Every marriage has faced, is facing, or will someday face some type of storm. Storms range in size, fury, and aftermath. Most physical storms in weather start out with small raindrops pattering on your window intensifying as time passes. Soon the thunder, lightning, hail, and torrential downpours come. However, there are some storms so severe they seem to come out of nowhere, and a bright, sunny day turns violent in moments with no warning.
Storms in marriage are much the same way. There are the storms that arise from the constant pattering of annoyances until they erupt into angry outbursts. Some storms hit so suddenly when an unexpected crisis seems to come out of nowhere. We can expect storms in our marriages because we live in a broken and sinful world and nothing works the way it was intended to. Unlike physical storms that eventually give way to sunny skies, marital storms are given no such promise in this life. We are guaranteed that all things will become new, all storms end, all pain, and suffering turn to joy the day we exchange this life for eternal life with God (Revelation 21:4-7).
I recently read the book Together Through the Storms by Jeff and Sarah Walton. Wow, what a fantastic book for every single marriage! I challenge you to find another marriage book based on the book of Job from the Bible. Together Through the Storms is not a how-to book on marriage, but straight biblical counsel on how to respond to your spouse when your marriage has hit a storm.
Being a busy pastor’s wife, a mother of four, and having just come off a recent health crisis, I read the book in pieces. I was sometimes rereading chapters because I couldn’t find where I had left off. I was busy taking screenshots and circling in red words I wanted to remember for myself. In the middle of reading the book, the biggest storm hit the entire world, and suddenly every single marriage was in this storm together, like it or not! COVID-19. As I write, we are in the middle of a country-wide shelter in place order. Everyone is on edge; everyone’s emotions swing from “We can do this!” to “What is the point of even getting out of bed!”
Who knew that this book would be hitting the market at the exact moment everyone would need it? God knew. God, in His sovereignty, planned all of this and He knew before we even had an inkling. The Lord is in full control of every facet of Job’s life, and He is in control of all that is happening with COVID-19. Jeff and Sarah encourage us with this sentence, “He [God] loves us by allowing what he must so that we will be ultimately satisfied in him and bring him glory through those circumstances.” These words could not be timelier!
Jeff and Sarah thoughtfully remark:
“We must speak the promises and character of God to ourselves and wait upon the Lord, believing that there will be a day when he will judge, he will redeem, and he will make all things right. We grieve because our pain is real, but we have hope because Jesus is greater than our pain and sorrow.”
Jeff and Sarah also say, “…God does not intend to meet our expectations. Instead, he meets our needs.”
These words were not written lightly but were borne out of years of suffering in the Walton’s life. Jeff and Sarah did not write this book in the afterglow of having come through the storm and can now offer advice on how to make it through until all your problems are solved too. No, they are smack dab in the middle of their storm. It has never ended. They don’t offer false hope that it ever will either, in this life, at least. Their hope is in something much greater, and their suffering has given them a new lens to look through. Their hope is this hope. 1 Peter 5:10, ”And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” This hope of the Walton’s and every Christian. Romans 8:24-25,” For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
Our hope must rest not only on the promises of Jesus Christ but on Jesus Christ alone! Together Through the Storms points you to this hope on every single page. There is no skirting the difficult or awkward topics. Whatever questions or doubts the storms in your marriage has produced, they address them. I urge you to order your copy of this book today because it may very well be the best investment you make in your marriage.
God created marriage to reflect the beautiful relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church, so it’s definitely worth investing in your marriage. Every marriage is hard, whether you have faced significant storms or not. The enemy wants to see marriages fail because he knows the power that is in a marriage that accurately reflects Christ. Choose to fight back against him and for your marriage. Choose through the grace and strength of God to go through your storms together!