Today we are bombarded with messages that are anti marriage. You can do this alone. You deserve it. You can raise a child alone. Just follow your heart. You deserve to be happy. There is a belief going around that God has the perfect person out there for you and you must have picked the wrong one or not found him/her yet because you are not happy.

The job says your marriage and family need to take a back seat until this project is done. But then there is another project and another. But when your family falls apart or you have an office romance. Then the company throws you under the bus because your personal struggles are hurting your job performance.

Another message is your kids need to be happy. They need to grow in their skills, education, so they will get a good job make lots of money and be secure. Help your kids to succeed that is your primary goal they say. The message is if your kid is not a success it is the parent’s fault.

However, I beg to differ that the culture is wrong. The message others are selling is way off course. Your marriage relationship is the most important relationship after your relationship with God. All other relationships are after this one. All other relationships benefit from your marriage relationship being strong.

A strong united marriage helps raise secure, well-adjusted kids. As your mommy and daddy talks lead to behavior and priority corrections with your children. They feel secure and make better choices in the right direction.

A secure marriage with a supporting and advising spouse helps you in all other relationships including your job. Your performance at work is better when you aren’t dealing with family issues.

In Genesis chapters 1 and 2 God creates the world and he says it is good over and over again. The first time he says it is not good is when He says it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). So God creates marriage between Adam and Eve.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. – Genesis 2:24 KJV

As you marry you must leave your parents and friends as the main relationship in your life and turn to your spouse as the most important relationship besides God. As you cleave to your spouse you begin to work on prioritizing your spouse. Your focus is to be on knowing your spouse and serving your spouse. Cleave is a King James version word that means to be cemented.

There are enemies to leaving and cleaving.

  • Your family of origin often times is not happy about your devotion to someone else. They are accustomed to you being with them and being loyal to their priorities.
  • Your children are hedonistic. They are screamers who want their needs met. They are cute and often draw/demand our attention away from our spouse.
  • Your careers-will reward your devotion will give immediate praise and will also punish low performance. However, they will criticize your home failures. They will also not be pleased when your production decreases when you are distracted by divorce court and parent-principal conferences when your family falls apart. You can also be fired if you have an affair at work.
  • Satan wants to destroy your Marriage and love as a whole. Because the scripture says God is love. (I John 4:8) Your marriage is a picture of God’s love to a watching world and your children. Marriages are visible demonstrations of service and humility. The Devil does not want love, humility, and serving one another to be demonstrated.
  • You and your selfish pride. Pride says it is not my fault. If only they would do…
    Jesus said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? – Matthew 7: 3-4

Your marriage matters so make it a priority. Discipline yourself to make it a priority daily. Don’t be tempted to put work or the kids ahead of your relationship with your spouse and God. We can work on humbling and changing ourselves and trusting that God can fix our spouse. Ask God to show you where you need to change to make your marriage better.

Create a habit of daily checking in with your spouse. Ask, “How was your day?” Listen to your spouse’s response. Listen for facts and feelings. What hurt them and excited them about their day? Reconnect every day to your spouse. Be there as a friend, give it the effort and time to keep the friendship current and up to date. Do the important daily check-in over the seemingly urgent tasks of your day and you will reap the benefits over time.

Add something new to your time together. Read a book about marriage together and talk about it. Study marriage by taking classes online or in person. Take a daily walk together. Learn a new hobby. Do something fun instead of just raising the kids and taking care of the house.

Be diligent and you will reap the rewards of making your marriage a priority long after the kids are grown, and you retire from the job.

Marriage Matters!

Mark Barnhill
Care Pastor