Principles of Marriage

Open Your Bible

1 Corinthians 7:1-40, Genesis 2:24, John 13:34-35

When I think back to the early years of my relationship with my husband, I was constantly lovesick with anticipation for what was next. We first met at church camp, and from those first talks and first dates, to meeting each other’s families, bringing up marriage and waiting for a proposal, and all the moments of wedding planning for our big special day, I couldn’t wait for life with him and the excitement it promised to bring. 

Anticipation of this kind is fun. It’s exhilarating, and during that season, it kept me looking ahead with hope to what was to come. However, as much as it is true that married life is an adventure, our adventure has largely been a host of mundane Mondays followed by typical Tuesdays—normal days of us figuring out life together. We’ve certainly had some big ups and downs, but there’s a reason after the wedding people ask if you’re settling into married life.

In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul responded to questions the Corinthian believers had about honoring the Lord in their marriages. Many were likely new to following Jesus and still grappling with the reality that proclaiming Jesus as Lord means surrendering all of yourself to him. Paul emphasized that there is no holy path forward in any relationship if we are continuing to live for ourselves. Rather, faithfulness—both in following Jesus and in marriage—is based on a whole-hearted commitment rooted in trust and sacrifice with Jesus as the example. “Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another” (John 13:34).

For Paul, this path in sanctification isn’t exactly glamorous. While addressing their questions, he called them to hold their marriage commitment higher than their own pleasure or comfort (1Corinthians 7:10–13) and to choose self-sacrifice for the sake of mutuality (vv.2–5). He commanded them to trust in God’s sovereignty (v.17). And he reminded them that contentment is in whatever calling God has for them (v.24) because ultimately, all of our circumstances—including our marriages—are temporal training for our eternity as the bride of Christ (v.31).

Just as we stake our hope on the fact that our forever with Jesus will one day be our reality, let us each live with the same hope in our relationships with one another. They are all opportunities to reflect the perfect and selfless relationship of Christ and His Bride, and we can rejoice as we wait for our hope to be made reality. As we hope, let us surround each other as the body of Christ, pushing each other in all our relationships toward maturity and faithfulness in Jesus.

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97 thoughts on "Principles of Marriage"

  1. Mia Faith says:

    My sweet husband and I were married for 45 and a half years. We married when I was 16 and he was 18. I was pregnant and no one thought we’d make it. It wasn’t easy, but what a beautiful gift. There were a multitude of ups and downs. Highs and lows. All of those experiences made us who we are and trusting Christ together kept us together. I miss him. I miss our Bible study time every morning and our thought provoking discussions about what we learned. Now, being a new widow, I dreaded reading this chapter. My days are filled with new perspectives and this chapter was no exception.

  2. Claire Martin says:

    Have just been married a little over a month and I am enjoying the sweetness of this new season while also looking ahead to whatever trials life will bring us. Knowing we have a foundation in Christ makes me feel all the more comforted as we travel through life together!

  3. Marie Baxter says:

    I celebrated my 29 wedding anniversary this year. This marriage has had its ups and downs. I married a youth pastor turned pastor so that has been hard. I love my husband and he loves me but we both love Jesus more so that is what has made this marriage thrive. I think that’s the key- Jesus comes first. I pray that those here hurting with their marriages or singleness find peace in a loving relationship in Jesus.

  4. Kristin T says:

    7 verse 16 “wife for all you know you might save your husband”. This is what stuck out to me today. My husband is a non believer, and I pray daily for his salvation. It brings me to tears thinking if something were to happen this very minute he would not spend eternity with God. This gives me hope that through my faith he could be saved.

  5. Amy W says:

    We started dating when I was 15. 9 days after I turned 18 in my senior year we got married. My teachers and everyone thought I would drop out of school or we would end up divorced. We have been married for 28 years and together for 31 in November. We make sure God is part of our marriage and He has helped us through so much. He always provides for us and protects us. I have so many testimonies of what He has done in our lives over the years. He knew what we needed and put us together and for that I am thankful.

    1. Rhonda J. says:

      That’s a great praise and testimony!!

    2. Marina Sayadian says:

      Praise God! What a beautiful love story. When Christ is the foundation of your marriage, it’s built on solid ground.

  6. Kimberly Z says:

    @SARAH D – praying for you sweet sister. Going through singleness is very hard. I used to resent everybody who found marriage so easily. oh you got married at 24? Please don’t tell me how hard dating was (haha but honestly). I don’t know why anybody has to go through such trials but I know in the end it WILL work out. If it’s not good then it’s not the end. Hang in there sister.

  7. Chelsi Hamilton says:

    We just joyfully celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary; together for 17 years. We found Christ together. It was beautiful. My husband makes being married easy!

  8. Cee Gee says:

    All these comments about marriage made me think of this old song by Casting Crowns I hope it blesses someone here.
    Wedding Day
    Song by
    Casting Crowns
    There’s a stirring
    In the throne room
    And all creation holds it’s breath
    Waiting now
    To see the bridegroom
    Wondering how the bride will dress
    And she wears white
    And she knows
    That she’s undeserving
    She bears the shame of history
    With this worn
    And weary maiden
    Is not the bride that he sees
    And she wears white
    Head to toe
    But only he
    Can make it so
    When someone dries your tears
    When someone wins your heart and says your beautiful
    When you don’t know you are
    And all you belong to see
    Is written on his face
    Love has come and finally set you free
    On that wedding day
    On that wedding day
    She has danced
    In golden castles
    And she has crawled through beggar’s dust
    But today
    She stands before him
    And she wears his righteousness
    And she will be
    Who he adores
    And this is what he made her for
    When someone dries your tears
    When someone wins your heart and says your beautiful
    When you don’t know you are
    And all you belong to see
    Is written on his face
    Love has come and finally set you free
    When the hand that bears the only scars And heaven touch her face
    And the last tears she’ll ever cried
    Are finally wiped away
    And the clouds roll back as he takes her hand
    And walks her through the gates
    Forever we will reign
    When someone dries your tears
    When someone wins your heart and says your beautiful
    When you don’t know you are
    And all you belong to see
    Is written on his face
    Love has come and finally set you free
    On that wedding day
    On that wedding day
    On that wedding day
    On that wedding day
    Songwriters: Bernie Herms, John Mark Hall, Matthew Joseph West. For non-commercial use only.
    Data

    1. MemeFaye says:

      ❤️

  9. Margaret Weatherly says:

    “Just as we stake our hope in the fact that our forever with Jesus will one day be our reality…” I beg to differ with this comment, though I’m sure the writer meant well. But our eternal live with Jesus has already begun; he started building his kingdom on earth when he came to save us. We who belong to him already have our forever with Jesus, both now and in the world to come. Thank you, Jesus, for being our hope, both now and forever. Amen!

  10. Susan Joiner says:

    I’m sorry it has taken so long to give you an update on sweet Wyatt. He has been diagnosed with LCH ( Langerhans cell Histiocytosis). Apparently, this occurs 1 in 200,000 people. It is in the cancer family. Wyatt has had many scans and tests to be sure it has not spread anywhere else in his little body. He will need to have a port and then will begin chemo every week for the next year. His parents remain hopeful that this will be the course without any reoccurrences.
    The most amazing news I can give you is that Wyatt was released from the hospital for the week and HE WAS AT CHURCH ON SUNDAY! He looks good, even with his little head wrapped up. Honestly, I just believe it was the prayers of so many of you that has taken him this far. Please, keep those prayers going. This little warrior still has a long way to go, but our faithful Father has him firmly in His grip! Praise the Lord!

    1. Rhonda J. says:

      Oh poor Wyatt, for that diagnosis, but Praise God he is in good spirits, at church, and loved by so many people, and we will continue our prayers!!

  11. Teresa Donley says:

    I’m struck by how many have shared that marriage is hard. It sure is.
    I thought I had a strong Christian marriage when I was married to my first husband. Then he came home one day and announced he didn’t love me, and hadn’t loved me for the last two years. He followed that with leaving me for another woman – one he had arrested! (He was a cop and arrested her for drug trafficking.) I was completely devastated. He married her six weeks after our divorce.
    I was single for nine years. But I didn’t live for Christ during those years. I was angry. I was angry with the church, with all men and with God. I dated a lot, and eventually told myself that if things didn’t work out with the one I was dating then, I was done. No more dating. No more longing for a husband. So, I married him. I knew even before the wedding, it was something I shouldn’t do. But I wasn’t in the habit of listening to God in those days. We’ve been married for 24 years. And it is not a happy marriage. We had a few good years, but mostly, we’re kind of like roommates. He’s not a bad person. To my knowledge, neither of us has had a relationship outside our marriage. But it isn’t what God wants for us when we get married. I think we love each other, in a best friend kind of way. And now that I’m sick, he is good to me, takes care of me and goes to doctor visits with me. But, I really wish I had listened to God 24 years ago, and remained single.
    Paul’s guidance on marriage and singlehood is hard to read when you’re either not happy in a marriage, or single and wishing to be married. I’ve appreciated all the comments today, giving us a peek into our marriages, and into our thoughts on Paul’s advice. Thank you all for your transparency and insight.

    1. Rhonda J. says:

      Hi my friend! Missed you! And thank you so much for YOUR transparency and insight!! This is so, so important for our single ladies, trying to find and hook the right guy. It is easy to do, I know, I did it twice with bad results. Even the third I didn’t do correctly, and who knows if that is half my problems now even though we are happy, we have lots of troublesome issues! God has laid out the plans but we want our own way! Thank you. And I have been praying for you and hope you haven’t seen to much progressing?!

    2. Lynne from Alabama says:

      Teresa DONLEY—It is so good to see you here today, sister! You have been missed! ❤️ Thank you for your transparency. Marriage isn’t always easy even in the best of relationships.

  12. Tami says:

    This was very confusing to me. Was Paul saying “get married, stay single, get a divorce…?” Thanks to your comments I have a better understanding. Reading about marriage is always challenging, especially when one is single or struggling in marriage. Marriage is not easy, mine included!

  13. Gwineth52 says:

    “because ultimately, all of our circumstances—including our marriages—are temporal training for our eternity as the bride of Christ (v.31).”

    Hello Shes
    Particularly struck by the phrase above in the daily devotional. My here & now actions…in every conceivable human interaction…either add to or subtract from right relationship with God. Pretty tall order. Where is my discipline? Where is my devotion? Or am I distracted by selfishness & insecurity. My Lord, please grant me the maturity to measure my steps in the way of Your abiding love. Amen & Amen

  14. Mercy says:

    Marriage is not meant to make us happy but to sanctify us. I wish I knew this. Marriage, oh the complex topic, that can raise both sensitive and humbling times to mind. I can only say it is all by God’s grace that marriage could be sustained. There is so much wisdom in the today’s devotional, I picked out some choice words: self-sacrifice, contentment (this is a big one), perfect and selfless, maturity and faithfulness, temporal training, sanctification, not glamourous. Such truth and beauty in these words thanks to the writer. Paul really does not advocate marriage as much here, doesn’t he, as opposed to singleness, in the sense of devotion to the Lord. I find that strange though, because even for servants of God, the work is too much mentally and having a partner to share the stress of ministry could be beneficial (Moses for one). Truly God blesses each person with their own strength, and Paul is such a strong exceptional case to remain unmarried. Marriage image for me is the sacrifice that our Lord who is the perfect husband that joins himself to the unrighteous bride (us) to make her holy through his dying on the cross… when she is yet a sinner. Such man is hard to find. Only from Heaven. And in reality, if we are to mirror that love, we are to die to our own needs to put our spouse and children’s needs first. I model this from our Lord, and sad to say, I burn out and I have to come back to Him to find balance, still learning and leaning on Him, on the joy and the strength that is not my own. On a brighter note, something stood out in Paul’s words that I never noticed before: “I want you to be free from anxieties” (1 Corinthians 7:32) (yes please), “From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning”. This could also read, let those who have husbands live as though they had none ? (my interpretation). These hit me on several notes since I have been mourning in my marriage, because of the pain my husband caused when falling out of faith (the prodigal husband if I may say). I heard the Lord telling me today, stop mourning, I want you free from your anxieties, devote yourself to Me again, stop these worldly dealings, for the present form of this world is passing away. Praise Him for His words and directing.
    .
    Lifting prayers…
    @LEXI B: for your friend K, may all be well.
    @SARAH D: for your broken heart and peace with God.
    .
    Praying for you dear shes and the marriages and various unique struggles you might be facing in yours. May the Lord renew our mind and perspective, and fill us with new hope and strength to be more than conquerors through Him, who gives us strength.
    Be blessed dear sisters.

    1. Tami says:

      Mercy- thank you for pointing out verse 32 “I want you to be without anxieties.” That really spoke to me.

      1. Missy Csonka says:

        I really like how you put it when you said how Christ wants us in all of our flaws to be His bride pertaining to marriage. I never thought of it like that…like ever! And since starting these SRT studies I have learned so much from these scriptures that I have read many times before. Thank you for your insights and for your faith sweet sister!❣️

  15. Traci Gendron says:

    I too shy away from teachings on marriage in the Bible. I have been divorced twice! I’m ashamed of that. Both times I knew I shouldn’t have entered that union. Thankfully God gives us forgiveness. He also blessed me with a wonderful husband years later. It was good for me to be alone. Frightening, but good. God will not leave us. He strengthened me. He showed me true love.

  16. Victoria E says:

    Tina, thank you for sharing your experiences so openly with us! I don’t think Paul was married, it sounds like he was saying people should be single as he was but if they can’t be sexually abstinent to marry. That’s my understanding. Sarah D I am praying for you girl. I know how hard it is to want something good and to have to wait. Sisters I echo so much of what has been said here about marriage! My husband and I have been together six years and are planning a how renewal for our seventh anniversary this December! My prayer is that we would continue to pursue God in our marriage and put him first in this celebration.

  17. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    Father God,
    I pray for every sister in Christ that is part of this study. If they are married, I pray you bless their marriage. I pray that Jesus Christ is at the center of every marriage represented here, and if He is not, that changes would be made to make Him the center. I pray for husbands to love their wives and wives to respect and honor their husbands and that each of them will help the other to grow in their relationship with you, helping the other to become more like Jesus and preparing each other for the ultimate wedding day when we become the bride of Christ.
    I pray for every sister that is single and desiring a Godly husband, which is a good thing. Please Father in your way and in your time, bring that special someone into their lives. In the meantime, help them in the waiting and continue to grow them in their walk with you.
    Bless each sister here. Teach us, guide us, daily reveal yourself and your will to each of us and grow us in our faith. To You be the glory. In Jesus name, Amen

    1. Traci Gendron says:

      Amen

    2. Gwineth52 says:

      Hugs, Sharon, JG
      You have a HUGE heart for all the Shes.
      Revealed in your powerful prayer.

    3. Cee Gee says:

      Amen! Thank you, Sharon! Love you, sister! ❤

    4. Lynne from Alabama says:

      Thank you for your powerful prayer, dear sister! ❤️

  18. Melissa says:

    God has truly blessed my marriage, so to those who are struggling with things from the past, know that while marriage is work, it can also be the greatest gift. There are still good men out there who seek the Lord, be patient with God’s timing as to not be unequally yoked. We just celebrated our 15th anniversary and we are looking forward to many more.

    1. Rhonda J. says:

      Yes, for sure, it is hard, but he is my bestie! Congratulations, we just had our 14th!

  19. Cee Gee says:

    ADRIENNE – I don’t know if this will help, but it comes from MacArthur’s Study Bible:

    “let him depart. A term referring to divorce (cf. vv. 10, 11). When an unbelieving spouse cannot tolerate the partner’s faith and wants a divorce, it is best to let that happen in order to preserve peace in the family (cf. Rom. 12:18). The bond of marriage is broken only by death (Rom. 7:2), adultery (Matt. 19:9), or an unbeliever’s leaving. not under bondage. When the bond is broken in any of those ways, a Christian is free to marry another believer. Throughout Scripture, whenever legitimate divorce occurs, remarriage is assumed. When divorce is permitted, so is remarriage. By implication, the permission for a widow to remarry (vv. 39, 40; Rom. 7:3), because the “bond” is broken, extends to this case where there is no more “bondage.”

    1. Adrienne says:

      We just had a storm, and my WIFI is out, so I am on my phone. Please bear with me (regarding typos, etc.!) My study Bibles both mention peace too. Thank you, CeeGee!

  20. Adrienne says:

    I am a little confused. I know that His word tells us that both people in a marriage should be believers, but I also understand that the believing one can make the unbelieving one holy. But the unbeliever may leave? (Divorce is not the terminology here.) Seems like the unbeliever gets off “scott free”? Is that because the unbeliever is not held up to the same standards that a believer is? Help me, please, sweet She’s. I will go to my study Bible notes, as well.

    Have a blessed day, regardless of your marital state. ❤️

    1. Gwineth52 says:

      Hello Adrienne
      I come at an answer to your question this way. My interpretation only.
      Maybe an unbeliever married to a believer would be inspired & led by example & proximity to become a believer too. But if that doesn’t happen, and if the unbeliever chooses to remain in the marriage to the believer, so be it. The religious “mis-match” should not – in & of itself & all things considered – be cause to end the marriage. Who is to know, really, what the Lord makes possible, in any marriage.

      1. Adrienne says:

        Thank you, Gwineth.

    2. Carolyn Nowotny says:

      Last week in 5:12 Paul said it wasn’t his business to judge outsiders. I think this is the same principle.

      1. Adrienne says:

        Gotcha. Thanks, Carolyn.

  21. Cheryl Blow says:

    It is true that marriage takes work! My husband and I are polar opposites! He is a wonderful Christian man but we don’t always agree on everything. But God, has used those times of intense conversations to help us become more like Him. We have learned to put God first, surrender our wills to Him, and pray. We celebrated 50 years this summer. It is a commitment to the covenant we made before God to each other, not always sunshine and roses. But we love each other deeply!

    But to add a note, I do not believe you should stay where you or your children will be harmed. If you are being abused, seek help, and ask us to pray. We are a safe place for you. If you have been abused, seek godly counseling. You are loved by a Heavenly Father and you do not deserve abuse from anyone.

    1. Rhonda J. says:

      Congratulations! 50 years, beautiful!!

    2. Gwineth52 says:

      Wise Words, Dear Cheryl.

  22. Kris says:

    I was married at 26, we managed to stay together for 22 years, and now I have been divorced for 14 years. I appreciate Paul’s thoughts on staying single if you are single. I get tired of people trying to fix me up with someone, telling me I need a man in my life, asking me how many dates I’ve been on. Geez. The Lord has been so good to me, and my relationship with Him has grown so much since I became single again, I really don’t need anyone else. Yes, there are times I have thoughts about another husband, but honestly, I’m pretty content. It’s OK to be content being single. It’s been much easier keeping God as LORD when I don’t have anyone else vying for my time.

    1. Carolyn Nowotny says:

      God bless you Kris. My best friend is in the same boat and is also content.

  23. Rhonda J. says:

    GM
    1 Corinthians packs a punch. Instructions. Some like to follow instructions, others like myself never look and think…How hard can it be?? Go with the flow..and how YOU feel and think! And then I look back I my horrible mess of a life in my 20’s-40’s! It may have looked good and in control in the moment, but overall it is a story of pride and self-fulfillment, stupidity, and a kinda sadness for the girl who kept making mistake after mistake by not looking to putting Jesus first. I often say I knew Jesus was my Saviour, but I was not making him the Lord of my life. And when that is the case, you are failing. Do things go perfect when you are following after God’s own heart, no, because God has to refine us all, But I believe you will experience whole nother level of security.
    I like that someone said we Proverbs women should really poor into the young ones in our lives and church. I like that Traci said to say “in my experience..or what I have learned”
    I feel like I can honestly pour into women going through their pain with ALL my mistakes that refined me. It really helps them when they hear from someone that experienced it and the lessons learned.
    I am still kinda reeling from yesterdays’ reading and comments. But it is all summed up with the statement today in the devotion about no holiness in our path unless it is in Jesus. And
    This path in sanctification isn’t exactly glamorous!! Amen and Amen! But it sure is easier having sisters in Christ to do it with!!

  24. Laura Dianne says:

    Wow, as I read Paul’s words in these passages, I just keep thinking, “Preach it, Paul!” I wish we had pastors today who were so bold to address the CULTURE that we live in. I feel like so many dance around it so as not to offend. I appreciated the comments from yesterday. There was a lot of honesty there. This world is not easy to navigate. Especially not when Satan is whispering (actually shouting sometimes), “Did God REALLY say?” We must be on our guard. I like where Paul says, (put into my own words) something might be legal, or accepted, or even celebrated, but it doesn’t mean I, as a Christ-follower, should DO everything. I believe we, just like the Corinthian church, are confused by what culture says is good and what God says is good. Just because it is legal, or the common practice, or people are okay with it, doesn’t mean that GOD feels that way. This really is a shift in thinking and I want to continuously weigh my thoughts and actions toward a certain cultural practice with what GOD says.

    AS far as marriage is concerned…whew. I know that God blessed my marriage to my husband 38 years ago. I was young, he was young. We were Christians, we followed the Lord’s leading to the best of our ability. We did ministry together, we were missionaries, we had a family. Although we were not doing anything “blatantly” sinful, (except when my husband had an affair, but our problems started way before that) our marriage has still been rocky. It sounds like it should have been perfect. It wasn’t. Because we are sinful creatures. And we failed to put God at the center and often got off track and put ourselves there. I am thankful for my marriage, with all of it’s challenges. Because it has caused me to draw closer to God. And it does illustrate what the relationship is between the Church and God. I want to be a better wife. I want my husband to be a better husband. But, I want more and more to be a better follower of Christ. The rest will follow when I get my priorities straight.

  25. Allison Bentley says:

    Marriage is hard- a daily decision to do life with someone (just like my relationship with the Lord). I have to decide daily to put down my own wants and be obedient to God. Just like everything we have to take these relationships seriously and one day at a time!! Praying peace and love over you She’s today!! ☮️❤️

  26. Searching says:

    May we keep Christ in the center of each relationship with others, and in our minds as we interact with others.

    LEXI B – praying for your friend K’s health

    Prayed for each situation as I read through yesterday’s comments, for all to come to know the saving grace of Jesus and for guidance going forward.
    And for guidance for my own self, where am I not walking with Him?

  27. Maria Baer says:

    This is a part of Scripture that used to make me so uncomfortable when I was single but in my heart, I wanted to be married. It made me even more uncomfortable when I was engaged in college and had an abusive fiancé. And I think it is because I missed the context in which it was written— that some Corinthians were choosing to stay single and many who were married were renouncing sex and/or separating from their spouses, as a way to be pious. The topic of an abusive marriage was not the focus of 1 Corinthians 7. That being said, throughout Scripture, we see examples showing that neglect was a valid reason for a divorce, and to me, an abusive engagement (betrothal) or marriage, fits into this category.

    1. Joanna Eitel says:

      Agreed… so helpful @Maria. This passage has been sadly abused in the church. And it’s helpful to remember Paul’s (admittedly) naivety in regards to how to lead and teach married couples. But remembering why this was coming up in the first place is helpful….

  28. Erica Chiarelli says:

    ❤️❤️❤️

  29. Aimee D-R says:

    Amen. Lord bless our marriages and future generations. In Jesus name, Amen

  30. Lanie Hefferly says:

    Lots of thoughts today! I can’t help but wonder what our lives would look like if, like the early church we truly believed this was it. Jesus is coming any day. From comments yesterday, if anyone is a single gal, dating, and I believe pertains similarly to the homosexual question, I am not far removed from my single life. I lived with husband in sin prior to marriage, and my heart felt physically divided. I remember repenting and praying and hoping to move past it but I was SO divided. I couldn’t see another way. To me that was the only path to marriage which I wanted more than I wanted God. Looking back I can see that God was there in it all, but the devil had me convinced he wasn’t. After marriage things became very clear how I had made my husband a little g God. It became very clear that he couldn’t live up to that expectation, and it took a lot of self work to find out what it meant to put God first. When I had my breakthrough, my realization that only God could satisfy my needs, my marriage got so much easier, I could see clearly what I couldn’t before. I love my husband but I wouldn’t trade the relationship I have with God now for anything. It’s so rich! Hear me say, I didn’t get here bc suddenly I was married and free of sin. My heart was still full on in sin single and married. It’s just once I realized marriage isn’t what I thought it was, I was able to let go of that expectation. The pruning was excruciating, but oh man how I look back at single Lanie and wish she would have figured it out sooner. I’m so thankful for my marriage bc it has been a true sanctification process, but for the singles and LGBTQ community I KNOW if you sit down your desires that you think will fulfill you and let God fill that place it is worth it. In Paul’s words, “I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you”.

    1. Searching says:

      Amen.
      And we should live and believe that Jesus is coming any day, whether in God’s timing for the world as a whole or for us individually to have reached the total number of His days for us on earth.
      Thank you, LANIE, for your testimony!

    2. Laura Dianne says:

      I LOVE this, Lanie, thank you! You said it so well.

    3. Lynne from Alabama says:

      This is so good, LANIE! Thank you for being so transparent! ❤️

    4. Rhonda J. says:

      wow..thank you Lanie for sharing these thoughts so wonderfully! THAT concept is so huge and full of wisdom!! If only we could see things at the time, lol. But yeah, God slowly reveals things over time. We want what we want. I to, did the same thing moving in with my husband before marriage (and having sex), and I was so convicted that I shouldn’t, yet did because of my own reasons that I so skillfully). You summed it up, and I would like to share your comment with others if I may?

      1. Lanie Hefferly says:

        Yes of course!

    5. Rebecca W says:

      So good and so true! If we look to ANYTHING other than Christ to fulfill us, it will fall short.

    6. D W says:

      So good! Thank you for sharing!

  31. Sarah D. says:

    Good morning everyone <3
    Thank you for your prayers yesterday. It was a pretty hard day. I feel like I just broke up with someone, and I wish I didn’t feel that way. Honestly, I am mad at God for how he let my feelings get to this point with my “friend”, for not taking away the feelings sooner, and I am tired of praying the same thing over and over. People have told me why hasn’t someone found me yet, and it seems clear now that God is keeping me single on purpose? I know He is good and has a plan, and I need to trust his timing. But I’m just tired. Would love your continued prayers as I go about the daily routine of work today. Working with kids tends to remind you of your desire for marriage sometimes. Praying I can wrestle this out with God, so that I can somehow rejoice, even in the suffering. I didn’t realize how hard this could be.

    1. Lanie Hefferly says:

      Oh Sarah, I pray for your broken heart to be mended. I have been here. The biggest gift I had in my single season was that I wrote down how angry I was with God, I wrote down how disappointed I was, and I wrote out specifically what I needed from him. That time certainly prepared me for the next chapter of waiting and being disappointed in my miscarriage. I was able to go back and remember how I felt it would be forever, how disappointed I was, how ill fit those prior boys were for me and see Gods faithfulness. So when I walked through the season of waiting again it gave me something to hold on to. I lived off the dany goeke song that goes all your promises are just up ahead, maybe I just haven’t seen it yet!

    2. Searching says:

      Praying, SARAH, for the heartache of letting go in this situation. I can see a lot of my much younger self in your life …. in the relationships I had or wanted to have or that were in some way encouraged or that I believed to be encouraged by someone. It’s hard. The waiting, the mental transition of looking to God for guidance, the reliance on Him and of placing our trust in Him – may our faith guide and strengthen each of us in our walk with Christ, in every situation and in every relationship.

    3. Emily B. says:

      It is SO hard to be in the middle of waiting for something you really, really desire, something that is good and God-designed. I would encourage you to be just as honest with God as you were in this post. He can handle all of it—your anger, disappointment, and questioning. Pray for Him to reveal to you what He has for you RIGHT NOW, so you can find contentment in that as you wait for the desires of your heart to come to fruition. I know it’s probably not very comforting to hear that one day, you’ll look back on this season and hopefully see what God was doing with it, but it’s true. These waiting seasons can feel like they last forever, but feeling it doesn’t make it true. Don’t waste the suffering or the waiting.

    4. Laurel W says:

      Sarah–all the responses to your post are so true. If I could tell my single self anything, it would be to trust God’s timing and choice of partner (I tended to push my agenda). I would also encourage my other self to spend real time discovering and developing myself. Looking back, I see missed opportunities to pursue interests or, more importantly, strengthen core principles–especially speaking up when needed. Make the most of this time; marriage is often a challenging balance.

    5. Anna Leonor says:

      Praying for you, Sarah! Been there. It is super tough. Friendly suggestion to post-it note your fave scripture on your desk or mirror. I found it to be a peace giving and strengthening reminder of his presence throughout my day. Also, if this “friend” is not who God has for you, I like to think it’s because He’s got a better plan/person in the works for you! Hang in there!

    6. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

      Continuing to pray for you Sarah. Don’t lose heart, God is always working in ways we can not see.
      He works all things together for His glory and for our good.
      Praying that God – be it His will, brings that special someone into your life soon.
      You are loved and prayed for! ❤️

    7. AB says:

      I don’t comment much (am usually a few days behind) but so love reading everyone’s thoughts and the different perspectives and stories shared.
      Sarah (and others), I want to encourage you… I prayed after a bad breakup (age 21? 22?) that I wouldn’t fall in love until I met my husband… Thinking this would be only a year or two. After ten years, I was so frustrated and kept wondering if God was playing some kind of joke on me. Fast forward a few more and at 36, I’m a week away from my wedding to the most incredible man. We align in ways I couldn’t imagine and I truly believe this was God’s ultimate plan and blessing. As awful as some of those single years were, I (often begrudgingly) trusted that it would all work out. While this was much longer and not the path I expected, it is truly more than I could ever ask for. So… Just an encouragement to keep going, keep trusting, and enjoy your time with your friends, family and community because it just makes you a better partner when the time comes. But I do agree with the other advice here too – journal, be angry, be honest, process all the hard stuff and pray often.

    8. Traci Gendron says:

      Sarah in my 30’s I was in a relationship that became abusive. I prayed that God would remove him and the worst abuse happened that night. I all of a sudden didn’t trust God. He didn’t give me the answer I wanted. I spent 20 years wondering life on my own. I wasted so many years without God in my life. I’m telling you this because I want to let you know it can be a slippery slope to be angry at God. I don’t believe He let your feelings get carried away. We have control over that. I also believe that when you stop trying to make something happen it will. I also believe that down the road you will see clearly what you cannot see right now. God has a plan for you.

    9. Theresa says:

      Continuing to pray for you, Sarah D! I know that feeling of wanting to be married and waiting on God while watching so many around you get into relationships and get married. I’m praying that God wraps his arms around you and shows you his love in a new way today!

  32. Kelly (NEO) says:

    “Paul emphasized that there is no holy path forward in any relationship if we are continuing to live for ourselves.” Amen, Becca. Thank you.
    .
    Marriage is not for the faint of heart, even a good one.
    .
    LEXI B – praying K is doing okay.
    .
    Praying for your other requests!

    1. Searching says:

      Amen and amen, KELLY. So many challenges in choosing to live for Jesus when we are at times bombarded by a world that focuses on me, me, me. And living that out in a marriage… totally agree it’s not for the faint of heart. Guide us, Lord, to put You first, and then others.

      1. Missy Csonka says:

        Amen❣️❣️

  33. Tricia C says:

    I do appreciate how Paul points out when he was sharing what his opinion (though influenced by the Holy Spirit) was, as compared to the times he was sharing what the Lord told him to say. I never noticed that before.
    Amazing the things we learn when we revisit scripture time and again. It never gets old.
    Have a good Tuesday, dear Sisters. <3

    1. Sydney Smith says:

      I noticed that this time also Tricia!! I had never noted it before when it’s the Lord’s words versus Paul’s opinion. Gives even more context to some of these scriptures!

  34. Tina says:

    This is a hard one!

    I had my daughter when I was 17.I was married at 18, and I left him at 19, finally divorced at 21!
    What a rollercoaster of a life for a teenager!
    I now have a fear of marriage. I have always believed that as soon as the ring went on the finger, I became his property, and so the hitting, beating, the abuse and trips to the hospital began.
    I remember going to My mum one day asking for shelter with my child.. Her words, I remember them as I write, give me chills
    “You made your bed, you lie in it”.
    Seriously, I may need therapy, as I have been so traumatised by my early experiences in marriage!
    Funny thing is, I long for someone to do life with.. Someone who will see me as a person who deserves kindness, grace, love, forgiveness and understanding.. BUT I am fearful..

    I always get upset and disgruntled when we do studies in marriage and our roles in it! As a child bride, I was scarred, and I am reminded of the awfulness of it all.
    Reading the chapter on dos and dont’s on marriage, has me sad and mad.
    Was Paul married? Was he ‘advicing’ from experience? Or are these just words from a man’s perspective?
    I understand, as a Christian and follower of Jesus, that life must be lived as the the Lord God calls us to, and to love one another as He has and continues to do with us! I get that! BUT when you have suffered at the hands of another, that was supposed to honour you, treasure you, respect you, love you, your mind and understanding of marriage becomes warped..

    BUT GOD..
    He has brought me thus far, cared for me thus far and kept me from harm by another hand thus far.. I am content with that for now. I will continue to look to Him, who my best interest at heart and who calls me His own.. I will take that, and give praise to Him, thankful for the peace of heart as I am, and the forever love we share.. He is good always, and in His time, God, will bring me together with one who will cherish me, and I him, for the person I am, warts and all!

    AMEN.

    Happy Tuesday, my loves! ❤

    Might I ask for prayer, that the thoughts and memories of those awful days, not linger in my mind.. And for the joy of the Lord to replace them.. Thank you, dear hearts.❤

    1. Tricia C says:

      I’m praying for you right now, Tina. May you know the comfort of the Lord’s loving arms around you.

    2. Sally B. says:

      Oh my Dear Tina! None of those horrible things you went through from 17 to 21 were anything God would call marriage! The husband is to love and cherish his wife as Christ loved and cherished the church – not abuse and hurt her. I am so very sorry for what you went through, and I will absolutely be praying that God will bring healing to your wounds and remind you of His tender love and care for you.

    3. Cat-tee says:

      Praying for you Tina. Wishing you peace and the comfort of God’s love ❤️

    4. Kelly (NEO) says:

      Tina, thank you for showing us your “scars”
      Praying the Lord continues to heal your heart and mind

    5. Jennifer Fritz says:

      Prayers for peace and love to you dear Tina ❤️

    6. Shannon L says:

      Praying for you so dearly, sweet Tina. You certainly didn’t deserve that treatment nor your mothers response. I pray that Gods plan leads you to the love you deserve, everyday without question. ❤️

    7. Searching says:

      TINA, my sweet sister ❤️ Your testimonies always move me, and this one broke my heart as I read what you went through. I am so thankful that we are sisters in Christ and belong to Him! Praying for your mind to be free from any pain of remembrance, to be filled with all things God and good if those memories try to resurface and lure you into revisiting the pain of those days. May we both keep our eyes on Jesus.

    8. Pam Fite says:

      Praying for you Tina, for those thoughts of the past to not come to mind and for His peace to be yours instead. Also praying for a special friend who is your equal.

    9. Allison Bentley says:

      Tina thank you for sharing! As Sally B mentioned this was not a union God would call marriage but perhaps today someone will hear your testimony and leave a situation that is not of God!!! Praying for your healing and peace!

    10. Lynne from Alabama says:

      Precious Tina, your story broke my heart! You are so precious and to think of you and the hurt you experienced makes me hurt for you! Praying that God will flood your heart with his peace every time those painful memories surface and that a Christ-filled man will come into your life and love you as Christ loved the church! ❤️

    11. Cheryl Blow says:

      Praying for you Tina! That God will heal the memory and give you peace and comfort!! And fill you with joy today!

    12. Erin Pieratt says:

      Oh Tina. You are deeply loved and cherished by all of us Shes. Have you ever heard of Mending the Soul? They provide resources and train facilitators to lead small groups for Christ centered healing from trauma and abuse. Hugs and prayers!

    13. Adrienne says:

      Oh, sweet Tina… I am so sorry for the hurt you endured and the memories that you deal with. But God… He knows and sees and loves you so. very. much. Your sisters here do as well… you are in our prayers often, I know.

    14. Cee Gee says:

      TINA, bless you for sharing a bit of your painful experience! I pray that your heart and mind will stay fixed on the JOY (golden joy) and HOPE of your relationship with Jesus rather than the hurt and harm of your past experience. Live you and sending hugs, sister! ❤

    15. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

      Dearest Tina, I am so sorry for what you encountered in your marriage. As others have mentioned – that is not the way God intended it to be.
      Paul was writing from his heart, that which the Holy Spirit laid on it. He was penning this words from the mouth of God, as all scripture is given by God.
      Marriage is to be holy, a man and a woman loving each other and serving each other. Each putting the others needs before their own.
      My husband and I do pre-marital counseling using materials written by Tim Keller and his wife. One thing that is stressed through out this study is that the husband is to help the wife to become more like Christ – through his love and actions toward her, and she is to do the same.
      When each partner lives their intended, God given roles – it is like a dance in perfect synchrony and a beautiful thing.

      Praying that God gives you healing in this area, and that Satan will not use unpleasant thoughts and memories to blur your vision of God’s perfect design.

      You are loved and prayed for. ❤️

    16. Mercy says:

      I am so sorry Tina. Thank you for sharing your struggles. Praying for those memories be erased in your memory bank. And the pain of mom’s cold words, i also struggled with my mom’s harsh words and abandonment in moments I needed her compassion. But GOD… But God right Tina! Hugs and prayers to you.

    17. Traci Gendron says:

      Praying sweet Tina. That was not love that your husband showed to you. As far as making your bed, you can change the sheets. I pray that those memories will not be stored in your mind. I know how painful that can be. XO

      1. Missy Csonka says:

        ❣️❣️

    18. Tami says:

      I’m praying for you Tina. Thank you for always sharing your heart and for modeling what true faith is for all of us. No woman deserves to go through what you did. I pray that you will be able to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ today.

    19. Gwineth52 says:

      Sister She, Tina
      These words from Romans 12:2 came to me after I read your comments. Caps for emphasis.
      …”be transformed by the RENEWING of your mind, so that you may PROVE what the WILL OF GOD is, that which is good & acceptable & PERFECT”. (NASB 1995)
      I pray you would lean into this scripture.
      Forgetting what lies behind,
      with the strength He provides.
      Pressing forward,
      with the strength He provides.
      Living faithfully,
      With the strength He provides.
      Amen & Amen

    20. Donna Wolcott says:

      Tina, sorry for what you experienced. I don’t believe Paul was ever married and in my opinion I don’t think he thought much about women.