“When you commit to marriage, you have a responsibility. First to God, your wife, and the children you bring into that marriage. Then you have a responsibility to everybody else looking at your marriage.” – An excerpt from .

A marriage is not just about the two people involved. It’s also about the people around you who are watching your relationship grow. Your faithfulness and perseverance can give them hope.

Jackie Bledsoe knows this firsthand. A friend of his told him at one point,

“The day you and Stephana get a divorce is the day I stop believing in marriage.”

Jackie was shocked and humbled. The friend couldn’t have known at the time, but Jackie and his wife Stephana were going through a rough patch. It was challenging to love each other and put each other first. Even so, their covenant and focus on Christ was a witness. Jackie says that’s a wake-up call for every couple in the church – be aware that people are watching.

“There are people watching us in our marriage – the way we walk, the way we interact with our wives, the way we interact with our kids. And God has called us into this marriage relationship as leaders to walk that out in the relationship with Christ and the church – that’s the relationship we’re mirroring.”

This illustrates one of the principles in Jackie’s book – your marriage is not just about you. Your faithfulness to your spouse, your choice to honor her, can soften an unbeliever’s heart to the Gospel. How should we act in light of this truth?

“We want to make sure that we are steadily doing the things that God has asked to do and not taking it lightly. Sometimes we’re just naïve to how important it is and how it impacts the people outside of our four walls. But there is an impact that goes greater than that.”

The impact of our marriage goes straight back to the Bible. Jackie’s friend once told him that the word in Hebrew for husband actually means champion. That’s a high calling!

“Once we say ‘I do,’ we have become the champion of our family and now we’re to represent as champions as we go out and minister and talk and meet with other people. So don’t take it lightly.”

A godly man fights for his family and marriage from day one of the covenant – and God will give you the strength to do it.

Key Scriptures: Joshua 1:6-9; 1 Corinthians 13

Featured Songs: Strength of My Heart by Rend Collective; Unashamed by Chris August; Deeper by Meredith Andrews

Highlight : Your marriage is not just about you

The 7 rings of marriage

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