You are not the same as those who do not believe. So do not join yourselves to them. Good and bad do not belong together. Light and darkness cannot share together.
-- 2 Corinthians 6:14
Do you watch any of those TV shows where gourmet chefs compete against other kitchen maestros to fix that perfect dish for a panel of merciless food critics – and all while the clock is running and the camera is rolling? One recent contestant on Chopped succumbed to the pressure when he mistook a cup of salt for a cup of sugar. It could have happened to anyone. After all, they’re two common kitchen ingredients that look the same. But because the chef chose the wrong one in the heat of the moment, the result (his dessert) was a disaster. And the judges were totally unforgiving.
The careless cook might have gone on to win the entire contest had he prepared by organizing his key ingredients and utensils. But his good intentions weren’t enough to take him to the winner’s circle. Likewise, the same principles apply to successful, long-lasting marriages. Good preparation and technique pay off in the end. But if one or two ingredients are missing or switched, the results (an unhappy marriage between resentful spouses) are often disastrous.
What’s does God have to say about all of this? To continue with the kitchen analogies, He’s supplied Christ-followers with a simple blue ribbon recipe for serving up a masterpiece.
It starts with selecting a God-honoring spouse before you ever walk down the aisle. Is he or she a committed Believer who has entrusted his or her life and salvation to Jesus? And more importantly, have you asked God in prayer about what He thinks of your choice?
These aren’t throw-away questions. Marrying a non-Believer can actually pull you away from God – or at a minimum prevent you from experiencing God’s intended level of intimacy for your union. And of course, there’s that final critical ingredient: a lifelong covenant between husband and wife that places Jesus at the center of the marriage. Yes, a Christ-centered marriage actually involves three parties. As the wise writer of Ecclesiastes observed centuries ago:
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”That's the secret sauce for making marriage work. It's not particularly complicated. But don't be deceived: marriage is never easy -- even under the best circumstances. It takes work, perseverance and plenty of shared faith. But as with everything that follows His will, He'll bless and honor your marriage when you both reach out and honor Him.
Are you both committed to putting Jesus at the center of your marriage? Now you’re cooking!