Later this month Melissa and I will celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. We’ve spent almost half our lives together! We’ve shared so many memories, experiences, amd inside jokes I can’t imagine life without her. I’m thankful God put us together. I wouldn’t trade the benefits of emotional, physical, and intellectual intimacy we share for anything in the world. Yet with all these blessings I think there is still more God has in store for our marriage.
Then his father and mother said to him, “ Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” And Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she pleases me well.” But his father and mother did not know that it was of the Lord —that He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines. For at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel. (Judges 14:3, 4 NKJV)
Most often when we hear about Samson we think about the relationship he had with Delilah. But here in his first relationship the bible says Samson’s relationships with Philistine women were purposed by God who was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. In the case of Delilah, the Philistines used her to get to Samson but in reality God was using Delilah to get Samson to the Philistines.
Why is this important? I’m glad you asked. Just as God had a greater purpose for Samson’s relationships, I believe he has a greater purpose for ours as well. One of the things that continues to drive Melissa and I is the belief that our marriage is both a private and public ministry. It’s private because we have responsibilities to minister to each other’s needs. It’s public because God has ordained marriage to symbolize the relationship of Christ to the church.
God may not use our marriage to destroy the Philistine army but he may use us to show others that healthy relationships are possible. I’m sure that somewhere out there God has another couple made up of “only children, from single parent homes” like us who need to hear our story. The testimonies of how we endured our struggles may give other couples hope.
I pray that I’m showing young men how to be husbands and that Melissa is displaying the characteristics of a virtuous wife. Maybe the example of our longevity will help another couple avoid divorce. Maybe, just maybe, God will bless our marriage to be so attractive that others will look at our relationship and say “I want a marriage like that.”
What is God’s greater purpose for your relationship?