eing passionate about all things in the marriage arena, I’ve read many books on how to improve your marriage–they have loads of different techniques, tips, and tricks, and so many of them are fantastic and really helpful. But what’s at the core of it all? What does it all boil down to? Brass tacks. The net net. The TL;DR. What would it be?

If I could only ever give one piece of marriage and/or life advice to everyone and anyone in any and every situation for the rest of my life, it would be this: “Keep God at the center of everything you do, always.” It’s short, yet it’s the most powerful thing I could ever offer anyone. Technically it’s life advice, I suppose, but the impact that it can have on your marriage is just as transformational.

Here’s why:

A foundation set on God’s word will not be shaken.

    I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
    – Psalm 16:8, NIV

    Now, this is a powerful translation in its own right. But my favorite version is the King James translation. It reads:

    “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”
    – Psalms 16:8, KJV

    Shall. Not. Be. Moved. When our eyes and our lives are focused on God and His will, we shall not be moved. A great example of this is in Matthew 16:18b, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (The word “church” here, is translated from the Greek word ekklēsian, which refers to the entire body of Christians, not a specific building.)

    When we keep God at the center of our lives, we will not be moved, we will not be shaken, and the gates of hell will not prevail against us. That alone is fully reason to keep God at the center, but we’re just getting started.

Marriage is better with three

    Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
    – Ecclesiastes 4:12

    The third strand in any Christian marriage is Christ. Can you picture a three-stranded cord? The image that comes to mind is probably of a rope or a braid, three identical strands woven beautifully together. And that’s good, but let’s not assume that all three strands are equal. They’re not. The strongest of us are cotton yarn. In comparison, Jesus is a braided steel cable. He will carry the weight of everything we could possibly need Him to. He’ll hold us together in the stormiest of weather if only we weave our lives around Him according to His design. It’s a beautiful thing.

God is our Provider

    Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
    – Matthew 6:26, 31-33

    And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
    – Philippians 4:19

    Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
    – Hebrews 13:5

    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
    – Psalm 23:1-3

    When we look to God as the ultimate provider, we can know the peace that God will meet all of our needs. We needn’t worry about clothing, food, or any of the basics. He will provide all that we need.

God is the Ultimate Protector

    So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
    – Hebrews 13:6

    He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber.
    – Psalm 121:3

    The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
    – Psalm 18:2

    I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
    – John 16:33

    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
    – Psalm 23:4

    These verses are giving me chills as I’m putting them together. They make me feel safe. And utterly loved. I believe that’s exactly what God intended. He is the ultimate protector, and by centering our lives on Him, He will protect us. Our feet will not slip. He will never cease protecting us. He is our refuge. In HIm, we will fear NO evil.

God is our Comforter

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
    – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
    – Psalm 23:4

    You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
    – Isaiah 26:3

    “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”
    – John 14:1-4

    No matter what life brings, God is there for us. He will bring us through the hardest of times, the darkest hours, and the most painful nights, if only we invite Him to do so.

God provides direction

    Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
    – Isaiah 30:21

    The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
    – Isaiah 58:11

    In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.
    – Proverbs 16:9

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
    – Proverbs 3:5-6

    The God of all we know wants to guide us in everything that we do. The very One who made us wants to guide our lives according to His divine plan. What more could we ask for?

So whether you’re married or single, lean into these truths about who God is, center your life on Him and His word. If you do, you will not be shaken You’ll find provision, protection, comfort, and direction. God is above all, and we Christians are His. So lean into it. Embrace Him. Let Him direct your life. Give Him your first, your last, and your best, and fight to keep your life centered on Him with everything you have. Always.

Want practical steps to make that happen in your marriage? Stick around–it’s what we do!

Not a Christian but want to give your life to a God that offers all of this?

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in Him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between any of us—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:9-13

If you want to join the family, it’s just that easy. You don’t need to get your life in order first, or even wait until you’re happy with yourself. Jesus accepts you exactly as you are, no matter what you’ve done or what mess or baggage you have with you. Surrender it all to Him, ask Him to lead your life and never look back. I promise it’ll be the most life-changing thing you ever do.

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