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  • Becky Ziegenfuss

Day 12: Our Relationship Roadmap

Updated: Jan 11

“And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21

Every year, I spend time with young adults walking through a current book on relationships and dating. We dig into the stuff (and I mean all the stuff) that comes with two people getting to know one another and eventually falling in love. I love to hear their thoughts, dreams, struggles and frustrations with the whole process. We share life experiences and lessons with the hope that they can find the healthiest person who will eventually love them with the most amazing, Hallmark movie kind of love.

However, we live in a day and age where the emphasis on healthy relationships and healthy marriages has dissolved into a culture of hook-ups, casual commitment, and the hope (but not determination) that two people might actually last forever. What has brought us to where we are?

There have been books written on the impact of social media, the danger of instant gratification, the ease of access to porn, and the addiction to variety, all of which have a direct correlation to the impact on the marriage union today.

What I love about God’s word is that it never changes and has something to say about everything we encounter. Jesus has a lot to say about our relationships. Marriage is an earthly representation of Jesus’ relationship with His church– that’s us!

Ephesians 5:21-33 gives us a beautiful picture of God’s design for us as we pursue a lifelong partner. It’s pretty radical by culture’s standards: a wife is to submit to her husband (as she does to Jesus), a husband is to lead and love his wife (as Christ leads and loves his church), a wife is to respect her husband and a husband is to be willing to lay down his life for his wife. Really? This is the blueprint? This certainly shakes things up.

But, God’s Word is a perfect roadmap. We believe it, and so we trust it. What if, for the single guy and girl, you only pursued someone whose life is centered on Jesus, who chooses sacrifice over self, holiness over impurity, and righteousness over the world? How would that shape your future marriage? How much time and emotion would you save for the right one? How much more prepared would you be for forever?

For those who are in it, those whose “I do’s” were years ago, what if starting today you could look for the most selfless ways to love your spouse, the most generous explanations for weaknesses and faults, and the most gracious opportunities to shower love and respect on the one God brought to you? How would things shift? Imagine the peace that would fill our homes, the security our kids would experience, the legacy we would leave behind for the next generations.

I realize that many of you are in a hard, seemingly impossible season or circumstance, but God promises us that with Him, all things are possible. He is in the business of turning ash into beauty, making the broken brand new, and redeeming what was destroyed.

One of my favorite passages in Scripture is Joel 2:25-26 "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you.”

That is a promise. God is for you. He is definitely for your marriage. Invite Him today to do something amazing in your relationship. He’s the Healer, He’s the Hope-Giver, He’s the Miracle-Worker.

Pray with me:

For the married couple: Jesus, I want your BEST for my relationship, my marriage.  For the times that I’ve been selfish, forgive me.  Give me the heart of yours for my spouse.  Show me ways today where I can be selfless, respectful, and loving.  Give me a desire to sacrifice my wants for the desires of my spouse. Thank you for the gift of marriage.  Help me to steward it well.  Fill our home with a love, joy, and peace that is supernatural and directly from You. Amen

For the single person: Jesus, help me to be patient.  Remind me of the truth of who I am in You and the discipline to wait on You.  I don’t want to settle.  This is the most important earthy relationship I can have.  Help me to be rooted in You as I pursue Your person for me. Bring me someone whose life is fully surrendered and centered on You and Your ways, someone who will love me as You do and will run after You with the same desire and intensity as I do.  Amen


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