• Vanessa Martindale

Marriage That Reflects God: Part 1

Updated: Jul 16

One of the first questions that Scott and I asked ourselves before we got married was this: What do we want our marriage to look like for us and for our children? Having been previously married and coming into my second marriage, I definitely had a thought of what I didn’t want it to look like. But as we talked more and more about this over the months leading to our wedding day, I really had to get quiet with God and discover exactly what He wanted for our marriage, as well as what His thoughts were. I thought I had an idea of what marriage meant, that it was simply a covenant with God. But when I asked God about it, He told me that our marriage was to be a reflection of who He is, because marriage is who He is. He created it. He created man and woman and designed them to be together. He led me to this verse in scripture…

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them.” Genesis 1:27-28

Can we all read that again? And God blessed them (v.28)…. That verse made my socks roll up and down! I wanted to know what I needed to do for God to bless my second marriage, and I wanted my marriage to magnify and glorify Him in everything that we are and do. We knew that our marriage had to be built on the very foundation of Jesus Christ and nothing else. This meant living completely for God, giving up our fleshly wants and desires, and seeking God personally and together in our marriage. Not ever seeing marriage this way, it changed all that I thought about it. We wanted to be blessed by God and to allow God to use us as a blessing for whatever He desired. And y'all, He has done just that! I am so blown away by His goodness and faithfulness to restore broken marriages and redeem us from divorce and the stigma associated with it.

We’ve heard amazing stories from other blended family marriages that have attended the Blending Families class we teach at our church. Many of them have stated that when they established Jesus Christ as the center and focal point of their marriage, life changed and abundant blessings came their way. This has been confirmation over and over again to Scott and I that when we are in the direct will of Christ and obedience to let Him rule in our personal life and marriage, He will bring forth abundant blessings to us, our marriage, and family.

If you're asking, “What does this look like, what am I supposed to do, and how do I apply it in my current marriage?”, just know, whether it be your first, second, or third marriage, we want to encourage and help you with some practical steps we have used in our own marriage that may work for you, too. These are the seven steps that can be implemented in your marriage, to create a marriage that reflects God. This week, I will go into depth with the first three and next week we will discuss the remaining four.

  1. Establishing Jesus as the firm foundation of your marriage.

  2. Praying with your spouse.

  3. Communication

  4. Commitment

  5. Forgiveness

  6. Grace

  7. Humility

1. Establishing Jesus Christ as the firm foundation of your life and the center of your marriage.

Getting real and raw with yourself and your spouse about your spiritual walk with Christ can be hard, but it’s vital for your spiritual health and your marriage. Do you currently have a relationship with Christ? How is your faith currently? What are you both doing for yourselves to feed and nourish your faith and what are you doing to feed and nourish your spouse’s faith? These are some important questions to ask yourself and discuss together with your spouse. The more open and honest we are with our faith and relationship with Christ, the more we can help one another in areas where we may be struggling. This also gives light to how you can pray for your spouse and marriage and where to strategize specific prayers against the enemy (Satan), who loves to destroy marriages. When we make Christ the center point of our life and marriage, He begins to work in and through us to display his heart and character in who we are as individuals, as couples and as families.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

2. Prayer. Praying with God daily and with your spouse.

You’ve probably heard that old saying “Couples who pray together, stay together". Well, it's true, friends. Research and statistics show that one of the most effective ways to “divorce-proof” your marriage is to pray with your spouse - not only praying with your spouse out loud with one another, but also in your own time to pray specifically over them. Praying with our spouse is one of the most intimate acts that we can do to glorify God in our marriage. Intimacy with God in our individual prayer time and intimacy with our spouse in prayer is an act of worship and devotion to God. It activates our marriage to come into alignment with Christ’s heart and will for us and our marriages. In return we can receive his grace, guidance, and direction for where He is taking our marriages.

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16

3. Communication. How we speak to our spouse.

“Healthy communication is the life-blood of every marriage. With it the relationship lives; without it, death awaits.” –Ron L. Deal, The Smart Stepfamily Marriage

Communication with your spouse is vital to the life of your marriage. How we speak and treat our spouse is a direct reflection of how we see and feel about ourselves. If we are angry, mad, frustrated or holding any bitterness or withholding forgiveness from a certain person, even if it's not our spouse, it will pour out into our marriage. The people we are closest to will reap the destruction of what’s in our hearts. One of the safest things that we could do in our private quiet time with the Lord is ask Him to reveal anything in our hearts that is hardened, not pure, evil or out of alignment with His. When we do this, He can reveal the things that we need to bring into the light and talk with Him about. The way in which we speak to our spouse has the power to build them up or tear them down.

Communication with your spouse requires patience, grace, love, and mutual respect. Effective communication requires us to listen carefully, engage in conversation, give full attention to our spouse, and share our thoughts and feelings with them. The one thing the enemy loves to do with married couples is cause division and disunity, which can mute our communication with our spouse. This allows the enemy to come in and plant lies within our hearts about our spouse and marriage and lead us astray from each other and God, which can lead to poor communication and harsh words. Communication with our spouse is meant to reflect what God says and thinks about them and ourselves.

“For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

Remember, friends, God created you and your spouse in His image, and your marriage can be a bright reflection of His character, love, and grace. Next week, we will pick up where we left off and discuss how implementing our commitment, forgiveness, grace, and humility in marriage can give us a marriage that reflects God.

Have a wonderful week friends and be blessed in all that you do!

Vanessa Martindale

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