Building a great marriage – Women’s Devotion

“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.”
Psalm 127:1-2

God chose the precious gift of marriage to reflect the intimate love He has for us, but like His perfect creation, it is marred by sin. Rather than a reflection of God’s perfect love for His Bride (the church), we often times struggle in our marriages. The pressures of life pull at marriage partners and the demands family life can compound problems even more. So how do you build a marriage that can stand strong against the raging storms that come with a vengeance? It’s like building a house. It’s a long, complicated project that demands time, energy and resources if you want it to be built well. And it’s done best when we listen to the Lord’s encouragement to strengthen our marriages and be on guard against the attacks of Satan and our sinful flesh.

When you enter a beautiful, well-built home, you know that the builder used quality materials and utilized quality workmanship. The trim fits perfectly, the windows aren’t drafty, and the drawers glide smoothly. The foundation feels secure and the rafters are solid. The builder selected high grade lumber and took his time to build it right. So, what does the Lord use in building marriages? Quality materials and quality workmanship.

Quality materials. Did you laugh? Are you thinking about your husband and chuckling at the thought of describing him as “quality material”? You don’t have to be married very long to realize that your husband is far from perfect. But did you think about yourself? Are you “quality material”? No, you aren’t great stuff all the time either. It isn’t any wonder that there are frustrated people in marriages – because we’re all sinful, selfish people by nature. We often get stuck seeing each other with our tainted, human eyes. We see each other’s sins and failures. We see the ugliness and flaws in one another; and if you keep that focus, you won’t have a strong marriage because your building materials are sub-­-standard.

So what’s the solution? Different materials? No, our hope for a good marriage isn’t found in finding the perfect man, or trying harder to be the perfect wife by keeping an immaculate house, pursuing a perfect body shape or maintaining countless commitments at church. Hope is found in the perfect Savior that died for our sins. He is the one that has made us “quality material.” His precious blood was shed to cover your flaws, and your husband’s. His righteous life will stand strong in your stead, and with His eyes, we can see one another as He see us, redeemed children of God.

When you look at your husband, see him as Christ does, precious, purposeful and perfect! And when you look in the mirror, you should see the same thing, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3)!

Equipped with God’s view of our husbands and ourselves we are reminded of and encouraged by His marvelous grace! Treat each other accordingly, with kindness and love; speak to one another with that focus in mind, with gentleness and respect. Forgive each other and be patient with one another because you are handling priceless building materials! As you’re working to build your marriage, appreciate the value of what you’re working with, remembering that “you were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20). You don’t trash a beautiful, well built home; you take care of it and appreciate it. You invest in the upkeep and make the sacrifices to keep it strong because you value it and know it will appreciate over time. How much more can that be true of your marriage! Because Christ loved us first, we love and forgive one another. Because Christ made us holy and beautiful, we can respond in love toward Him and one another. Because we depend on the righteousness He won for us, we can also see our husbands as redeemed and precious! Keeping that view of your spouse will go a long way in building a great marriage.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You have redeemed me and made me Your precious daughter. Thank you for your gifts of grace, forgiveness and perfect love. Allow me to bask in those gifts and let them permeate every part of my life. Strengthen me through Your Word to be the wife you desire me to be, that I could honor you in my life and marriage. Strengthen our marriage to be a reflection of Your perfect love—the radiance of grace and commitment that you have shown to us. Give me Your eyes to see others as precious souls for which you died; and give me Your heart to love in response to the intimate love you have poured out on me. Forgive me when I fail Lord. In my stumbling and sin call me to account and drive me to the cross. Find me there, comfort me with your salvation and guide me on the path of righteousness so that everything I do brings glory to Your name and light to a dark world. You are my Savior and my God, whom I love and proclaim. Amen.