“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 NIV
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Hebrews 13:4 NIV
When you are engaged or newly married, everyone has advice about being married. I even have my two cents that I like to share from time to time. The most common piece of advice I heard as a newlywed was, “Keep folks out of your business.” While this statement carries a lot of truth and weight, many marriages are not conditioned and encouraged about what to keep “in” your business. If you are like me, you did not grow up in a married home; therefore, my outlook and example for a marriage was quite dim. Some of my family members were not in successful marriages and neither were the parents of many of my friends. So when I married I had absolutely no clue about maintaining a marriage until we stepped into marriage “maintenance.” Not pre-marital counseling, but marriage maintenance, with our Pastor. Out of all of the teary-eyed meetings, budget arguments, background comparisons and such that went on during our sessions, the one thing I remembered the most was this diagram he showed us. The diagram showed God in the center with the two people at lower points on each side (like a triangle). He said, if the people within the marriage lean towards God, they will run into each other. WOWZERS! How awesome is that?
The title of this post is “Third Party.” It was inspired by a dear couple my husband and I came into contact with a few years ago. On a personal encounter with the wife, she and I held a conversation in which she said something so alarming she knocked my socks off. She said, “How can I expect it [this marriage] to work if God isn’t even in it?”
To me those words stung and played over and over in my head. Often times (and yes we all know the statistics) marriages fail because a vital third party is missing, God. We can’t expect an institution created by God, to be successful without Him. Please understand, a couple can both be saved and sanctified, but God can be missing in their marriage, or we can’t expect God to fix a situation (the way we want it) when He told us not to enter it in the first place.
My lessons learning over the years; incorporating God into your marriage, especially when each person is in a different place with the Lord, can be tricky. Compassion and communication have to play a major role in finding out the cadence in which you two will walk together. You don’t want to throw the Book at your spouse all the time or demand unrealistic responses. Sometimes you have to pray for God to first work on your heart that you are pleasing in His sight, and two, to guide you in your approach. I made the mistake of asking God to change my husband. I wanted him to react to xyz this kind of way or think in “such a such” manner. I hit a brick wall. The third party was there, but I had the wrong motive. When I asked God to come in and work on both of our hearts and to reside as the third, and pinnacle party, things started to change in him and me. I’m a witness, when I react to my husband without Godly guidance, the ending gets really really ugly!
It is evident that the institution of marriage is under attack. I ask that you protect and restore marriages across our nation. Work on the hearts of every husband and every wife to seek your kingdom first and understand that without You nothing is possible. Lord, please provide guidance and support to struggling couples and couples who are lacking hope that their marriage will last. Your Word tells us that “whatever we bind on Earth, you will bind in heaven and whatever we loose on Earth you will loose in heaven” Matthew 18:18 NIV, so Lord we bind the “wrong third party” and loose your Holy Spirit over these marriages. We bind confusion, insecurity, infidelity, anger, spite, and miscommunication in the name of Jesus. Lord it is my sincere prayer that the marriages that are under attack understand that they are not able to succeed with You, that they can be restored and granted peace in their home. I pray for every husband, that he is able to take his rightful place in the home, a Godly man who makes decisions guided by You. Lord, guide his thoughts and decisions concerning his wife that he may love and honor you and do the same for her. Lord I pray for every wife, that you may grant her the understanding, strength, patience, and resources she needs to be a Godly wife. A wife who loves and respects her husband, who is able to nurture her husband and home in a Godly way and feels valued by not only her husband but by you, Lord encourage her self-worth. It is these things I ask in Your Son Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to put (or keep) God in your marriage. When you want to react out of anger, immediately ask God for peace, when you want to react of spite, ask God for healing, and when you want to react out of insecurity or mistrust, ask God to restore you and your marriage.
Are you married and have a similar experience to share? Tell us about it.
Read a related EmpowerMoment: God Held Us Together
As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a university administrator. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV) Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. She resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They are actively connected to St. Luke Christian Church of Huntsville, AL and Vaughn Forest Church of Montgomery, AL. Currently they are moving to Orange Beach, AL and are excited about the Lord leading them to a new church home.