7 Lessons Learned that When I Fail, God Does Not

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When I Fail, God Does Not. When I married, I wanted it to work. Forever! I thank God that for almost 39 years, our marriage has endured.

I learned that when I fail, God does not. I can cry out to Him, lean on Him, and turn the details over to Him in prayer, completely trusting Him with everything. Yes, every little and BIG thing in my marriage.

How do we make marriage work? I want to be loved and respected, so I have to give both to get them. I learned 7 lessons that when I fail, God does not.

Newsflash! God knows all your details anyway.

Our son recently married, my nephew married last week, and one of my nieces is getting married in the fall, so I’ve been thinking about weddings and marriage, as I want their marriages to last the rest of their lifetimes.

In the beginning of my marriage in 1979, I made a promise, to have and to hold, from this day forward. At that time, I did not understand the detailed differences between commitments, contracts and covenants. Yet I knew I was in this marriage for the long haul. I did not want to fail. I know God does not fail. Ever.

I learned marriage is so much more than a Facebook comment or status update. Marriage is even more than a commitment to each other. Marriage is a covenant made between two people with God as their witness.

Here is one truth I know – God doesn’t break His covenants; He cuts covenant with us. When Holt and I said our wedding vows, God blessed us and cut a marriage covenant with us.

I wonder. Did we start cutting a wedding cake as a newly married couple to symbolize cutting covenant with God?

My parents were married in 1953. My husband’s parents married right after WWII in the late 40s. I feel ancient writing these dates! Why do I share these details? We grew up with models of longevity in marriage – and we expect and want to ensure longevity in our marriage.

My parents established a rule when they married – Divorce is not an option.

Here’s the rule – If we ever start discussing divorce, we’ll take the money we’d spend on divorce lawyers and head to Paradise – Hawaii – to reconnect and rekindle the fire. FYI – they never went to Hawaii. They celebrated their 63 wedding anniversary a few weeks before Dad passed away at 91.

So how does anyone make marriage work over years and years? Great question. I want to be loved and respected, so I know I have to give both to get them. Yet how often I forget to treat my sweet man with the respect and honor he deserves. How often do I still fail to honor him, truth be told?

The enemy rears his ugly head and cheers when I snap or snarl. What an ugly picture that brings to mind. The enemy is not a pet on a leash to be teased, tempted, taunted and toyed with.

For he is the one holding the chain and making you and I think we are in control of that “innocent” flirtation, that backhanded comment, that vile and demeaning book we’re reading or video we’re watching…

Oh, how he knows how to jerk our chains…

So how do you and I manage to stop criticizing or controlling? Demanding or demeaning?

Renew your mind daily… Romans 12:2
Think on these things… Philippians 4:8
God is love… 1 John 4:8
The greatest of these is love… 1 Corinthians 13:13
Put on the FULL ARMOR of God, every.single.day. Ephesians 6:10-19

Seems I miss donning a piece, or two, of the full armor of God from time to time. You too?

When I fail to put on the belt of Truth, I’m lost in lies. The enemy’s favorite trick is to whisper lies that underlie a hurt or heartache that opens a wound. He’s good at pointing those weapons at us and hitting the mark.

When I fail to step behind Christ as my shield of righteousness, my heart is exposed to the wiles of that wicked demon that diminishes the truth of who I am – in Christ. I look in the mirror and see impossible, yet God whispers, “I’m possible. Look at Me.”

When I fail to step into God’s word each day, I leave off my shoes of peace. And oh how the enemy relishes these days! He wants problems to prevail and peace to be a thing of the past. And he is very good at what he does.

When I fail to take up the shield of faith, I am unarmed and unprotected, unable to quench fiery darts of the evil one that enter and do extensive damage. Faith is choosing to believe God’s Word is true. When I have faith, I’m under the “shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1). When I fail to or forget, I’m outside of God’s covering, unsheltered from all the elements of the enemy.

When I fail to put on the helmet of salvation, the enemy has a heyday in the playground of my mind. He wreaks hellish havoc and causes chaos.

When I fail to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, I am defenseless. Distraught. Easily destroyed. For the enemy knows every.word.in.the.Bible. And will use it against me – and you – just like he did when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness.

When I fail to pray on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and petitions before God, I fail to use the power God gave you and me to come boldly to the throne room. We have not for we ask not. God instructs us to ASK – ask, seek, knock (Matthew 7:7). Prayer is how we ask, seek and knock on the door to find God. And when we seek God wholeheartedly, He promises us He will be found (Jeremiah 29:13).

How do we make marriage work? I want to be loved and respected, so I have to give both to get them. I learned 7 lessons that when I fail, God does not.

Yet, here’s the deal. I must choose every day, actually every moment of the day, to take every thought captive unto Christ. Or I lose. And I don’t want to lose this man for I cherish him. I want our marriage to look like so much more than just a comment or status on Facebook. So we cut covenant. And we work on keeping it healthy, wholesome and fun.

Following my nephew’s wedding, we spent a week exploring. We saw the wild rhododendron and mountain laurel in bloom, elk grazing beside the road, wild turkey, chipmunks, and other wildlife as we hunted for waterfalls through the Blue Ridge, the Great Smokey Mountains, Lookout Mountain and other mountains of South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. We even walked behind TWO waterfalls within 15 minutes!

FYI – I would skip the narrow winding roads, if it were still possible to get to the waterfalls without venturing around those tight curves…

Did I share that my son and his wife are in Hawaii on their honeymoon?! They are starting their marriage right there in paradise on earth. I think Hawaii may even smell like Heaven.

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17 thoughts on “7 Lessons Learned that When I Fail, God Does Not

  1. Great words of wisdom, Susan! Marriage is hard work and who couldn’t use the armor of God in any relationship. Thank you for sharing this at #TellHisStory

  2. Love all this amazing truth! It’s not about what we think we can accomplish in ensuring our marriages work. It’s about becoming more and more like Christ and loving our spouse like Christ does. I’ve only been married a little over a year, and I’ve learned how important it is to rest in Christ above all else! Visiting from #TuneInThursday. 🙂

  3. Powerful, Susan! I love that they said they’d spend the money elsewhere…haha, awesome. We make our marriage work by forgiving each every day, for all the little annoyances and mess ups. We try to do it right away now, rather than letting it fester because we know it leads us down a bad path.

  4. Failure from our perspective just might the stepping stones to a deeper relationship with God. I know that some of my greatest mistakes were met by God with grace and not condemnation… which catapulted me into a deeper place of gratitude and motivate me to walk ever more closely to Him.

  5. When i fail, God does not. I’m carrying that with me. My husband and I have been married 3 years so how we make it work is honesty not just in action but matters of the heart and our walk. We’re also intentional about connection ad intimacy. It’s been an adventure and I know we’ll go far.

  6. Dear Susan, such wisdom for growing together in marriage! I’m so blessed that Tom has given me a model for our Lord that even when I fail he (and He) still loves me. His choice to honor that covenant gives me comfort, strength, and motivation to do the same for him. Thanks for this affirmation!

  7. Love this post, Susan. I’m not so sure about Hawaii ‘smelling like heaven’, though 😂. How timely this post on marriage, as my husband and I get ready to celebrate 24 years of marriage. Like your parents, my husband reminds me of our covenant when we got married, ‘divorce is not an option’. It is still true today.

  8. Thank you for this, Susan. Yes to it all! In this world of continual relationship breakdown, healthy Christian marriages shout loud the message of grace.

  9. So timely as my parents celebrated 49 years of marriage yesterday. I am so thankful for their example. I feel so ill equipped to give marriage advice to anyone because I truly believe I have a one of a kid gem, but I strive to do the loving thing – even when I don’t feel like it. Sacrifice is a word many today don’t know enough about, but it’s key to keeping the harmony and love alive. Thanks for writing about such an important topic. laurensparks.net

  10. Great observations about sticking with our guys through thick and thin. I think our biggest lesson has been (and it sounds trite!) that we need to trust God in order to trust each other and to live up to even a shadow of all He desires for marriage.

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