Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious for anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”
The greatest gift I have received from God, since turning my life over to Him, is peace. I did not know peace before that. Even after all these years of striving to live a godly life, I’m still amazed whenever I experience His “Peace that transcends all understanding”. It doesn’t always seem logical and may not be understood. I’ve even had well-meaning Christians question my peace in some circumstances where they thought I should have responded a different way.
I believe that God’s peace benefits us most in our marriages. Let’s face it – we don’t marry perfect people. We are all human and come with flaws. If we go into marriage expecting our spouse to make us happy, we will fail miserably. Maybe even before the honeymoon is over.
One wrong word, action, or even look can immediately destroy a blissful moment of happiness (which we usually equate to the health of our relationship.) We can quickly become disappointed and easily hurt by our spouse and take it very personally. Often times, our spouse may have had no intention of offending us with their careless word or action. We put so much pressure on our spouse to be responsible for every moment of joy and every moment of sorrow we experience.
That’s why we need God in our marriage. Without Him, our chances of marriage survival are slim.
It isn’t until you learn to separate your expectations of happiness from your spouse and allow them to be human, that God can embrace you with His heavenly peace. Only then can you survive the certain disappointments and hurts you will face in marriage.
When you turn your life and your marriage over to God, you free your spouse from the responsibility of your happiness. You realize that, although they do make mistakes and can’t always save you, they are striving to be the best they can be – at life and at marriage. (Hopefully.) If not, you can’t change them – that’s up to God and them. You can only pray for them that God would help them find the way.
A number of years ago, Rick was in a job that demanded a lot of his time. I felt lonely and missed spending time with him. Prior to that, I would nag about my lack of attention from him, which only turned into arguments. I had been working hard to communicate more positively to Rick. I said nothing to him this time about my feelings. I turned to God and prayed about it. He gave me total peace about the situation.
At that time, Rick went away for a week on a business trip. Half-way through the week he called me on the phone and said, “You know, God has been convicting me of something. I haven’t been spending enough time with you. Please forgive me. I will try harder.”
When I say God needs to be in the middle of your marriage, he will act as an interpreter for you and your spouse. He will convey a message that you can’t seem to vocalize. Our God is an awesome God and will do amazing feats in your marriage – if you ask Him to. The huge, overwhelming benefit of including Him, is that peace that surpasses all understanding!