To Have & To Hold

Sometimes holding onto your marriage feels more like a fight than a fairytale. But how to we pray when all hope seems lost?...

"To have and to hold..."

Looking back now sections of  our marriage vows seemed to paint a fairytale facade. This  also seemed to Follow in the footsteps of every romantic-comedy this side of the millennium.  Alluding to the myth that committing to spend the rest of your days with another flawed human was going to miraculously happen without resistance.  That you were going to be whisked away into the sunset never returning to a life with bills, careers or disagreements.

Fighting for your marriage is just that - a fight. But it's not a fight that we are to battle with each other... it's a fight where we must stand united (even when you feel light years apart) and pray in agreement that the God in you is greater than the force trying to rip you apart.

I was driving a few months ago listening to a podcast when the Lord spoke clearly to me about the deception within the Garden of Eden. He told me that Satan has been after marriage since the beginning, and that the enemy himself hates the power within marriage as two stand united as one before Christ (power in agreement anyone?). If we think back to the garden, the snake and the apple we can see the enemy placing seeds of doubt into Eve's mind, asking her if God really meant what He said. He knew that if he could plant doubt into the mind of Eve, he could weasel himself into her mind, and then into the mind of her spouse. Because you see, once you are united in marriage you are no longer two, but you are one. So when the enemy gets a foot in the door within one member of a marriage, he has access to the other person, being as you are spiritually one.

The covenant of marriage in the flesh is equally parallel to the marriage that Jesus Christ himself has to the church (the body of believers). In fact the Bible often refers to the "bride of Christ" needing a sinless spotless garment. I would dare say that as Satan looks at my marriage, and your marriage he is reminded of the covenant relationship that Jesus has with His people and it makes him sick. It is this very hatred that drives him to destroy marriage, attempting to work from the inside out. Placing seeds of doubt, discord, and dissatisfaction. Hoping that the unwashed carnal mind will water those seeds until they seem to overtake your garden, choking out every ounce of love you thought you once had for your spouse. Leaving you on the doorstep to divorce, unsure how you even got there.

Again, this is why I say that Marriage is a fight. You must daily (and sometimes more than that..) fight in the spirit for your marriage. Pull out your sword, which is the word, and begin to speak life over your marriage. And not only must we speak life, but we must cast down all the seeds that the enemy tries to plant in our minds about our spouse.

What if your marriage doesn't look fruitful, what if it looks more like a desert than the Garden of Eden? Or maybe the mere thought of you standing united with your husband in prayer seems so far removed from your present situation that it's laughable ... whatever the case may be I will be so bold as to tell you that this doesn't matter. Remember what I said earlier about the two becoming one in a marriage? I can't seem to put into words how powerful this spiritual union is. This bond grants us a special "right" within our marriage that we don't talk too much about ... the power of agreement, faith and expectancy.

it's time to declare those things that are not as though they are. It's time to take back everything that the enemy has tried to steal from you. And it's time to pray believing, just like the Bible tells us to.

Feel like your standing alone in that dessert? Well, Jesus is standing with you. And he's urging you to grab ahold of the athority he's given you in His word and begin to use it. He's asking you to dare to believe that you can actually fight for your marriage. 

Begin to pray things like ... I know my spouse looks to be the furthest from you right now, but I know the hound of heaven is chasing after him. Lord I know you love him more than I do because he is your child.  I pray that angels be dispatched to protect him and so press his heart to surrender all to you. Because it isint until then that he will truly be happy. 

Not feeling united ? Remind yourself what the word says about your situation ... lord I thank you that your word says a three fold cord is not easily broken. I know that we are spiritually united as one and I am standing in the gap for my husband. I am calling him a mighty warrior of God. I am calling him the leader of our family. I thank you in advance for dreams and visions and operations of the Holy Spirit working within his life. I praise you in advance for turning this around. I know that you will give me the strength I need to hold on in this storm because your word tells me that in my weakness You are made strong. 

Not so sure why you married him in the first place? Have a list of at least a dozen things you'd like him to do differently? Try praying about yourself and watch and see if the lord doesn't begin to move in a mighty way within your relationship. Begin to pray transparently ... Lord Please allow me to see my spouse through your eyes. Show me how to love him the way he desires me to. Mold me into the wife that he needs, and chip away any part of me that doesn't look like you. Let me see him in love and let me respond to him in love. Change us and  mold us until we love each other the way you've designed us to. 

Now I do not claim to be a marriage expert, as our marriage has been through many storms over the years. However as we recently celebrated our 7 year anniversary I have done a lot of reflecting. I see where we started, I see where we are, and I can see when things began to shift. Our marriage begin to shift into a Christ centered union when the Holy Spirit promoted me to pray these prayers over my husband and over our marriage. I don't claim to have suddenly "arrived" at a perfect marriage because we are still learning every day how to love each other and how to live as Christ has called us to. But simply committing to never stop fighting for us has revolutionized our marriage.

I dare you to begin to pray these prayers over your marriage, and expect to see God move. Understand that as the potter molds the clay there can be some shifting, some pinching, and some cutting.. but through all this molding the potter produces a beautiful masterpiece.

So shake off the lies of the enemy that tell you it's too late, that your marriage is over, that you're too far gone. Shake off the misconception that every other marriage is perfect and you're alone in the dessert... realize that the enemy hates the Holy union of marriage and he's deturmined to destroy any spiritual agreement that you have as a marriage united in Christ. Speak on behalf of your spouse, get in your prayer closet and fight for your marriage. 

Until next time-

originally written on Aug 27, 2017

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