He was laid off from his job. The day had started normally. He went in to meet with his boss for their weekly meeting. He was prepared to discuss strategies, goals that had been met, and opportunities for the future. Twenty minutes later he walked out having been told his position was being eliminated.
In 2001 that was our story. 9/11 had affected the Chicago economy so severely that half the people on our block lost their jobs—including us. We were in shock. But there wasn’t time to process the “why me?” and “why was my job eliminated and not their’s?” kind of questions. We had to quickly find God’s next assignment for us.
Questions lurked in the back of our minds that sometimes leaked into our conversations. “What if we didn’t find something else soon?” “How would we make ends meet if we couldn’t find where God wanted us?
Through the course of marriage there are challenges every couple must face. We’ve watched couples wrestle through faith-stretching situations like:
- A prodigal child
- A health crisis
- A financial blow
- A loss of a loved one
- A struggle with addiction
- A season of employment stress
- A __________ (you fill it in)
In the Bible there are two verses of promise that we have clung to in times of need. They are from Proverbs 3:5-6 and read: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
1. Don’t trust feelings
We learned that when we trust God, it is an active decision of the will. We don’t always feel like trusting God. We may be afraid. We may be unsure. We may even by angry at our situation. But all of that has to be set aside and we say with Job who lost everything, “Though he slay me, yet I will hope in him.” (Job 13:15)
C.S. Lewis wrote about the correlation of trust and obedience in Mere Christianity. “There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way.”
As a couple you have the opportunity to encourage each other to keep your trust in the Lord. Talk about the times you have experienced God’s faithfulness in the past. Refresh your faith through recounting the mighty acts of God throughout the pages of the Bible.
2. Don’t out-think trust
God doesn’t expect us to check our brains at the door of trust. He wants us to think and to act.
However, our thinking and acting have to be guided by the truth of scripture and be bathed in prayer. Keep each other accountable in your dependence first on what the Bible says. Invite each other to pray and even fast for a breakthrough.
3. Don’t limit trust
Verse five says “In all your ways….” It can be easy to compartmentalize our trust in the Lord. We only need him in the emergencies. When we are desperate we call out.
Make the decision today to keep your relationship with God at the center of your marriage. Start today with a discussion about how you can trust God in all your ways.
As you trust God together, you will see him take the reins and he will be the one to build your marriage!