Blog, Influencers Devotionals

Abiding with Your Spouse by Bryan Craig

March 12, 2024


Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  Genesis 2:24 ESV

I’ve written on this topic before, but I continue to see marriages under attack, the institution of marriage devalued or distorted and all of this causing a breakdown in the family.  It’s a serious thing.  Now, I’m writing primarily to you, my Christian brothers and sisters, and even more specifically, you Influencers who have accepted the calling to have an intimate, abiding relationship with Christ.  If someone has not asked Christ to be Lord of their life and someone does not value the Bible as God’s authority for living, I cannot expect them to understand or accept the things I will say.  However, for those of you who have surrendered your life to Christ, you believe Jesus to be the way, the truth and the life, and you believe the Bible to be the Living Word, I ask you to come close and listen.

We, in Influencers, spend much time meditating upon John 15.  We hear Jesus saying to “abide” in Him, in His Love, 10 times.  We believe the truth that abiding in Christ yields fruits of transformation and also the fruit of finding purpose in life.  We see people discovering this truth time and time again, and we even see tangible evidence during our 9 months journeying together in a group.  It is truly a beautiful thing.  Bruce Wilkinson wrote a book back in 2002, called “Secrets of the Vine” where he explored this amazing spiritual dynamic of abiding which he felt had been somehow lost in our Christian culture.  I do not believe Jesus meant it to be a secret, but the truth is that it seems a small number of Christians have ears to hear or eyes to see this “secret”.  I can say that in leading 22 Journey groups, with men and many with couples, I can’t count how many times I’ve heard, “Why did no-one teach me this?”

Last year, I wrote about a beautiful Commencement for one of my Couples Journey groups.  At that event, a thought emerged in regard to abiding.  We compared it to being married to Jesus, a full, lifelong commitment, contrasting that with the idea that it seems many believers are “dating Jesus”.  They like Him, will consider loving Him, but keep Him at a distance and keep their options open.  But it’s clear from Scripture that marriage is what He had in mind.

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.  And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”  Revelation 19:6-9 ESV

For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  2 Corinthians 11:2-3 ESV

So, when Bruce Wilkinson or Influencers says, Jesus desires an intimate, abiding relationship with us, it starts to make more sense.  And Journey members start realizing how little they really knew about this One, this Bridegroom, to whom they are pledged to marry.

This also helps me understand why the Enemy of our souls hates marriage.  I believe earthly marriage is a constant reminder of our heavenly marriage.  He cannot steal our heavenly betrothal, but he can sure wreak havoc with our earthly marriages. But I believe God wants our earthly marriages to resemble the heavenly marriage.  I believe Jesus would tell us to abide with our spouses, as we are abiding in Him, so that He can bear fruit in our marriages. 

I’ve been married 33 years to my college sweetheart, Missy, and we love each other deeply.  Yet, I’m amazed how things can go sideways so easily.  I realize that just as I must seek the Lord each day to abide in Him, and He in me, I must pursue this intimacy with Missy.

Not that I have figured this thing out by any means, but I sense God wanting me to think more deeply on how John 15 applies to my marriage.  Here’s a few of my thoughts.

  • Marriage should be an abiding relationship between a man and a woman who are surrendered and committed to each other for eternity.


  • I cannot bear fruit in my marriage by myself. An obvious fruit would be a physical fruit of children, but how about Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control.  These are fruits God would want in my marriage.  They come from Him but are fully realized as I abide with my spouse.  The more I find these fruits and give them away to my spouse, my marriage, and my family benefits greatly.


  • Those who do not abide with their spouse, and do not bear fruit of oneness and sacrifice, may find that their marriage becomes another casualty like a branch that is good for nothing but the fire.


  • If God’s Word is in me and in my spouse, we will speak blessings into our marriage, and we will find that our prayers are more powerful.


  • As I abide in Him and with my spouse, it brings God glory and shows my marriage to be one of two Disciples.


  • Love is oxygen for a healthy marriage, but I must always realize Love comes from the One who is Love. He wants me to abide in His Love so I will know how to love my spouse.  He loves her too, and He will teach me how to love her, if I let Him.  For a great manual on Love, go to 1 Corinthians 13. Paul also tells us to “love our spouses the way Christ loves us.” 


  • Abiding in Him and abiding with my spouse brings Jesus great joy, a joy that is pressed into my marriage.


  • We must forgive our spouses so we can be forgiven for our sins from God.


  • He wants us to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, not looking for what we can gain, but rather, looking for how to serve our spouse.


I could go on and on, but I hope you get the point.  It’s time for us abiders in Christ to start abiding with our spouses.  This will bring Love back into our marriages and break generational curses that are passed to the 3rd and 4th generations.  Love is passed to 1000 generations. 

Press into this word.  Get your journal, your Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to show you how Abiding relates to your marriage and write down your thoughts.  I need to stop writing now, because I need to talk to Missy and ask her for forgiveness.