I well remember a conversation I had with a good friend a few years ago. He, like me, was in Christian ministry and I held him, and still do, in high regard. We were talking about our marriages and the considerable merits of our respective wives. We were both immensely grateful to God for the gracious, seemingly miraculous, gift of our spouse.

Then he said, ‘But you can never take it for granted. Marriage is so fragile. You can blow it all with just one act of stupidity, or let it slip away almost imperceptibly, through many acts of selfish neglect. I don’t ever want that to happen to me’. And so we prayed.

I was a bit surprised. I had always thought of this guy as somehow above impulsive temptation or callous disregard. Others maybe, myself maybe, but not him. But here he was giving voice to what I had often thought.

Marriage is such a precious gift. And yet, on account of our sin, it is so fragile.

No wonder the prophet Malachi twice warns Israel, ‘Guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith (with the wife of your youth)’ (Malachi 2:15, 16). We must guard our spirit; we must remain faithful; we must keep investing in our marriages. It’s a lifelong endeavour.

If you’re married, one simple way you can guard your spirit is to put your name down for our ‘Fireproof Your Marriage’ dinner and movie night on the 28th April. It will only be a small commitment, but a good marriage is built on many such small commitments.