Instructions for your Marriage

Exodus 25: 8-9, 10-11, 23-24, 31-32

“Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you.

10 “Have the people make an Ark of acacia wood—a sacred chest 45 inches long, 27 inches wide, and 27 inches high.[a] 11 Overlay it inside and outside with pure gold, and run a molding of gold all around it.

23 “Then make a table of acacia wood, 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 27 inches high.[a] 24 Overlay it with pure gold and run a gold molding around the edge.

31 “Make a lampstand of pure, hammered gold. Make the entire lampstand and its decorations of one piece—the base, center stem, lamp cups, buds, and petals. 32 Make it with six branches going out from the center stem, three on each side.

Every time, without fail, when I read the multiple chapters in Exodus that explain how the children of Israel were to build the Tabernacle, Ark of the Covenant, a table, lampstand….I sigh, knowing that I’ll be bored out of my mind going through all the detailed instructions- again. This time, however, as I drudged through all the specifics the Lord gave Moses I asked, “God, why does this matter to ME?!” Immediately, the Holy Spirit aha moment came: God offers the same detailed instructions for how to build my life- and my marriage. Instructions on how to love God- and my husband are listed in scripture and the details are filled in when I ask Him pinpointed questions.

I used to pray very generally:

“Lord, bless my marriage. Please help Doug see that I’m right about ________. Amen”

Fortunately, by observing how several of my mentors prayed, I realized something was lacking in my conversations with God. So, I began to ask detailed instructions on how to build my ark, table, lampstand…

“Father, Thank you for giving me a husband who loves you. Bless him as he seeks to obey you in his life, his marriage, his parenting, his job & his ministry. I repent for not submitting to his decision about ________ . I see now that I was full of fear and as a result, didn’t trust him- or You. Lord, how should I apologize to him? How do You want me to respond the next time I feel afraid? How can I love Doug in a way that is pleasing to You and him? Help me to obey Your instructions for my life, and my marriage. Amen.”

078Not only have these in depth conversations with God radically changed my life- and my relationship with my husband, I’ve watched in awe as God has done the same for those I’ve been privileged to pray with. If your life – and your marriage seem to be wandering in the wilderness, I encourage you to go up the mountain as Moses did, and worship God. Then, seek detailed instructions on how to love Him- and your spouse (note: God’s spoken Word will NEVER contradict His written Word, so if you have any doubt about what you’re hearing, seek help from a trusted mentor who is willing to intercede for and with you). Once you’ve obtained specific blueprints for your life from the Master, choose to obey Him by building your tabernacle in the exact order as instructed. I promise you, His plans are never boring.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

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