No one stands before the preacher on their wedding day and says, “I wonder how we can get a divorce?” But as time rolls along, little things creep in and marriages begin to crumble. How my heart breaks when I hear of couples having marital problems that have reached the point of separation and/or divorce. In view of the rich blessing of marriage which God created and said, It is not good for a man to be alone (Genesis 2:18), I want to help all of our marriages this week. Therefore, I will be sharing some very practical thoughts that can divorce-proof your marriage if you will put them to practice on a daily basis. A good marriage is the product of daily work and the grace of God. Remember, with God, all things are possible!
So, how can you make sure your marriage ends in divorce . . .
- Do not pray together.
Jesus Christ’s work on the cross opened up the Holy Place for us to come boldly to the Throne of Grace (Matthew 27:50-51; Hebrews 4:14-16). There we meet with our God through Jesus Christ in a most intimate way (Matthew 11:28-30; John 15:1-7). Since our marriages are a picture of Christ’s relationship with the Church for which He died and rose again, then intimacy with Christ and our mate should be found in our prayer relationships.
Consider what happens when a husband and wife pray together:
- You get honest with God and with each other.
- You cannot be mad at each other and pray at the same time.
- You both come to know the heart of God and the heartbeat of each other.
- You both share your burdens, heartaches, and sorrows with Christ.
- You both share in answers to prayer that bring rejoicing.
- You learn much about each when you pray together.
- You develop a rich intimacy before God and with one another.
- You will grow closer to God and to each other.
- There’s something special about hearing each other’s name called out in prayer.
Here’s the testimony of one couple who have reaped the joys of praying together. This is taken from the book When Couples Pray Together. It is sadly out of print now.
“I have yearned for a marriage with spiritual intimacy. And praying together has enabled us to experience an incredible sense of intimacy. When we pray, I feel an indescribable tenderness toward my husband, and have been so blessed by his openness, honesty and generosity of spirit which he demonstrates in his prayers. I’ve often thought about how a couple can manage to be completely physically intimate with each other, and yet finding praying together to be so so hard.”
So how do you get started?
- Find a suitable, mutually agreed upon time. This may be after meal time, before you go to bed, or first thing in the morning. If you don’t commit to a time for prayer, you will never find time to pray. (My wife and I hold hands and pray together before we go to sleep.)
- At first, be brief in your prayer time. You don’t have to pray long, drawn out prayers.
- Talk to God just like you talk to anyone else. Don’t get caught up in all the prayer phrases and cliques.
- Go back-and-forth: Perhaps you praise the Lord for one thing and then your spouse praises God for one thing. Then you thank the Lord for one thing, and then your spouse thanks the Lord for one thing. Then you ask the Lord for one thing, and then your spouse asks the Lord for one thing, etc.
I close with a telling statistic: Of couples that pray together daily, less than 1% of them have a chance of ever experiencing divorce (Gallup Poll by the National Association of Marriage Enhancement, 1997).
James 5:16 Pray one for another.