Dear Newlywed {a call to courageous marriage}

Dear Newlywed,

You may have noticed in the midst of the “congratulations!” and flurry of wedding preparations that everyone –young or old, single or married– has a few ideas of what marriage is like. What it can and cannot be. Well, let me just tell you: there’s only One Person who has it right.A Call to Courageous Marriage


If you look at our culture, your friends, or your parents for the definition of marriage, you will experience some level of disillusionment. Only the One who created it knows what it can look like, what it can become. It probably won’t look like someone else’s, and that’s okay. Your marriage uniquely brings glory to God as you and your spouse are daily made more like Him. No other marriage can fulfill the purpose the Lord instilled in your covenant relationship.

You’ve likely heard someone quote “the divorce rate is 50%” statistic. Does this cultivate a feeling of fear in your heart?

Perhaps the thought of your spouse dying prematurely weighs heavy on your mind. Are you entertaining fear with this thought?

Maybe the possibility of your spouse disappointing you makes you uneasy. Is fear limiting your capacity to walk with Christ?

…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
– 2 Tim. 1:7

Fear dwells on the “what-ifs” that are beyond our control. Courage rests in the assurance of God’s sovereignty in every what-if. In the Old Testament, King Jehoshaphat was described this way:

His heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord.
– 2 Chron. 17:6a

When we live in fear, whether of something happening to our spouse or of something entirely different, we cannot actively pursue our relationship with the Lord. Fear prevents it. It’s not from God, and it cannot abide with Him.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
– 1 John 4:18a

Your marriage can be filled with fear or filled with God’s perfect love, but it cannot contain both simultaneously. We cannot love perfectly or unconditionally because we are not God, but we can receive and experience His love, which John says dispels fear. We can boldly love another sinner in a covenant relationship because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). We can lay down our life through love and respect (John 15:13, Eph. 5:22-33).

Next time someone voices their perspective on what marriage can or cannot look like, return to the infallible Word of God. Did this person speak truth? Then cling to that truth! Did this person speak contradictory to Scripture? Then set aside that thought. Only the Creator, the One who is able to do things “far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20-21), can accurately describe all your marriage can become. Trust His vision for your years ahead!

{image by Stephen Stacey}

How will you work to have a courageous marriage?

Encourage another Rooted Family…share your comment below!