We all know about Marines. Created as part of the U.S. armed forces in 1775, the Marines have fashioned a name for themselves throughout American history. They are trained to fight on land, sea, and air – and win. If you have ever met a Marine, you will see that it is not always his size that matters, but his heart. He is determined and has learned through hours and hours of training to persevere, fight the good fight, leave no one behind, and finish victoriously. They are engrained with such ethics from the beginning whether they experience Boot Camp or Officer Candidate School. Marines, due to their fighting nature, have retained the mascot of a bulldog.
A bulldog, as you might know, is a born fighter. His jaws even depict such. His bottom jaw comes out farther than his top jaw allowing him to hold on to something and still be able to breathe. A useful tool, I would think. They even have the look of a fighter.
Attending a wonderful marriage conference this past weekend, hosted by Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg, the point was made that we should hold onto our mate and fight for our marriage just like a bulldog would. We must remain fierce and determined, making a conscious effort to do all that we can to preserve the covenant we have made with God and our mate. A covenant as Merriam-Webster defines it is “a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement.” We all said it, “till death do us part.” I am sticking with that. We could go into great detail about the covenant of marriage as God designed it, but my heart today is in the fight, the determination to preserve what I have.
I was a Marine at one time – scary, I know. I am even amazed. A bulldog I was, though, and was taught as all other Marines are to fight with everything I had. If you have ever met me, you would realize that perseverance and determination are really the only things that would save me in a fight. Size has never been my strength, unless you count hide and seek. Fight I will, though, if it comes to it.
This same spirit is what God convicted me this weekend to have about my marriage, to fight for this covenant, this blessing from God with everything I have. Determined to persevere, I will take on anyone who thinks they might want to destroy what God has ordained. I will fight, by golly! But one thing I have learned over the years is that the enemy we fight is many times not one I can take out with the butt stock of my M16.
This is a different kind of fighting that requires some spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18). Much of that armor is of the defensive sort, but I refuse to sit back in a defensive posture. God gave me some offensive tools that I plan to engage. Verses 17 and 18 give us two – a sword (yes!) and a direct connection to God through prayer (even better!). It says, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:17-18).
I can fight a physical fight if I have to, but a more important fight is the one to defend my home, my marriage. I plan to take my sword, learn to use it with proficiency and pray my socks off for the marriage and the man God gave me. I plan to hold on with everything I have. Join me, will you? Defending our marriages, fighting for the blessing we have been given, and persevering when the enemy stands at the door. Be a bulldog. I plan to.