The other day I sat enamored at an amazing sunset begging me to remember a prayer once prayed over my husband and me. It was like a love letter from the Lord. Though no words flashed across the sky, there was clearly a message in this beauty.
My mind was drawn back many years. Seventeen years ago, December 5, 1992, a young couple stood at the altar having no clue what the vows they nervously repeated meant.
"To have and to hold from this day forward"… it was just what the pastor said so they repeated it back in a clueless kind of way.
They felt in love. A giddy kind of electric current drew them together. They liked what they got from each other. It just felt right.
Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and talk to my younger self who was dawning a veil about to prance down the aisle. I would caution that bride girl that you don't feel your way into real love.
You choose your way into real love. I would tell her to look at the verses of 1 Corinthians 13 and not see it as a wish list of how she felt entitled to be treated by her groom. Rather, see it is a list of choices they each must make.
Instead of reading it, "Your love should be kind and patient and not keep a record of wrongs."
I would tell her they must make the choice instead to say… "We are making the decision that our love will be kind. We will work toward making our love patient. And we will choose not to keep a record of wrongs."
I would tell her to especially listen to the words of the prayer that Art's Dad prayed over us during the ceremony. In one part of the prayer Mr. TerKeurst said, "And then when the sun is setting and the years have gone by, may this couple be found then as now standing together, still hand in hand, still thanking God for each other."
Something about that sunset the other night brought all this to my mind and made my breath catch in my throat. For I suddenly remembered that wedding day prayer and I must admit I felt convicted.
Somehow in the craziness of life's schedule, I couldn't remember the last time we just took time to hold hands and talk about us. Not our teenager's choices, or the broken down car, or why there were so many weeds last summer, or how did your meeting go today, or did you return that video back to the store… not that kind of conversation. No, I mean the kind of conversation that seems harder and harder to find time for in the midst of life.
The kind of conversation that we are overdue for is the kind we’ll remember, treasure, and hold on to. For another day will surely come where these conversations will be the sweetest of all our memories. The day when the sun sets on our lives and one of us will lay the other in the arms of Jesus…may it be that we laughed and talked and freely forgave and never stopped holding hands.
If you happen to be in a tough spot with your marriage, I’d love to pray for you. Art and I have walked through some deep valleys and would consider it an honor to ask the Lord to help give you wisdom and courage during this time. Feel free to post anonymously if need be.
Or if you're not married yet, I'd love to pray for your hopes and dreams for the future.
And if you and your husband have found some creative communication ideas that work for you, please share. I’d love to hear how you and your husband intentionally create the love story you long to live.
Lysa is the author of 13 books including her best selling set for husbands and wives called,Leave a Comment
Thank you so much for this post. Isn’t it amazing what we thought we knew about marriage on that wonderful day, and now wishing we had the knowledge and wisdom we have grown into back then. Not so many dumb mistakes on my part, I know that! Husbands are such a wonderful gift from God and they are just want we need! God is great! Have a blessed week.
Wow. I’m here asking for prayer for my marriage. It is in trouble. 13 years of marriage took a hard hit last summer when my husband made some bad decisions while reconnecting with some old female friends from his high school days. I keep wondering how did we get here? Life is hard, and when your marriage is in trouble it hurts. I need to know someone else has been here and is ok. I need to know I will make it. I need to know how God looks at this situation. Prayers are welcome.
Tonggu Momma says
Beautifully written and oh-so true. One thing the husband and I did this year is to create a shared bucket list. I know that sounds morbid, but the list of shared goals (some silly, some serious, some just down-right fun) has brought us closer together and forced us to be more intentional. (Oh, and our wedding anniversary is December 5th, too.)
A beautiful post and reminder to me that love is a verb and choices I make in obedience to God. I ask for your prayers in my marriage, it is spiritually unequal and difficult. We have been married almost 20 years and I ask myself is it worth it? I just need the reminder that God’s love is enough for me.
Thank you for sharing
I was unfaithful to my husband of 6.5 years and recently told him. We are now trying hard with all that we have to restore our marriage. If you could keep us in your prayers, I would greatly appreciate it.
Gma K says
My husband and I are going through a tough time after 36 years of marriage. Work, family issues, and disappointments are contributing to his deep depression and he doesn’t seem able to pull himself up. I have tried everything, but he won’t go for help or accept what this is doing to our marriage. I would appreciate prayers as God is sorely needed!
Single girl turning 30 on Saturday here needing prayers. The birthday is often difficult being just before Valentine’s Day but this year it feels…like it’s looming in a bad way. I’m struggling to trust that it will work out for me someday (sooner rather than later).
I almost didn’t click over to read the whole post for fear that I’d feel worse after reading yet another marriage post but I just need to remember that even on the other side times can be difficult as well.
What a beautiful post, Lysa. I am single & continue to struggle with it, because I would really like a husband to walk through life with. Thank you for offering to pray for us. My heart is hurting & I very much appreciate your prayers.
appreciate the post and the prayers. 7 kids after that long-ago wedding day, a corporate merger, financial woes, coming up on 3 in college and 2 not even in preschool, home schooling…..and the rest…..
we seem to have lost ‘us’. It’s not hostile. It’s more ‘lists and logistics’. Both of us missing the hand-holding days but just so tired.
Thank you for this article today. Very appropriate because I feel faith is disapeaing fast for this marriage of less than 2 years.
PLEASE pray that God will convict both our hearts that is is our combined responsibility to work on this marriage or it will not make it.
ET @ Titus2:3-5 says
Please pray for my friends, Sheri and Ross, who have struggled and felt broken and distant for many years. To quote Sheri’s email to me yesterday, “I won’t lie about it, our marriage definitely needs prayer. We are so completely different in our views about very important issues (ie. children and their upbringing) that it just doesn’t seem possible that our marriage will survive. It won’t without God’s help, that is certain.” They have two girls, a boy, and are expecting baby #4 next month.
Me too says
Please PLEASE pray for me. I’m a single girl, mid-40’s and God has placed the most wonderful man in my life. Here’s the problem – I am a PRO when it comes to sabotaging relationships. I’ve done it my whole life and I feel powerless to stop the cycle. It’s a fear of commitment, fear of rejection, fear of hurt and it has effectively ruined many relationships. I don’t want this to continue and for the first time, I’m actively seeking help for it. Thank you.
Thank you for this post, and for your offer of prayer for my family and others. My husband and I combined families two years ago, and it’s been difficult, and at times cruel, from the start. We’ve had nothing but protests and problems from the two oldest, who are adults in their twenties. Because of the issues with his children, my husband wants to keep the families separate, and therefore it’s separating us. My husband wants to be a part of both worlds, but I am not allowed to be a part of his. I am sure you can imagine the problems that surround us. I am set to move within the next few months, and unless a miracle happens within our family, my plans will not be altered. My health was bad when we married, and it has only continued to deteriorate. The constant stress just makes me feel worse. Your prayers are appreciated and needed so very much. Thank you.
Please pray for my marriage. We have been married about 3 1/2 years and it has been a nearly-constant battle. I struggle with anger and say very hurtful, sharp things to him. Please pray that I would control my anger and choose to love him, when I don’t feel loved. We have two children and I desperately want them to grow up with two parents who love each other.
So thankful that you added in the part for us single ladies–especially this week! I would love for some prayer for my future hopes and dreams 🙂
Please pray for me as my entire life seems like a cycle of broken relationships for one reason or another. Now I look at love bitterly and believe that marriage can never happen for me or never be happy. I still have a strong desire to someday have a family I just don’t see how it can ever happen for me. To me, everyone who says they love me will leave me eventually.
Thank you, for this post and your prayers. My ex-husband and I are reconciling (which you would think would be a good thing – and it is); however, my family is not very accepting of him or our decision. I was not perfect in our marriage but it was some very bad and dangerous decisions on his part that led to our divorce. When it comes to family gatherings, I have to not attend or subject us all to my family’s lack of acceptance.
To Valerie: I have been where you are. It is one of the reasons we got divorced. In fact, my biggest hangup right now is the trust issue where it comes to women. However, it is getting better. Prayer and conversations really help. It’s very important for both of us to re-establish trust as he works with a few females – absolutely unavoidable. So you are definitely not alone. I will say a prayer for you today.
my first anonymous post says
please pray for my fiance and i. we are 10 weeks from marriage and we had a nightmarish conversation last night that seemed unreal this morning. both having been married before aged 27 and 32, we are already bound in our commitment to each other, but are in desparate need of prayer. we have sought out guidance from our pastors and are looking for a group of young men and women our age in Christ who are able to relate to us and seek a fellowship in Him that would be helpful to ourselves and each other…please lift us both in your prayer.
Beverly Rohm says
Please pray for my marriage. My husband has decided that we need a divorce. He doesn’t love me anymore. We will be married 23 years this year. I need miracle.
Thank you so much.
What a beautiful reminder that I needed. My dear hubby and I have had some bumps this past year and this weekend was a bump of harsh words and arguing Something we do not do often. Please pray I will be more wise in my words and love my husband for who he is and not try to change him into who I want him to be.
please pray for my husband and i. We have been married 10 years and at times it seems like we can not connect the way we need to, we need prayer
I just got out a relationship from a man I thought I was going to marry! Nothing was official and I am so thankful my Dad had the worship to ask him to wait to propose. Right now I can’t bring myself to dream the dream of marriage or anything else again, it hurts so bad. I know God inspired me to make the right decision but it’s still so hard. Thanks for your inspiring blogs and prayers!
Oh, Father God, I have read these stories, parts I have lived. My heart is breaking for these precious women that I don’t know but yet do and I am asking You to help them. I am asking You to tend to them; to send help with skin on it to each one; comfort and hold them and send them godly counselors and give them courage to trust and courage to lean so very hard on You.Somehow don’t let one precious woman not KNOW that You are able to work the miracle she needs. And, ABBA, those men are just as dear to You; their sins against You and their wives have not changed Your love for them; please make sure they know that; make sure they know You in them can overcome and they can be whole. Make sure each one knows they in You can be whole; that they can repent and be holy before You. That You can do the impossible and You are more willing to do it than any of us have ever been to receive it. Thank You for letting me pray and thank You for answering in Jesus Name. Amen and amen.
Beautiful! Please pray for my marriage. We are separated by a military deployment right now, what a strain. Thank you!
Staying Strong... says
Your words are always moving and greatly appreciated! Since you’re offering to pray… my husband and I are working through the “in sickness and in health” portion of our vows, as my husband’s back has recently been injured and has left me with all of the physical responsibilities of caring for a home and a family with very small children. My husband is an incredible man and I love him to no end, but I could never have anticipated the strain poor health can have on a marriage. Your prayers would be forever appreciated! Thank you for your thoughtful post!
Michelle Love says
Lysa, “The Best Is Yet To Come”…that seems to be one of my quotes to live by…because I know that God has a plan for my life and for my marriage, as I seek Him and His ways. I’ve been married for 32 years. My husband is an unbeliever…and God has been faithful to lead & guide me as my desire is to be obedient to the Lord and trust in Him alone. My husband can’t possibly meet all my needs, but God promised that He will never leave me nor forsake me. We’ve had some rough roads to walk in our marriage…and I can honestly say that I’m so glad we stuck it out during the hard times….now I am beginning to have a new perspective on our marriage and God is showing me how to love…unconditionally. Life is tough, but God is faithful…and His promises are true…as we wait upon Him. One thing we have done for the past 9+ years is a weekly “date night” every Tuesday! We both look forward to our Tuesday together…sometimes we go to our favorite Mexican restaurant, or to the beach for a picnic in the summer time…or out to a movie…whatever we do, it’s just fun to be out on a date together….and we hold hands all the time! Life is so short….we need to cherish each moment, because we never know when it might be our last day.
I feel like we may be on the upswing. But you know how satan doesn’t want you to feel that way. he wants you to feel like trouble is just around the corner. Your prayers would be amazing. thank you.
Dear Lisa ~ I rejoice that you have such a wonderful marriage. And your insights are beautiful. But my marriage is ending, and I would so much appreciate your prayers for my children and myself. Please pray for us as we deal with my husband’s leaving me. Two blocks away from us, he is living with his mother, who has never approved of our Christian, home schooling life-style, and who has always been overly-protective of her only son. Despite the separation of three months, my husband is still trying to control our lives, including limiting the money we have available to live on. He has come by the house numerous times and there have been altercations, even one where the police had to be summoned. He has also filed papers for custody rights of the two younger children (13 and 16), who want to stay with me. (Our oldest son is 19 and lives here at home as he attends the local community college.) I am under such daily stress dealing with such varied emotions: rejection, disbelief, fear, anger. I beg your prayers and thank the Lord for your kindness. May you all be blessed abundantly.
Please pray for my boyfriend and me. I was on a ride headed to engagement and my boyfriend betrayed my trust. I don’t know how I can ever trust him again. And if I can’t trust him, how can I build a life with him? He wants so badly to mend the situation, but my heart hurts so badly that I can’t see past the pain. I’ve been praying for direction and whether I should continue the relationship. I really need God to show me the way. I do not want to make a decision that disappoints Him. Thank you for your prayers.
Thanks for the words of wisdom. I am prayerfully considering what God would have me do in my relationship of 3 years (this weekend is our anniversary) with my boyfriend. He has been patiently waiting on me. I am trying to move forward but get stuck by fears and expectations and hurts(I was sexually assaulted my freshman year of college by a boyfriend). I’ve tried counseling but really need God to give me the clarity, freedom, strength, and peace I need to move forward. Lots of other things on my plate to, with my parents marriage in a bad place suddenly, a condo that won’t sell after almost a year in a city i no longer live in, work stress, health concerns…Please pray for me. I need God to move powerfully.
in the trenches, too says
Hi Lysa & fellow God Girls! Oh, how sweetly I remember that day…
We have been through awful struggles, though, and many things have helped to cement us more and more closely to one another, chief among them being God’s grace. Here is one practical way we’ve stayed connected: Date Night (I know – everyone says that). But how do we make it happen when money is tight?
Ladies, we can’t afford a babysitter, either! Trust me – we can barely afford to eat. But we’ve come to rely on people from church. We are blessed with a small group that is like family, but we’ve also learned that there are many older women at church with grown children of their own who are just itching to help us younger moms.
Call up the person at your church who is in charge of women’s ministries/children’s minsitries and explain your need for some help. There just might be a woman or couple who would love to serve you by coming to your house and giving you stress-free, worry-free, expense-free childcare so that your marriage can be a priority. There might also be another couple with kids at home who would be interested in trading services.
There ARE ways. It just takes a bit of effort for an invaluable payoff.
Lysa, I have read your blog for the last six months and it always makes me laugh, cry, and/or pray. Today was the crying day. My husband of 8 years informed me a week ago that he is depressed and the only solution is a divorce. We are currently separated and are sharing custody of our 3 year-old daughter, the miracle child that we prayed years for. Our marriage has been through the fire and God always spoke to me of His power to redeem it. I trust God completely for every breath and know that He is faithful to fulfill every promise and uphold the covenant we made before Him, even if my husband does not. Right now I need strength to put one foot in front of the other and follow God where He leads, not where the road is easy. Thanks
Thank you so much for offering to pray for us.
My husband and I have had a extremely hard year. I discovered over te summer that he was talking to another woman he meet over facebook. Although he claims nothing ever happened, my trust for him is gone.
Right after that news, I wad delivered the news of being laid off from my job of 5 years and I’m still unemployed today. AND my hysband’s business crumbled right after I was laid off. We have been living off savings that is running out quickly. We only have enough to cover the rest of this month. We have two little boys (ages 9 & 11).
Again, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to pray for us.
Trying not to lose hope,
I have to post on here. Last night my husband and I had a talk that was a long time coming. We are both completely different from each other. We basically just exist in our house together. He told me that he wasn’t happy and had not been for the past 3 years, but couldn’t bring himself to tell for fear of hurting me. He said that there is nothing wrong with who each of us is, but that we are just completely different. That getting married at 20 was way too young and that maybe we weren’t supposed to get married in the first place. We have been married for 6 years now, and even though I do agree that we are both unhappy and that we are completely different, that maybe things can still work between us. I don’t want us to live our lives miserable, so I just hope there is a way for us to stay married and be happy at the same time. My heart is broken. Thanks for your prayers.
rene Jantzi says
What a lovely and true post!
Our marriage will be 40 years long on Feb. 14. It has had its mountains and valleys, however, a dream of my husband when he was a teen-ager and the covenant we made before God and family and friends on that date long ago have kept us together. The hand holding has only gotten better in spite of it all. I stand in the gap with you for prayer for all of us! Thanks.
Marriage and children are my heart’s desire. Thank you for joining me in asking the Lord to provide.
Mary @ Passionate Perseverance says
Thank you for these beautiful words. I needed to read them today. Blessings and Grace to you…
Just Heather says
Thank you. This is so beautiful. And, something I desperately needed. Any prayers you’d like to offer our way will certainly be felt, and appreciated.