Updated: Sep 4
Every marriage has “crisis moments” - moments or seasons when marriage is hard, when the connection just isn’t there. In these moments a surge of panic may set in, or you may experience a sudden move to “fix it” mode. These moments can also be times of searching, marked by feelings of being lost in confusion. So, when these moments hit, where do you go? What is your immediate reaction? To whom do you turn?
Scripture tells us about two kings - King David and King Asa - and how they responded when faced with a crisis. We can learn from both of their stories.
In 2 Samuel 5:17-21, David, the King, is face to face with the Philistine army. What is his first action? It’s not to make sure all of the “going to battle” equipment is in place. His first action is not to give a rousing and inspiring speech to his men. No, his first action is to inquire of God.
And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” (verse 19a - ESV)
He went to God. He went to the only one who had the power to deliver him from his enemies. And God answered.
And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” (verse 19b - ESV)
And King David and his army won the day. In a beautiful move to honor God, David named the place of battle Baal-perazim - which means Lord of Breakthroughs - because the Lord broke through the enemy.
King Asa? Well, that’s another story. King Asa was known as a good king. He brought the people back to temple worship and he destroyed the idols of the day. In one instance, he too was faced with war, and he too went to God. And he, like King David, was victorious.
But then something strange happened. In 2 Chronicles, chapter 16, King Asa goes to war again. But this time, instead of going to God for help, King Asa looks to his own plans - his own “fix it” mode. He makes a treaty with one enemy in order to defeat another enemy. And, at first, it seemed his plan had worked. But because he allied himself with a nation who wants nothing less than to defeat him, he would now be at war for the rest of his days, performing a juggling act with his enemies. As a rebuke to King Asa the prophet Hanani told him that he had acted foolishly. He had forgotten that “the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9, NIV)
Two Kings. Two crises. Two different responses. Two very different results.
One king experienced the God of Breakthroughs. The other relied on his own plan.
One king saw a supernatural deliverance. The other, never ending war.
So…to whom will you turn? When faced with a struggle in your marriage, will you push through, relying on your own devices, or will you cry out to the God of Breakthroughs? Will you rely on that which you can see, or will you rely on the Unseen?
His eyes range throughout the earth seeking to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
And He is still in the business of breaking through.
If you and your spouse are in the midst of a struggle in your marriage, or are facing a difficult decision, please consider two things:
1) Schedule a time to sit down with your spouse and read this article and the associated Scripture together. Ask the Lord for His wisdom and discernment, expectant He will indeed answer. End your time praying together and crying out to God for His Help
2) We are exhorted in Scripture to "bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). Consider, with your spouse, what other Christ-followers or church leaders or mentors you could invite into your marriage struggle or decision you are facing? Then reach out to them, asking for a time to meet so they can help bear your burden. Together you can believe and keep trusting the God of Breakthroughs!
AUTHOR: David Stephens is a retired school superintendent and currently teaches students with special needs in an elementary school setting. He and his wife, Kelly, have been married 18 years and have three children.
Photo by Sergey Turkin on Unsplash
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