by Pastor Tim Burt
Do you understand that God has a purpose and a plan for everything He does? He is not random like we often are. He is purposeful in absolutely everything. In other words, even though we don’t know everything He is doing in our life, we can know that He has a plan. He is trying to lead us in it, and He has a purpose for everything He does. We see this in Romans 8:28 NKJV. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” And in the verse Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."
So, on that note, I want to tell you something shocking. Are you ready? Marriage is more than something that you try to succeed at. Marriage is more than something to help make you happy. Marriage is more than something you hope you can survive. God has a purpose and plan for your marriage! It goes beyond finding someone you can spend your life with. It goes beyond being married so you aren’t lonely. It goes beyond wanting to have children. It goes beyond needing a remedy for your sexual desires. God has a purpose in everything He does and that includes bringing you a marriage partner and your marriage!
As a single person, your life has great purpose when you walk out each day determined to be a light and a touch of God’s love to the world around you. Trust me! There are things you can do as a single person that you would become distracted from doing as a married person. So singles should take advantage of their singleness to serve and glorify God. But God also put the desire to be married in most everyone. When He takes a single man and woman that loves Him and puts them together, His plan is that they will be a blessing to each other in a multitude of ways, but, that they will also become a team for God. There is strength in a marriage—the married couple united with God in His plan and purpose becoming that powerful team together.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NKJV puts it like this: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone then he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
What does He want to accomplish through us? He wants to present to the world, a family that learns and knows how to live for God and be a light for God in this earth. That will look different from family to family because of careers, location, schools, interests, etc. But there will be a common thread through them all. They grow together in God's Word. They become a connected and serving part of a local church in their community. And they are the light of the love of God to the world around them—together as a family and individually amongst their friends, co-laborers, and classmates. This does not happen except a husband and wife labor and help each other together in this goal. Is this important? The entire world is looking for godly role-models to emulate. (Even when they don't know it!)
For Renee and I, we knew God wanted to use us as a team to help people. In the beginning, all we knew was to prepare for the call of God on our lives which meant studying His Word and learning to become Christ-like day-by-day. We knew that would be a long process but that we’d have to be faithful to it.
On a daily basis, we knew to serve people wherever we were at. Be kind. Be helpful, And share God's love when people asked us, Why are you different from others? We tried to love and help people in our jobs by just being an ear to their troubles, having a simple promise or words of encouragement from God’s word, and being willing to boldly pray for them.But on a more purposeful and consistent basis and in response to God's leading, we served people in different ways through different seasons of life at or through our church. We both participated in and then led Bible studies from an early age. We both worked in children’s ministry together. We served in outreaches and homeless shelters. We both found ways to serve at church in areas they simply needed help at. We knew that when we had children, we would raise them to know and love the Lord and we did that faithfully. I remember a man suggesting that myself or one of the other Pastors write a blog on a website about the Lord each day. This was before I knew what the Internet was. I did not have a computer and had no idea how to work one. How could I know that was a prophetic suggestion that I am now fulfilling today?
Each day carried its own opportunity to follow God and be faithful to His leading. It wasn’t mysterious or super spiritual. It was practical and full of God’s love. We could see God’s thumbprint on the things we were doing. We purposed to make a difference and did! And in that process, God’s plan would slowly unfold in our lives. Some things we did together and some things we did separately, but either way, we were on the same page being purposeful and praying together for God’s anointing, blessing and help at whatever we put our hand to.
I believe we’ve been a powerful force for the kingdom of God over the course of our lives together. I say that in all humility. We are not unique. This is God's universal plan for marriage! We are just like anyone else. We had to work through our early years of immaturity and childish ways. It is only by His grace, that we’ve been able to accomplish anything! And, through it all, As Ecclesiastes says, we’ve kept each other warm. We’ve provided companionship and great company for each other. We’ve helped and protected each other. We’ve had fun and adventure together. We’ve served each other. We’ve continuously grown more in love with each other (even though we had our share of fights and arguments.) We’ve experienced all the fun things anyone wants in marriage. But in all of this, we’ve kept before us the truth that God had and has a plan for our marriage that He would work it according to His purpose. We are determined always to live for Him and be used by Him. That is His plan and the threefold cord that is not easily broken. And if you do, you'll have a marriage that finds God's purpose and plan!
Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT) "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."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt