North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    Most people should get married, unless they’re truly called to the single life. It was not good for Adam to be alone, so God made Eve to be his wife (Genesis 2:18-25). It may not be good for you to be alone. A personal longing for connectedness is one of God’s ways of motivating you to take that leap into a full commitment to another human being. In marriage, many of us grow in our understanding and experience of love, sacrifice, and honesty. God often refines us in powerful and painful ways through marriage.    We need not panic if we haven’t found a mate. A desperate man usually doesn’t attract a healthy woman. An insecure woman typically doesn’t attract a healthy man. It takes prayer and patience to make the discovery. Like everything else in life, it’s not all up to us to find a “true love”. God wants you to invite Him into the process.

    If you’re already married, then you have the privilege of investing in the most intimate relationship you can have on earth. When the storms of life hit, hold on to each other and to God. God is the navigator through the storms of life and many couples fail to allow God to grace them with forgiveness, love, and understanding. Marriage is a great gift from God. It’s incredibly challenging, especially with children, but the best things in life usually are.

    Relationships, even the best ones, tend to change with time. When a relationship is working, these changes are absorbed, adapted to and taken in stride. As a husband and wife age together, they can master the challenges of working, running a household, and raising good children. Changes can derail any relationship if communication is not practiced and stress is not managed. Hot passion can cool off, habits can start to annoy, money troubles can cause worry and as the stresses continue to stack up, the marriage bonds can start to unravel.

    If you find yourself arguing daily with your spouse and if you start keeping score of who wins the fights and if your love turns to resentment, then you need help. Many relationships have been saved by marriage counseling. A neutral, caring voice of a chaplain, pastor, or counselor can help a hurting couple put things back together. The actual agreement to see a counselor is often resisted by one or the other or when they do agree to see a counselor and the advice given isn’t practical. If you genuinely care about saving your relationship, both of you must first agree there’s a problem and let it be stated out loud. Then pray together and place your relationship in God’s hands. In your personal prayer time don’t ask God to change the other person, but ask Him to change you both, and to show how each of you are damaging your relationship.

    In some cases, more common than it should be, some couples will never be able to live together in peace or move beyond a past hurt. Some get married for the wrong reasons in the first place. These marriages are part of the sad statistics of frequent divorce. If you realize you’ve made a mistake, its not too late to consider God and do your part to save it. If it doesn’t work, its better to move on than to live a lifetime of unhappiness, resentment, and despair when you’ve exhausted all options.

    All marriages face difficulties. The difference between success and failure is not to be found in the absence of difficulties, but rather in the dedication of both husband and wife to work together continuously to achieve success and to fulfill God’s plan for their lives.

    The key to saving a marriage is learning the art of sacrificial love. This kind of love places the other’s needs above his or her own. You mustn’t be a door mat or freely receive abusive behavior. Mutually respectful love can be attained because God will give it to you if you pray and ask for it (Matthew 21:22). When you get it, hang on to it with all your strength. If you do, you will discover the kind of durable, marvelous, rewarding, and nurturing relationship you were missing. A dream marriage doesn’t happen when the perfect couple comes together. A great marriage is when two flawed people learn to appreciate the differences, give daily encouragement and value one another’s strength.

    Find a church where the people there study God’s Word, pray, and forgives one another so that emotional and spiritual healing can take place.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a Public Health Services Manager for the State of Florida, former U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York, Florida community. His “Living With Purpose” Book series can be found and purchased on www. You can contact him by email:

Posted by on Sep 27 2020. Filed under Church News, Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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