God Hears Your Prayers for Your Marriage - Encouragement for Today - October 14, 2020

October 14, 2020

God Hears Your Prayers for Your Marriage
FRANCINE RIVERS

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“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 (NIV)

My husband, Rick, and I celebrated our golden wedding anniversary on December 21, 2019. We often look at each other and wonder aloud, “How has that much time passed so quickly?”

I still remember our wedding day, which was full of excitement and anxiety. What were we thinking when we planned a Christmas wedding? Well, that evening was the only time the church was available.

Serving in the Marine Corps at El Toro, a 10-hour drive away, Rick had not been involved with all the preparations. All he had to do was show up, but even that was proving a challenge. A Marine serves at the pleasure of the Corps, and one commanding officer thought it was funny to refuse permission for leave to get married.

That wasn’t the only reason I had bridal jitters. What if Rick changed his mind? What if he decided I wasn’t good enough for him and he’d rather wait for someone better to come along? I’d heard stories of brides left at the altar. Would Rick have second or third thoughts and decide to call the whole thing off?

Burdened by guilt over mistakes I’d made, all of which made me feel unworthy to be his wife, I would have been broken and crushed, but I wouldn’t have blamed him.

I felt a mingling of surprised relief and joy when Rick appeared at the front of the church, looking straight at me, waiting. We’d known each other since fifth grade, but we’d both been through a lot in the intervening years. Life had battered and bruised both of us in different ways. Neither of us knew the full extent of the damage or what we were getting in a spouse.

After the service, the reception confirmed our oneness. We received guests, cut the cake and opened gifts. Then, Rick and I headed off on our honeymoon.

Oh, how romantic. But it wasn’t long before the differences between two melded people showed up. One thrifty; the other a spendthrift. One liked to get from point A to point B directly, while the other wanted to meander and stop to take pictures. Hidden addictions reared their ugly heads.

Another learning curve was parenthood: joy and fun mingled with trials and tribulations. One parent a rigid disciplinarian, and the other wanted to be a friend.

We did a lot of shouting in the early days and a lot of making up too. We were strong-willed people, each absolutely convinced his or her way was right. We came near to divorce several times. We were both stubborn and miserable, thinking the other was to blame and should change.

Eventually, I started to learn I couldn’t change anyone. I couldn’t even change myself. That’s when I became willing to try anything — even reaching out to God — to stop the pain and anger.

God listens to His wandering, bleating sheep, and He knew when this bride was ready to listen and learn.

When we finally gave up and sought God, everything changed. God proved Himself faithful in my marriage when I followed Jesus’ invitation in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

We asked, and God started changing us. Rick and I started our mornings together, a time that remains precious. We fanned each other’s dreams and helped each other step out in faith and take risks to achieve them.

The gospel of Jesus Christ opened our hearts and poured life into our souls. Whenever I had a problem, the Lord was the last one I would seek for answers. Now I recognize His loving hand was on me from the time I was born. He was always near, and still is.

In every tempting and potentially life-damaging situation, God had offered a way of escape. I chose not to take those. Even so, God never stopped loving me. And now that I walk with Jesus, He has used what Satan meant for my destruction for His good purpose, not only in my life, but also in the lives of others. He can do the same for you.

Lord, thank You for knowing what is best for my life. Teach me and show me the ways I am not fully surrendering to You and give me the strength to do so. I want to live my life fully for You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Luke 9:23, “Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.’” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Redeeming Love: The Companion Study is a powerful six-week study, revealing life-changing Bible truths, to accompany the classic, bestselling Christian romance novel, Redeeming Love. This study offers fans new and old a meaningful way to explore the book’s message and go deeper into the story’s biblical ties. Using excerpts from the novel and quotes from Scripture, Francine Rivers walks readers through the main character’s healing journey, showing how her unworthiness, fear and emptiness are ultimately exchanged for the fullness of knowing God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love. Get your copy here.

You can also find out more about Francine Rivers and Redeeming Love: The Novel here.

CONNECT:
For more encouragement from Francine, connect with her at her website.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of Redeeming Love: The Companion Study, by Francine Rivers. To celebrate this book, Francine’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win  by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, October 19, 2020.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What is one area of your life you need to surrender to the Lord today? Write down the areas in your life that have been a struggle to let go of, and pray for the Lord to help you.

© 2020 by Francine Rivers. All rights reserved.

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