After all, we're Christian. God's on our side, right?
Wrong. Way, waaaaay wrong.
This is not about whose side God is on.
God is on God's side. Whose side are you on? And remember, there are only two sides to this coin.
Simply "being Christian" in no way immunizes us from the corrupting effects of this world (ref Mt 7:21-27, in particular 7:23). For God to strengthen our marriage, we have to first let him into our marriage, and then we can draw strength from him (ref Ecc 4:11-12). True, accurate knowledge of God is required (ref Rom 1:28) to build up our faith in him, which in turn, leads to better appreciation of His grace, which gives us the motivation to further do his will, which leads us to seek more knowledge, etc.
When marriage mates deviate from God's standards, then troubles begins to creep in. That three-fold cord starts to lose strands, and eventually comes apart and disintegrates. Even those who remain faithful to God's standards are not guaranteed a free ride (ref 1 cor 7:27-28). Accurate knowledge of what is within God's will is crucial. Couples should spend time together in spiritual activities that include Bible reading and discussion of what they learn so they both have the same "game plan" and understand where each is coming from.
I named this blog RenderTheirDue because, during my search to build up my own marriage, I noticed many others in similar pain to mine. Of course, we all like to think we are the only one suffering like this. We're not. And this is a good thing. It reminds us we have a connection to all our fellow Christians, and allows us to bring comfort to those in need. We need to remember, however, that this connection also includes our spouse.
I am lucky in that I think I now understand more fully just what the "due" is and what "render" actually means. My problem was actually knowing "how." And that was frustrating every effort.
The Bible does not really say "how." But God's way is love, since God IS love (ref 1 john 4:8). And we have these wonderful connections all around us to Christians who love God. From them, and their suffering, we can learn the "how". In the shared love of God, we share our experiences and bring healing to each other. And then pass that on to others--including our spouses. And the three-fold cord now becomes a rope of such strength that it will never fail.
So, you see, the only way a Christian marriage can fail, is when it stops being Christian.