The NIV Couples Devotional - Saturday, September 7, 2013

Conquering Fears in Marriage

Hebrews 11:1—12:3

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

It’s scary to tell someone, “I love you.” It’s even more frightening to ask, “Will you marry me?”

Still even more terrifying is the answer: “Yes.”

Think about the weak-in-the-knees words “I do” and what can follow them: buying a house, having children, moving the family to a different state, taking a new job . . . The list of intimidating, heart-pounding, fear-provoking aspects of marriage go on and on.

Responsibility really hit me when Kelli and I started having children. I thought, “Now, not only is my life inextricably linked to my wife’s, and not only do I carry the responsibility of owning property, but now I am responsible for the well-being, provision and growth of other little human beings.” What a scary thought!

It seems that in every new stage in life, the stakes get higher.

When you stop and think about it, though, all of the Christian life takes tremendous courage as we commit our lives to God and join others who are called to be God’s people. Though we cannot see God, we can be confident of God’s goodness, God’s power, God’s presence and God’s wisdom. And yet we still must take that fearful first step of trust.

As Christians, we trust the unseen and base all our decisions about love and marriage on God’s invisible reality and the promises he has made. To live the Christian life and to make choices (not only for me, but for my entire family) based on a God we can’t see is tough. But the Bible tells us that this is the only wise choice to make.

As we look to Scripture for guidance, we can draw comfort and courage from heroes of faith such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses and Rahab—people Kierkegaard called the unsurpassed “Knights of Faith.” After commending these and a few other Old Testament believers specifically (see Hebrews 11:4–31), the writer of Hebrews affirmed the many others who had faith to conquer kingdoms, administer justice, shut the mouths of lions and rout foreign armies (see Hebrews 11:32–38). These heroes weren’t lauded because they were strong in themselves, but because they trusted God. They were weak as they considered the tasks ahead of them, but when they trusted God, he turned their weakness into strength.

Likewise we are to trust God as we face the risky and intimidating aspects of married life. For as Hebrews 12:1 assures us, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, and therefore we have the strength and courage to throw off everything that hinders us and move forward in love, confidence and trust. This is the unseen reality that makes sense of our choice to step forward into marriage despite our fears.
David and Kelli Trujillo

Let’s Talk

  • What are the toughest choices or biggest risks we’ve ever had to take in our lives? In our marriage?
  • What is our vision for our life together? What fears do we have? What hopes do we have?
  • How can we help each other live like heroes of faith as we face fears and risks in the years to come?
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