The Value of Keeping Covenant
There’s a particular moment I will never forget. My husband and I were stationed with the Navy in San Diego and we attended a chapel service where we heard a missionary family sing, “Whatever it takes to draw closer to you, Lord; that’s what I’ll be willing to do.” That song struck my heart and dug deep into my soul as I sang along in my heart. In the years that followed my beloved and I followed the Lord and our commitment to Christ as best we knew how. We enjoyed a good, happy life, even though there were many separations typical of Navy life.
I surely didn’t have any idea what would be ahead years later when I would be tested to again embrace the words of that song. I didn’t know that the enemy “prowls around seeking whom he may devour,” especially marriages that love Jesus, because they represent Christ and His church. Shortly after I came to Jesus, the enemy tried to kill our girls, but didn’t succeed. We enjoyed the protection and His wonderful grace and blessings through many years of joy and challenges. I didn’t know what a battle was until the enemy got into our marriage. We were not on guard against his wily ways. We let our defenses down and allowed him to slip in.
Through my introduction to Covenant Keepers, I came to realize the horrific battle that was going on and that…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12) But I also realized that I didn’t have to fight that battle alone because Jesus Christ had already fought it for me and won. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4)
When I finally realized what was happening, it was late in the game. Things had been turning bad for a while and I was unaware. Yet as this desperate situation unfolded, it was as if the Lord began to carry me and take care of me minute by minute and step by step. I made some bad mistakes in dealing with our situation before I finally went to God’s Word instead of fleshly counsel, to deal with the situation. Learning how to deal with our broken marriage under the tutorage of God’s Word, I began a whole new journey with the Lord. I sought Him day and night and seriously surrendered my life to Him. I began to pray for my husband and family in earnest, for the restoration of our marriage covenant and one flesh. I began to have a shift in focus, from satisfying myself to wanting to do what would honor and glorify God. And I began to reach out to others, hoping to encourage others to follow Jesus and His Word. This continues to be a big part of my own healing, along with fellowship with other believers of like faith, such as CK groups, and worship in my own church.
If this is what it took to release my human pride, self-centeredness, and self-will, it was working. And if this is what it took to cause me to seek the Lord with all my heart at all times, it was working. My heart was totally shattered as the one I loved and trusted was gone and with another. I buried myself in the Word and promises of God. I sought God with all my heart for my husband, marriage and family, and for my very life. As I was seeking Him with all my heart, I realized I was finding Him in a new, more intimate way. Through the hurt and pain, He was filling my soul with His love, joy and peace. Where once the presence of my dear husband gave me peace and comfort, now I turned to my Lord and His Word to fill that void and He always did. He became more real to me than life itself. I truly wasn’t willing to walk through the valley of the shadow of death – not that one! But I had no choice. I could have walked it in vengeance, retaliation, bitterness, anger and pride as the victim; but God turned me the other way – to take the initiative and stand with Him for my husband, my marriage, my family; to honor my covenant vows made at our wedding, and trust my Lord.
We can’t go wrong when we stand with Jesus for what is right, for what He says. There’s something that satisfies the soul when we stand with Jesus. He gives us His peace. (see John 14:27) I experienced His peace and presence like I never had before.
Once when I stood face to face with my husband, I told him “I will always be here for you.” He said, “I know that.” And I was praying, trusting, believing my Lord for His work and Word to be fulfilled in our lives. To my husband’s dying day I prayed for his heart, mind, and soul every day without regret. I honored my covenant vows. Has it been worth it? Yes! To know Jesus and His ways better and better through this stand has been worth it all. He never fails us. I want to say to everyone who is standing and trusting God for their marriage healing: Keep on trusting Him! Stay in His Word! Believe what He says, not what the enemy says! Speak what He says, not what the enemy says. Look to Him at all times through all trials and circumstances. Let His presence and comfort fill your heart and soul. Let Jesus Christ temper that self-life that wants to rise up in defense of its flesh. God wants to grow us up! Sometimes it’s painful, but every circumstance can be a growing and learning experience if we keep turning to Jesus. When we stand with Jesus, it is protection against the enemy’s plans of destruction. I can vouch for being protected, even in the direst of situations. When I called upon the Lord, turned to Jesus, and depended on the Holy Spirit’s help, He always answered to give me strength, or remove the present problem, or help me through it, and provide for my need. Jesus never fails.
If you and your spouse spend time together, treasure what you have. I treasure those times when I saw God’s hand on our one-flesh marriage. The moments when I saw his heart turn home are still a treasure to me. I know what the enemy does is a lie. His work can never bring peace to the one who is outside His will. We are here, not to preach or condemn, but to reveal Jesus Christ to a hurting soul. Perhaps that’s why we find ourselves in the circumstances we are in – to reveal Jesus Christ through our lives of faith and love. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (I John 4:7) We are not our spouse’s adversary. We are standing with Jesus against the devil. He is the adversary. (see I Peter 5:6-11)
And spend time with Jesus. Open the Bible and learn about Him. Take to heart what He says, and live it out. Continually seek God’s ways of dealing with issues when they come up and pray for His guidance. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6) God’s Word has the answers we need. His counsel (not our feelings, opinions or preferences) is the only way to a life lived in truth and abundance. (see John 10:10) God’s ways are always in our best interest. He does not lead us astray. He prepares a table for me [us] in the presence of my [our] enemies; He anoints my [our] head with oil; my [our] cup runs over. (Psalm 23) If you have given your life to Jesus Christ to forever live for Him and do things His way, then you have the anointing of God on your life. Following Him will bring the joy of the Lord to your soul. You have the great privilege of standing in the gap for a precious soul for whom our Savior died – your one-flesh, covenant spouse. Don’t give up on God. He never fails! He paid the price!