I have befriended a pastor in Uganda via the Internet, Ronnie Nsubuga, and he emailed me a sermon he recently used. I’d like to share it with you.
In our culture, people base romantic relationships on a number of things, like love, physical attraction, sexual compatibility, friendship, emotions. But the problem is that none of those things last.
Emotions can be fleeting. Our physical attributes diminish as we get older. Friendship should be permanent, but sometimes husbands and wives reach a stage where they can hardly stand to be around each other.
What happens to a marriage when its foundations begin to crack? Marriages survive and succeed when a husband and wife can say "This marriage is about God."
You are going to get to a point in your marriage where you go through difficult times. In many cases, your spouse begins behaving badly, and you are convinced they are the problem.
The feelings you once had for him or her—feelings of friendship or attraction—disappear. They might be replaced by anger or heartache. You'll wonder: How can I get through this?
If you reach this point, you'll have to make a decision. Am I going to stay in this marriage? Am I going to do the right thing?
These are important questions coming at an important time in your relationship, and the way you answer them could save or end your marriage. At this point, your long-term ability to do the right thing depends on whether or not your marriage is based on God.
I firmly believe that God has a greater purpose for our marriages—not just for our lives. Every great marriage exists for a reason greater than itself, and that reason is God. A greater reason gives you great power. A lesser reason gives you lesser power.
When marriages hit the rough times, sometimes the only thing that holds them together is the staying power from that greater reason. Marriages survive and succeed when a husband and wife can say "This marriage is about God."
You can't base your relationship on your children, because eventually you'll have an empty nest. You can't base it on sex. You can't base it on financial comfort, or your emotions, or anything else that can be inconsistent over a lifetime.
The best foundation of your marriage is when you realize that God has a purpose for your marriage, and regardless of what happens you have determined to do the right thing because of that purpose.
It's a decision you can make right now, by dedicating your life and your marriage to him. You and your spouse may go through difficult times, but those who commit to pursuing God's will and building their lives on his Word will have a strong foundation to weather any storm.
Jesus said we will have tribulation in this world, but he has overcome the world (John 16:33). There is only one force on this earth that will cause you to rise above the common, and that is God.
Marriages fail when the husband and wife are living for a lower purpose. Commit to living for a higher purpose—God's purpose—and you'll discover the power of a marriage built on the Rock.
Blessings! From Ronnie Nsubuga