“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” – John 15:5
While we make plans and put in all the efforts in all areas of life, we must realise that we need God to make our plans succeed. This extends to our marriage. It is important to make plans and do our best to build a marriage fit for champions, but we must also realise that we need God and without Him we can do nothing.
The Bible tells us that unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain; and unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
We need God’s help to build our marriages. However, we also cannot leave it all to God.
God requires us to work hard and put in all the effort. In fact, as we rely on Him, He is also relying on us! He is constantly looking for men and women to partner with him in order to bring His desires to come to pass. In Isaiah 6:8, God asks, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
He needs someone to stand in the gap and bring His desires concerning your marriage to pass. Can he rely on you?
The following story illustrates what can be achieved when a man or woman works together with God.
A pastor once made an investment in a large piece of ranch real estate which he hoped to enjoy during his years of retirement. While he was still an active pastor, he would take one day off each week to go out to his land and work. But what a job! What he had bought, he soon realized, was several acres of weeds, gopher holes, and rundown buildings. It was anything but attractive, but the pastor knew it had potential and he stuck with it.
Every week he’d go to his ranch, crank up his small tractor, and plow through the weeds with a vengeance. Then he’d spend time doing repairs on the buildings. He’d mix cement, cut lumber, replace broken windows, and work on the plumbing. It was hard work, but after several months the place began to take shape. And every time the pastor put his hand to some task, he would swell with pride. He knew his labor was finally paying off.
When the project was completed, the pastor received a neighborly visit from a farmer who lived a few miles down the road. Farmer Brown took a long look at the preacher and cast a longer eye over the revitalized property. Then he nodded his approval and said, “Well, preacher, it looks like you and God really did some work here.”
The pastor, wiping the sweat from his face, answered, “It’s interesting you should say that, Mr. Brown. But I’ve got to tell you — you should have seen this place when God had it all to Himself!”
– Ted W. Engstrom, The Pursuit of Excellence, 1982, Zondervan Corporation, pp. 23-25.
God is looking for men and women, who will partner with Him to build their homes and their marriages. Are you available? You can’t do it alone. The arm of flesh will fail you.
You need God.