A Romans 8:28 Marriage

October 28, 1978

This year, my husband and I celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary. To remain married that long is indeed an accomplishment to be celebrated these days as sadly, so many marriages end in divorce. We truly must have had a marriage made in heaven…right?

I wish I could say that. At least it certainly did not begin that way, nearly ending in divorce after only ten short years.

Pull up a chair and allow me to share with you why I call our marriage a “Romans 8:28 marriage”.

 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) 

“And we know that God…”

Actually, this was our first mistake. We did not acknowledge God in our early years. I remember sharing with my husband before we married of the “importance of church” in our lives (as if that's all there is to God). He kindly recognized my sentiments, but not with any great eagerness to follow through. I do remember going to church a couple of times in our first months together, but it sure was much easier to sleep in on Sunday mornings. 

In time, we no longer even gave Sunday mornings (or God) a second thought. 

“causes all things…” 

I grew up hearing that “God is in charge of all things”. Most certainly true, but I began to confuse God’s authority with “rules”, making Him somewhat of a “killjoy”. And I distorted the grace of God, perhaps at first ignorantly, but then willfully, giving myself a license to do whatever I pleased. My husband did likewise, and we were now on very a slippery slope; each pointing an accusing finger at the other, while teetering on the edge of our egotistical, narcissistic platforms. 

By now, we were a runaway train headed for collision! 

“to work together for good…” 

In those days, I remember thinking that NOTHING GOOD could come out of our marriage. We tried counseling, I tried Bible study, we tried church, but it wasn’t making any difference. WE were busy “working”-- working to make a living, working to raise three kids, working to maintain a level of perceived happiness. Nothing however was working for us, especially for our good—or at least we thought, but God was already working behind the scenes, sending His chosen laborers into a very muddy and messy field, knee deep in bitterness, guilt, and regret with seemingly little chance of any future harvest. 

“to those who love God…”

Uhhhh, wait a second. You mean it involves a relationship with God? I just thought we could sit back and let God magically do His thing if we did all the right things according to the world’s—and even the church’s standards. Hmmm…what did we miss? 

In a word . . . JESUS! So close, and yet so far, blinded by the god of this world. (2 Cor. 4:4) 

“and are called according to His purpose.” 

God desires to be Father to those He has chosen out of this world (Ephesians 1:4). He blesses us with every spiritual blessing “in Christ” (Eph. 1:3), to be holy and blameless (Eph. 1:4) for Himself. Because of His kind intentions toward us, He purposes for us to live IN HIM for His pleasure, glory, and satisfaction.

A life lived IN HIM and according to His purpose takes nothing away, but rather gives and blesses beyond measure, with every spiritual blessing, creating heaven on earth. (Matt. 6:10)

God’s first commission to man was “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it”. (Gen. 1:28) God was building a family. He desired to build a family in us, however, through a combination of ignorance and rebellion, we managed to twist God’s purposes for our marriage into our own self-destructing creation.

Then in 1991, God enlightened the eyes of my heart, to know of the hope of His calling, the riches of His glory, and the surpassing greatness of His power. Thus began the inward work of His glorious transformation, as He began to align and assign everything in our marriage to its proper place and its new position. But there was much work to do—painstaking, agonizing, excruciating work, starting with me.

It has been difficult at times.

But as I look back over the years, I can see God at work in our marriage all along our rocky way. Sometimes blessing, sometimes taking away, sometimes healing, sometimes allowing destruction to have its divine purpose, sometimes building up, and sometimes tearing down. There have been tears and laughter, weeping and dancing…war and peace…and lots of communication. (which is another topic). (Eccl. 3:1-10)

For years, I prayed for God to change my husband, but nothing seemed to be happening. I was growing frustrated and disheartened by his lack of attention and affection toward me, let alone spiritual leadership. I used control and manipulation to "get even", attempting to b-e-n-d him into the man I needed him to be. Then the Spirit of God urged me to change my prayer to, Lord, change me”, revealing to me that my critical spirit worked only to drive my husband further away from me and from God

God honored that prayer, as I surrendered not only my life, but also my marriage to God, I began to witness small miracles taking place in my marriage. Hard hearts began to soften, defenses were dissolving, and respect was being restored. What the enemy intended for evil, God used for good. And a strange thing was happening; I was falling deeply in love with my husband. 
For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (2 Cor. 4:6)

The Bible does not say that my husband will supply all my needs, but rather, it promises that "my God shall supply all my needs".  It never was my husband's job! 

From a marriage once darkened by sin and selfishness, now shines a Light that comes from the knowledge that through Christ, God truly works all things together for our good and His glory when our affections and desires are toward Him, rather than toward ourselves or the world. He has given me the man of my dreams, the man for whom I have prayed the past twenty years, and the one He has called me to love, to honor, and to cherish “until death do us part”, and I'm crazy about him! :)

All glory and power and honor belong to our God!

 (You can read additional information in my PersonalTestimony. Check out another story here about unequally yoked marriages)


Lord, thank you for the holy union of marriage. Sometimes, Lord, we grow frustrated in our marriage, each expecting the other to meet all our needs. But Your word promises that You, God, shall supply all our needs according to Your riches in glory in Christ Jesus, not according to the abilities or willingness of our spouses. Help us Lord, to surrender every area of our marriage to You. Show us how to love. Teach us how to love our spouse as You have loved us. Teach me to love unconditionally even when it hurts. And help me Lord to run to You when I am hurt or lonely, or feel abandoned and frightened. Thank you for sending Your workers into the field of our marriage. Give us ears to hear and hearts to receive godly instruction that our marriage may become a reflection of Your glory. And thank you Father, for restoring what the locusts of sin and selfishness have destroyed. All glory to You, in Jesus’ name, amen.