— Jimmy Evans
Karen and I almost divorced. When we got married more than 40 years ago, we had no idea what we were doing. We almost broke up a few years into it.
But today, I can honestly say that we love each other more than ever. She is my soul mate and my best friend. Ours isn’t a perfect marriage, but we have one heart. We have become one in God’s purpose.
In the process, we’ve discovered a powerful principle. To be happily married, the reason for your marriage has to be greater than the stress that’s on your marriage. And there’s always stress on your marriage, from physical issues to kids or money or in-laws or work.
Many people will say that God brought them together. Great! I always then ask them “Why?” A lot of couples don’t have a good answer.So I often ask these questions: What is the reason for your marriage? What is your purpose? Why are you married?
Some people will answer that they got married to share life with their spouse, or to share finances, or because they love each other. But a person can cause stress. Money causes stress. And feelings change. People fall out of love.
All that stress is caused by the very reasons you got married in the first place. Your reasons become your stress. That’s why marriages fail. That’s what happened with Karen and me. We got married with the best intentions but then the stress hit.
Our marriage was saved when we changed our purpose. We disposed of the idea of being married for love or to share our lives or to create a family. Instead, we made our marriage about God.
The number-one purpose in our marriage is to fulfill God’s will in our lives. The fact that we’re still married today has everything to do with that purpose.
No stress is greater than God. He is more powerful than any issue we’ll ever face. He can transcend any marriage problem.
So many of the reasons people get married have to do with self-gratification: the way someone makes them feel, or because they want to have children. There’s nothing wrong with those things under the banner of God, but when they exist by themselves, they are only about what we get.
God didn’t create marriage so we couldget. He created it so we could give—specifically so we could give back to Him. We want to give God glory through our lives and our children and grandchildren.
We exist first to glorify God, not to gratify ourselves.
I truly believe that one of the reasons marriages are falling apart around the world is because people have taken God out of the equation and made marriage all about them. What they want. What they get. How it makes them feel.
God designed marriage to revolve around Him. That’s how marriage works, and that’s what keeps a marriage from failing. So ask yourself: What is the purpose of my marriage? Is it a purpose that can be defeated by stress…or actually cause stress?
If the reason you’re married is not about God, then you won’t become one heart until you put Him at the center. Make your marriage about God. Only then will your marriage flourish