“Why all this commotion and wailing? Your marriage isn’t dead, but asleep!”
That’s a little adapted from the words of Jesus concerning Jairus’ little girl (Mark 5:39). She had been critically sick, so Jairus found Jesus and begged him to come heal her. So, not surprisingly, Jesus went. Along the way, he stopped briefly to engage a woman who had been healed by touching his clothing as he passed; and about the time he began his walk to Jairus’ home again, the word came that the daughter had died. Jesus told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just believe.” And he continued to Jairus’ home. He told the mourners who were there to wail that the little girl was not dead, she was only sleeping. They laughed at him, but he ignored them and went into the girl’s room.
Jesus took the girl by the hand and commanded, “Little girl, I say to you, get up.” The little twelve year-old stood up and walked around. Of course, everyone was astonished. And Jesus told them to get her something to eat.
How do you start waking up a marriage that appears dead? Can you hear Jesus say, “That marriage isn’t dead, but asleep”? What can we learn from this story?
1. Don’t be afraid, just believe. Fear drives out love. When a husband or wife lives in faith instead of fear, steps are more likely to be wise and authentic rather than unwise and stiff. Believe that Jesus can do something great in your relationship and live free.
2. Let Jesus put his hand on your marriage. Recognizing the presence of Jesus in your life can bring the peace that is beyond understanding. When the Lord’s hand is with you, powerful changes occur (Luke 1:66); and the promise of Jesus is that no one can snatch us from his hand (John 10:28). So pray, pray, pray, inviting Jesus into your relationship. Maybe you remember the lyric from Albert Brumley, “This would be my prayer, dear Lord, each day to help me do the best I can, For I need Thy light to guide me day and night, Blessed Jesus, hold my hand” (Jesus, Hold My Hand). Ask for his hand to touch your
3. Surround yourself with people who believe you can come alive rather than wailers who stir up commotion and laugh at the mention of healing.
4. Do what Jesus says. “You don’t have to be a Christian to have a good marriage, but we guarantee this: Every good marriage is good because somebody’s living the principles that Jesus taught! If you are reading this it’s likely that you are a believer so you know the importance of hearing and doing what Jesus says. He’s saying, “Husband, love your wife.” He is saying, “Wife, respect your husband.” He is calling you to walk in the Spirit so that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are the seeds you sow in your marriage. He’s saying, “Marriage, get up and walk.” So do it!
5. When you are back on your feet, get some nourishment. Don’t forget to feed your marriage or you’ll be back on your death bed again. There are tons of great marriage resources available to keep you strong. Get them and use them!