Trusting God While Getting Married

Remembering back to my teenage years, my parents would occasionally comment, “Michelle, God is the only thing that can satisfy you. Nothing else can provide that for you…including your future husband. He will never be able to make you happy.” (Perhaps they knew me rather well) And to be honest with you, I thought I had a handle on that basic truth. But as the reality of marriage approached and played out, those beliefs were refined and came to life! They settled themselves into me in such a real way that I wonder if I had really believed them before.

During our engagement, I was incredibly fearful, and not because George was untrustworthy, but more because I was feeding my fearful thoughts and putting my hope in the wrong things. I have known several unhappy married couples and wanted to do everything I could in order to not end up like them. I was afraid that George and I would gradually slide into the same patterns of resentment and neglect and wanted some kind of guarantee that this would never happen. I could not think of a worse lot in life than to be married to a man who gave up on loving me! But instead of seeking wisdom from the Lord, I was looking for affirmation from people around me that George would make me happy. I wanted someone -- anyone -- to say the magic words that would make me confident as I entered into marriage.  

I teeter-tottered back and forth from short-lived confidence to godless fears until the Lord began to show me that no one could make my decision for me. If I was going to enter the covenant of marriage which God designed, I would have to be all-in before the Lord. This was solely a decision between me and God. And once I put my trust in the Lord, that He would provide for our marriage (not that we would not have rough seasons…we are sinners, after all!) and use it to sanctify both of us and glorify Himself, then I was really ready to commit to my husband, for better and for worse, whatever that “worse” might turn out to be.

But this lesson continued through the honeymoon, the first anniversary, and even last week. Through each marital conflict, the Lord is my hope. Through each disappointment, the Lord is my strength. Through each trial, when the Lord roots out the idols from my heart, He is my portion forever! And I am happier now than I have ever been. It’s not because I am married (although George is my best friend and my favorite gift from the Lord), but because God has reeled me in closer and taught me to trust in Him as Jeremiah 17:5-10 says, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man…[he] will live in stony wastes in the wilderness…Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD. He will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes…” I know a Heavenly Father who takes great care of me and loves me. It truly is sweet to trust in Jesus.

So, where do you bet your happiness? I placed mine on George (which is an awful burden for him to bear) and it caused me to live in fear that he would make my life unhappy.  Whether you struggle with a simmering level of discontentment as you dream about your future marriage or you are full of apprehensions, fearful that marriage is not all that it’s cracked up to be, perhaps you are trading in a rich, peaceful, and satisfying relationship with the Lord for an imperfect reflection of Him that will never be able to satisfy. Instead, seek to value God more than anyone. Place your trust in the Lord because He (and only He) is worthy.

Michelle Terry