solomon's meaning by this statement, we found it to have both profound and simple explanation.
Solomon applies practical application to this statement by stating that two are better than one because if one falls down the other is there to help them up. He also states if one is cold, the other there is to keep them warm. Yes, those are very practical but very true. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to lay in bed next to my husband in the middle of the winter and snuggle up to his warmness. It is a comfort I cherish.
Solomon also states something rather profound that called us to dig a little deeper. He states that two are better than one because there is a reward for their work. We really struggled in understanding what Solomon was getting at with this scripture, but after some discussing and research we concluded that it applies greatly to marriage.
We have discussed that in marriage you have become one flesh. You are no longer two... you are one. With that being said, there should never be a goal or a reward you are attempting to achieve that does not include your spouse in some way shape or form. Now, before you go all crazy thinking I am telling you that you can never have personal goals, that is not at all what I am saying. What we discussed was anything I desire to achieve in my life, I should do with the love and support of my spouse and with their best interest at heart.
If I am going to choose to eat healthier and exercise and I share this with my spouse and of course he supports me doing so, this is going to benefit both of us long term. I am going to be healthier, more energetic and this will benefit him as well.
Now, if I tell my spouse during a very busy time in his work schedule that I am going to start training for a marathon and will be gone several hours each night, there is not a reward for both of us for this. Perhaps I may feel rewarded, but he will feel stressed. That is not God's will.
Two, on the same page, working together, will have great reward for their work!!!
So, Solomon states that the advantages are a greater reward as well as lighter loads for both individuals.
We are in the process of building a garage because of God's wonderful and generous provision. Garrick is very talented in building and construction! I am very, very lucky in that area! However, I cannot even drive a nail in the wall straight. Today, my husband was needing some help getting plywood put up on the studs. I volunteered my services! He showed me how to work a nail gun.
At first I was very scared of the loud noise and recoil and succeeded at having three nails shoot out at once! LOl BUT... with patience Garrick continued to show me the correct way to use and it got the hang of it! I was able to help him and save him time and energy! It felt wonderful to be able to lighten his load and to use a big old nail gun!!! LOL
But really, working together as husband and wife is one of the most precious connective things you can do. When I am doing dishes and Garrick jumps in and helps me or asks me what he can do to help with dinner, it means the world to me!!! He did that just this morning before church when I was throwing a beef stew in the crockpot. I really didn't feel like peeling potatoes and I needed to get ready for church. He happen to waltz in the kitchen and offered to help me and that stew was prepped and cooking in no time! Remember... service starts at home. What can you help your spouse with today?
When we got to the question regarding being stronger or weaker together as a couple, this was a hard one for us to answer due to our recent history.
During Garrick's heavier addiction, there is absolutely no doubt that we were weaker together. Being in his presence often made me angry and frustrated, therefore, I was much stronger and happier when he was not around. That is a horrible place to be in your marriage and I hated that I felt that way, especially since I had experienced the opposite of this for a majority of our marriage.
We were pretty negative toward each other and anything but encouraging.
Can you relate to this in your marriage? Are you in a season where you feel you are weaker together and stronger when you are a part? If, so God wants to change this in your marriage.
We were able to begin turning this back around when we BOTH placed God back in His proper place in our marriage.
Solomon goes on to talk about a three cord strand. A good way to explain this is thinking about a braid!! Yes... a hair braid! When you braid hair you use three different sections of hair. If you only used two sections of hair and you put a hair tie at the end.... the braid would be extremely lose and unravel, however, when you use three sections you are able to get a very tight braid that is strong and solid.
This is our marriage with God at the core. The three cord strand in your marriage is you, your spouse and God. If you take the God section our of your marriage.... it will begin to unravel. You will have no solid gauge for the direction your marriage needs to go. We discussed that without God's guidance and instruction couples are often in a continuous war of who is right and how is wrong with no solid answer. It is all up to their personal opinions and feelings.
With God's word as our foundation, it is very easy to assess who may be in the wrong and where repentance needs to take place. Most often, we both are wrong in some regard and both of us have repenting to do. God gives us explicit instruction on how we are to love our spouse and our role in the marriage. This really leaves little room for bickering and self righteousness.
A husband and wife on their knees in united prayer produces the strength to move mountains!! Of course, we have an enemy that is hard at work keeping you off your knees because he is fully aware of the power it possesses. Couples HAVE to be extra diligent in making this a priority. If we had an ability to see the blessings we have missed out on due to our neglect of prayer, I believe we would be devastated.
Remember.... our lack of desire to pray is part of a spiritual war. It is not the same as..."ahh... I don't feel like breakfast today , I think I'll skip it!" No, no, no. Make no mistake, your lack of desire to pray comes form one place and one place only..... the enemy.
I pray for my own marriage.... that our prayer life would continue to blossom and grow. I pray for all of yours as well. I pray we experience the strength and beauty that comes from being having one another to love, cherish and pray for us in marriage. I pray a pouring out of blessings for couples that put their faith in trust in the God that can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine!
Today.... spend time giving God thanks.... for one another. He has always meant it to be a blessing... start making it one... today.
Peace and Blessings
Missy and Garrick