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Encouragement for Today - Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Kim Kimberling

JULY 28, 2015

Our Wedding Night Changed Our Marriage
KIM KIMBERLING, PH.D.

"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31 (NIV)

When I tell people that my wife Nancy and I have been married 45 years, I almost always hear "Wow!" and "That’s great." I appreciate those comments, but where we are today has been a journey. We didn’t have an awesome marriage for a very long time.

In fact, starting out as barely 20-year-olds, we really had no idea what marriage was all about. Our fights almost did our marriage in before it began. After six years of marriage, the future was dark, we had a new baby and we needed a miracle.

Of all the things we did wrong, there is one thing we did right. I wish I could say I brought it to the marriage, but I didn’t. Nancy did.

Let me paint a picture for you.

On our wedding night after we left the reception and finally made it to our hotel room, Nancy made a request of me that God has used in our marriage since that day.

As we got ready for bed, Nancy went into the bathroom to change. I changed in about 30 seconds and waited for her sitting on the side of the bed. An eternity later, she emerged from the bathroom looking like an angel. She walked over to me, took my hand, sat beside me on the bed, looked into my eyes and said, "We need to pray."

In case you were wondering, that was the last thing I thought my new bride would say to me in that moment. But the real surprise was that I looked her back in the eyes and said, "OK."

We knelt by the bed in our hotel room, held hands and prayed a prayer we both knew and were comfortable praying together: The Lord’s Prayer.

Since that first night many years ago, we have prayed together almost every day. Through all the ups and downs of life and marriage, praying together daily is the glue God has used over and over to keep us close to Him.

During the darkest times in our marriage, as we continued to pray together, we saw God show up over and over to keep us together.

First, God used an older lady in our church to minister to Nancy. As Nancy shared our story, this wise woman lovingly encouraged Nancy to stay in the marriage and that God would make something beautiful out of it.

Second, as we continued to talk about our marriage and our struggles, it became obvious that neither one of us really wanted a divorce.

Finally, we made a vow never to bring up divorce again and to let God build our marriage His way.

As we purposely put God first each day, our marriage began to change. It was not overnight; in fact, it was a process that continues to this day. But God taught us how to fight for our marriage instead of fighting each other. It was marriage-changing.

We learned to stand side by side with God and take on anything and everything that the world threw at us. We learned firsthand that if God is for us no one can ever stand against us (Romans 8:31b). It is a truth that I pray every married couple can embrace because it is a truth that will close the gap between where your marriage is and where God wants it to be.

Father, You truly are the Great Healer. I pray that I may see Your plan for my marriage. Make the changes You want to make in me. In us. I pray to be so connected to You and my spouse that we may stand together against all that would come against our marriage. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 17:15, "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one." (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Dr. Kim Kimberling’s new book, 7 Secrets to an Awesome Marriage: Strengthen Your Most Intimate Relationship, will help you have the marriage God designed for you.

For lots of great free resources for your marriage, click here.

Enter to WIN a copy of 7 Secrets to an Awesome Marriage by Dr. Kim Kimberling. In celebration of this book, Dr. Kim’s publisher is giving away 10 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here, letting us know why you’d like a copy for yourself OR whom you would give the book to, if you won. {We’ll randomly select 10 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, August 3.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Today, where is God in your marriage?

If God is not the center of your marriage, what needs to be your next step? It may be praying together on a regular basis, or talking to a trusted mentor. If you and your spouse need further help, it may be time to talk to your pastor or a Christian counselor.

Whatever your next step is, do it today! It will make a difference in your marriage tomorrow.

© 2015 by Kim Kimberling, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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