By Becky Weber, Crosswalk.com
My husband and I will be married eighteen years this coming August. It seems like the years have flown by, and that it was just yesterday that we were saying our vows before a church full of our family and friends. Our marriage has been one of the greatest gifts I have ever received, but we have definitely had our hard moments. One of the things that has been so important for us is involving the Lord in our marriage. He has been the one that has sustained us through everything and has been the one that gives our marriage life.
Our anniversary each year is a good reminder to take a step back, reminisce, and really take inventory on how our marriage is going. One thing that is so beneficial for marriage is praying. We can come directly before the Lord, present our requests to him, ask him for wisdom in our relationship, and ask for his help to make our marriage stronger. I can’t think of something better than combining the two and coming up with some anniversary prayers. It is a great way to be intentional each year, remember what the purpose of our marriage is, and show the world Jesus.
What Does the Bible Tell Us about Love and Marriage?
One of my favorite places in the Bible that talks about marriage is in Ephesians 5. In the first part of the chapter, Paul tells the Ephesians to, “walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Vs.2). Out of his sacrificial love for us, Jesus gave up his life. We will not find a better example of love than this.
Toward the end of this chapter, Paul goes on to talk about what a marriage should look like. Both the husband and wife have roles in the relationship. When put together, they should be a picture of what Christ did for the church. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31). What a beautiful purpose for our marriages, to reflect the love of Jesus to the world. It is not a selfish kind of love, but a love that is sacrificial, and thinks of another’s best interests. Our marriages have a higher calling than what is portrayed in movies. We aren't married to satisfy selfish desires. We are committed to each other. We are to love each other like Christ loved the church, and we are to serve each other in this relationship. When this is lived out, both people in the marriage benefit. We also begin to become more like Jesus in the process.
5 Loving Anniversary Prayers
1. A Prayer That Our Marriage Would Stay Focused on Jesus
Father, thank you that you did not leave us alone to figure this marriage thing out. You promised that you would always be with us. Please help us as a couple to keep our eyes fixed on you. Help us learn to walk with you and grow closer to you so everything that we do flows from our relationship with you. Help us bring you into everything in our relationship, so we don’t rely on our own human strength or understanding. We lay down our pride before you and our selfish desires. Help others see you in our marriage. Amen.
2. An Anniversary Prayer for Our Marriage to Be Strengthened
Lord, thank you for the gift that our marriage is. I pray each year that it would be stronger. When we are weak, would you help us both to run to you Lord, to get our strength to make our marriage work. Especially in this world, give us what we need to have a long-lasting marriage. Help us both to say no to our pride when we need to work on something. You are greater than anything that would try to tear us apart. Help us to rely on you to make our marriage better. Amen.
3. A Prayer that We Would Always Choose to Love Each Other
Father, thank you that you are our example of what love looks like. We can get so confused when we rely on feelings only. Help us to make the choice to love, even when we don’t feel like it. When it is hard to love, help us remember the reasons that we got married in the first place. Give us the energy to love on days when it gets hard. Thank you for loving us Lord, so we can do the same because of you. Amen.
4. A Prayer that We Would Choose Forgiveness
Lord, thank you for the gift you have given us in your forgiveness. Help us in our marriage to assume the same attitude that you have toward us. When we are hurting, help us to come to you first. Give us the strength to forgive each other. Would you protect us from becoming bitter toward each other, and keep our hearts moldable and soft? Help our marriage to be a light to others, so they can see you through it. Amen.
5. An Anniversary Prayer for Intimacy in Our Marriage
Father, thank you for your plan for marriage. Thank you for my spouse, and the close relationship that we have. Would you help us grow in intimacy with each other, physically, emotionally, and spiritually? Help us see what a gift intimacy is, and the plan that you had for it. Help us both heal from anything from our pasts that might be getting in the way of becoming closer to each other. Give us a healthy perspective on intimacy; thank you for giving us a glimpse into what your perfect relationship looks like with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
4 Ways to Show Your Significant Other Love on Your Anniversary
1. Write encouraging notes to your spouse leading up to your anniversary, and place one each day in a place where they will find it during their normal routine.
2. Surprise your spouse with a date night, and take care of all the necessary details, so they don’t have to plan anything.
3. Get a bunch of their favorite treats or drinks and make a gift basket to give them to enjoy.
4. On your anniversary, make a bucket list of things you want to do together. Try to complete the list before your next anniversary comes around.
What a wonderful joy it can be when our anniversary happens each year. Not only can we celebrate all that has happened, but it can give us a starting point for how to make our marriages better in the years to come. We don’t have to sit and do nothing; we can put in the effort to make our marriages really thrive for as long as we are on this earth. The Lord has given us this gift called marriage. I pray that we each would have the strength to make our relationships better, so we can ultimately show the world Jesus through our marriages.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/YakobchukOlena
Becky Weber is a wife, and mom to 4 kids. She loves to write and speak. She is a pastor’s wife in Sioux Falls, SD where her husband Adam is the lead pastor of Embrace Church. Her passion is to encourage others (especially women) to learn how to walk with Jesus on a daily basis. You can find more writing over at www.becweber.com and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.