A young mom recently asked me if there was anything I’d do differently if I were just starting out in my marriage. She wanted to build a lasting foundation and was looking for practical tips. I loved her heart. Thinking back over forty years of marriage, I responded that I’d be even more intentional about abiding in Christ. I’ve come to believe that abiding—or nurturing a daily connection with the Lord—is the secret to lasting strength in marriage.
Her question reminded me of a comment my husband David once made. “I really like it that you’re not needy,” he confided. “I can tell you’re not looking to me for your identity. Because of your relationship with the Lord, you come to our marriage with a full cup. I know you’re not going to drain me dry,” he smiled. I’m somewhat surprised that his comment sticks out in my mind all these years later.
I’ve thought further about what he said, because here’s the thing. David knows my weaknesses better than anyone. He has walked me through more fears and more tears than I can count. And yet, he still considers me strong. Perhaps he sees strength in me that I don’t even see in myself. The strength that comes from my relationship with Jesus.
Abiding in Christ is not some magic pill you swallow and then, “Bam, you’re in!” No, it’s a daily process carved out bit by bit. One foot in front of the other. Even on days I don’t feel like it. Especially on days when I don’t feel like it.
So in a sense, the call to be a strong helper, an ezer, in my marriage is a call to a daily walk with Christ. It’s saying yes when Jesus calls to me to follow Him. And yes to abiding.
*from Eight Great Ways to Honor Your Husband, Marilynn Chadwick, Harvest House.