A Prayer About Marriage
No one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery-but I am talking about Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:29-32
Lord Jesus, I’ve been greatly saddened lately over the growing number of my friends who are disconnected from, despairing of, or dying in their marriages. I’m saddened, but not shocked, for two reasons. It makes all the sense in the world to me that the one relationship meant to mirror your love for your Bride would be under constant assault by the powers of darkness.
Why wouldn’t Satan want to do everything in his power to keep us from showing and telling the stunning story of your great affection for your Bride-how you have sought and bought a most ill-deserving people, like us, to cherish, nourish and cause to flourish… forever? Of course marriage is going to be a war zone-the front lines of spiritual warfare until the Day you return, Jesus. Of course, Satan doesn’t want the gospel to take root and offer the fruit of your redemption and restoration in our marriages. He hates you, he hates the gospel and therefore he hates your Bride.
But I’m also not shocked over the great percentage of marriages that are struggling, because I know my own heart, Jesus. Like most of us, I came into marriage, as you well know, with little gospel and big naiveté. I had no clue about the depths of my brokenness, the degree of my selfishness, or the devices of my sinfulness. I had no clue about what it would mean to love one person well the rest of my life, someone who needs the gospel just as much as I do.
And I certainly had no clue that your love alone is better than life… that your love alone can slake the deepest thirst of my heart… that your love alone can provides the depths of intimacy I crave and for which I have been made… that your love alone can free me to love another sinner-spouse the way your love me as your spouse-for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish… forgiving and forbearing… accepting without acquiescing… doing the hard and heart work of the gospel.
So, Lord Jesus, I pray for my friends, as I pray for myself, protect us from the evil one, and restore us to gospel sanity and gospel reality. Give hope to the hopeless, conviction to the foolish, nourishment to the famished… grace-filled wisdom to the betrayed and godly sorrow to the betrayers. So very Amen, I pray, in the loving and restoring name of Jesus.