“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1
What comes to mind when you hear the word season? Is it a time when the flowers begin to bloom or perhaps when the leaves turn golden and begin to fall? From an early age we are taught season refers to each of the four divisions of the year (spring, summer, autumn and winter) marked by particular weather patterns and daylight hours. While that is true, King Solomon writes of seasons as a time appointed by God. If you are reading this, you are likely in the season called marriage.
For some of you, it is a time of preparation for the arrival of the season. It hovers on the horizon, and you are preparing to become a husband or a wife. Certain change is on the way, but uncertain of what exactly it will entail. Others are in the early days/years of marriage for the first time or perhaps again. You are experiencing all of the newness of the change in season. It’s incredibly exciting and perhaps surprisingly hard. And still others of you have walked many years in this season called marriage, so much so that marriage itself is no longer the measuring stick of seasons but rather a way of life. Regardless of where you find yourself as a husband or as a wife, it is inevitable that you have experienced the changing of seasons, of periods of time, where you have been reminded that you are not in control and you never were.
One day you are enamored with your spouse and the quirks that make them unique. One day you think “if they leave one more dish out” or “tell that story one more time…” One day you watch your life come together. One day you watch your life fall apart. One day you can’t stop singing. One day you can’t stop grieving. One day your spouse walks toward you. One day your spouse walks away from you. One day marriage feels like a vacation. One day marriage feels like a battlefield. One day you have hope. One day you lose hope. One day you fight. One day you throw in the towel. One day you bring home something new. One day you throw it in the garbage. One day you dream. One day the dream dies. One day you laugh. One day you cry. One day you can’t see past yourself. One day you walk in sacrificial love.
Every season has its proper time and duration. Time can be measured in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. The issue is not how long the seasons are, but rather how we respond.
Solomon knew this. Each day we have breath is a gift from God and God has a reason and a time for all things. Each thing takes its turn. Look at nature. Day will become night and night will become day. Is it summer? It will be winter. The clearest of blue skies will be clouded and stormy. Everything under heaven is changeable. And everything is under the sovereignty of God.
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever.” Romans 11:36
Ephesians 5 begins with a call to action for all believers to walk in love as Christ loved us. To walk in offering and sacrifice submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ in a world that says take and strive for the next “good” season in order to find comfort and happiness. Verses 22-33 states that when God created marriage, He created a union to put on display the covenant relationship between Christ and His bride, the church. Marriage does not exist to make us “happy,” but for the majesty and glory of God. We walk in this calling through the way we walk through seasons together.
We have an enemy who exists ONLY to steal, kill and destroy and he would love nothing more than to disrupt and destroy the gift of marriage. The danger in seasons of trial is that we may be tempted to blame God, complain, become shortsighted, take control, become bitter, withhold from the needs of our spouse or tap out completely. The danger in seasons of blessing is the dangerous phrase of “I’ve got this,” that we would neglect to give credit to God or to walk in the God-given purpose of our marriage.
Jesus came that we might have life to the fullest. This includes our call as husbands and wives. The abundant life is found in a life surrendered to Jesus. God’s gift of marriage is more concerned with our sanctification than our satisfaction. Marriage is for God’s glorification, not self-gratification. And yet, here’s the crazy thing, if everything we do is for God’s glorification, we will have gratification. This does not negate the changing of the seasons, but brings beauty in them.
Seasons have a beginning and an ending. They will be a mix of blessing and trial, but our gaze must be consistent. So wherever you find yourself over these next 21 days, we invite you to:
Fix your gaze on Christ.
Embrace God as your source of strength.
Recognize all seasons have a beginning and an ending.
Find blessings in trials.
Be aware of trials in blessings.
Walk in your God-ordained role as husband or wife, regardless of the season or your spouse’s willingness to do the same.
May God be glorified in all of our seasons.
- How have you traditionally viewed the purpose of marriage? How does Ephesians 5 line up with that view?
- In this season, where have you fixed your gaze? How is that impacting your call as husband or wife?
Ephesians 5, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, John 10:10, Lamentations 3:22-26, Psalm 111:1-4, Genesis 2:18-25
About the Authors:
As for Me and My House Devos for Spouses were written by:
Tonya and Ben Annis
Ben and Tonya Annis have been married for twenty-two years and have the privilege of raising three incredible sons, now 20, 17, and 13. As covenant members since 2016, Ben serves as the Brand Operations Principal at Compassion International while Tonya serves as the 1825 Ministry Director at Eleven22, helping to shepherd a quickly growing segment of our congregation and raising up generations of believers, leaders and missionaries around the world.