For the better part of twenty years, I sat under one of the most respected theologians of our time, the late Dr. D. James Kennedy at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. The things that God accomplished through him were amazing. He reached the four corners of the earth with the Gospel through Evangelism Explosion. He spoke God’s truth through his weekly television ministry. He authored dozens of books. He will be remembered as one of the greats among church greats.
So, you can imagine I was surprised by the following revelation that my pastor shared. Years ago, Dr. Kennedy was mentoring a group of young pastors. One of the young pastors asked “What is the most important thing a pastor can do to have a successful ministry? While you would expect a top ten list of important factors for pastors, he simply said:
Two words … eight letters … that ironically change everything in how we govern ourselves in our post-modern disposable society.
Dr. Kennedy went on to stay that if you stick anything out for forty years, you are eventually bound to get it right.
Until Death Do You Part
From the altar, your view of life is looking over the Jordan River to the promised land. Everything is going to be roses on the other side. You want to believe that marriage is going to be more than just staying. And it should be … most of the time. But there will likely be times when you question why you married your spouse. There will be days when you cannot stand spending a minute with them and wish there was a way out. These are the cycles of relationship that ebb and flow as are described in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. These are the tides and tidal waves that we promise to weather in our marriage vows:
For better or worse
For richer or poorer
In sickness and in health
In good times and bad
We want to believe that marriage is going to be better, richer, healthy good times, because we are so much in love.
What are you promising?
- Will you stay if things get worse?
- Will you stay if you are living on the streets?
- Will you stay if your spouse becomes mentally unstable or a paraplegic
- How long will you stay if you just cannot seem to get along or you seem to grow apart?
The movie, “The Story of Us,” does a phenomenal job of showing how tough marriage can get and yet what’s really at stake.
What does God say about staying?
God tells us to be still and trust Him:
[God] says, “Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10, NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)
Will you trust God and stay?
Will you put that in writing?