YOUR WALK WITH GOD AFFECTS YOUR MARRIAGE

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

JANUARY 26, 2024

TOPIC: YOUR WALK WITH GOD AFFECTS YOUR MARRIAGE

BY T. O. BANSO

“‘And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30 New King James Version).

As a Christian, your walk with God affects your marriage. Loving the Lord precedes loving your spouse. You can’t truly love your spouse without loving God. Your love for God will affect your love for your spouse.

In Matthew 22:36, one of the Pharisees, a lawyer, asked Jesus which was the great commandment in the law. “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind’” (Matthew 22:37 New King James Version). According to Jesus, this was the first and great commandment. He added, “And the second is like it:  ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (verses 39-40).

I believe that Christian marriage must be built on these two laws: love the Lord and love your spouse. You must love the Lord before you can truly love your spouse. “‘And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30 New King James Version). If you don’t love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength, your marriage will be very weak. That is why in marriage, Christians should not be unequally yoked with non-believers (2 Corinthians 6:14). Christians and non-believers belong to different kingdoms; their beliefs and values are different and they don’t understand what God intends marriage to be.

Some Christians don’t love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. Also, some used to love the Lord before they got married but after marriage, the fire of their love for God had died out. They are like the church of Ephesus about whom Jesus complained, “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen!” (Revelation 2:4-5a New Living Translation).

This was the same church that Paul had heard of their love for all the saints and thanked God for them (Ephesians 1:15-16). It was the same church that Paul had written on marital love to in the book of Ephesians (Ephesians 5:22-33). But in the letters to the church of Ephesus, in the book of Revelation, Jesus commended this church for the good things she did, but rebuked her for leaving her first love (Revelation 2:4). She was, therefore, called to repent and do the first works (verse 5).

If you don’t love the Lord, you will love the world. You can’t serve two masters (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). 1 John 2:15-17 warns, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (New King James Version). 

There is a relationship between love for God and obedience. Jesus says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15 New International Version). You cannot claim to love God but disobey His Word. Jesus also says, “He who does not love me will not obey my teaching” (John 14:24a New International Version). You cannot say you love God and disobey His instructions on marriage.

If you want to have a blissful marriage, you must take your relationship and fellowship with God seriously. Fellowship with God in the study of the Word of God, worship, prayer, witnessing, and obedience to His Word are important. If your fellowship with God is sick, your marriage can’t be healthy.

Adam had fellowship with God before Eve came into his life. That was why God could command him to freely eat of every tree of the garden but not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). That was also why God knew Adam needed a helper comparable to him. Eve was never an alternative to God in Adam’s life. She was supposed to be a companion who would help Adam (Genesis 2:18).

God, not Adam, created Eve! She was accountable to God just as Adam was. Eve had a direct relationship with God though she was married to Adam. That was why before God passed a judgment on Eve for eating the fruit in disobedience, He asked her about what she had done: “What is this you have done?” (Genesis 3:13b New King James Version).  Christian husbands and wives must walk faithfully with God because it affects their relationship with each other.

If couples love the Lord, they will also love each other as each loves himself/herself. 1 John 4:8 says whoever does not love does not know God because God is love. Verse 20 says, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (New International Version). These scriptures also apply to marriage.

If couples love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, they will make Him the Lord of their lives and marriage, and they will never even think about some things in their marriage because they are contrary to the Word of God. No matter what, couples who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love each other can resolve their differences and together seek to make their marriage work. With God as the cornerstone of their home, their marriage will be strong. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (New Living Translation).

But if a spouse is a non-believer or a carnal Christian who does not love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, he/she may not obey the Word of God that will make the marriage work. Such a spouse may frustrate his/her partner who loves God and wants to obey Him. He/she may not cooperate to make the necessary sacrifices to make their marriage work.

It takes two to tango. It takes both the husband and the wife to avoid divorce or separation. Where a spouse insists on it or both want it, or where one of the partners engages in a behaviour that makes it unavoidable for his/her spouse to seek a divorce, such as spousal abuse, unfaithfulness, and abandonment, the court will grant it and the marriage will cease to exist.

On the other hand, when husbands and wives love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love each other, they will want the will of God to be done, not their will. They will follow biblical instructions and, with the grace of God, overcome every relational problem and other challenges and make a success of their marriage.

Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your spouse not only as you love yourself but as Christ loves you. Your walk with God will affect your marriage.

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love my spouse not only as myself but as Christ loves me.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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