My husband had an epiphany early in our marriage: Nobody can destroy our marriage but two people—him and me. We have felt good about that insight ever since.
The liberating revelation came in the midst of a firestorm. Satan was releasing his arsenal at us: bad health, rocky relations with children, financial problems, and the broadside that happens to newlyweds when you wake up in the morning and realize you didn’t marry yourself.
We had gone into the union with the confidence of Christians. But the world, the flesh, and the devil gave us a run for our money. It was then that this idea suddenly burst upon my husband’s brain, that none of these external things is able in itself to shipwreck our oneness. The thought seems obvious now (now that we know it), but it is actually a very common erroneous notion that there are things or people “out there” that have the power to kill one’s marriage. To grasp the falsity of that assumption takes some reflection.
You see, there is no direct pathway between anything “out there” and your marriage. Every threatening occurrence or circumstance or seductive interloper can at best only be indirectly influential on the entity that is created between two people in covenant. This is because the outside influence always has to pass by the arbiters at the gate of the covenant. It is the two covenanted people who man that gate and can say to one influence, “Come in,” and to another, “Stay out.”
They say colloquially that “financial troubles ruined that marriage,” or “illness ruined that marriage,” but this is not precisely true. Better to say, “financial troubles occurred, and he allowed it to ruin the marriage,” or “he came down with MS, and she decided to leave him” (I know such a case firsthand.)
The covenant of marriage is an impenetrable fortress to those who tend its entry portals and foundations. As Jesus said, the rains beat against that house but it stood fast because of its firm foundation.
So married folks, take heart! There are not a thousand things and people in the world that are able to destroy your marriage; there are only two—you and she. As for me and my husband, we have pledge in Christ to never let that happen. This is the peace and confidence God extends to every marriage.