American Calvinist Baptist Minister and Author John Piper’s wife Noel Piper writes about their successful marriage. An article ‘Will you cleave and leave your man? – letter to a would-be adulteress’ in desiringgod.org, talks about her convictions and habits for keeping her marriage from turmoil and sensual encounters.
She writes, “I understood — as well as a person can at the beginning of the rest of her life — the happy, solemn weight of promising to be faithful to him until death parted us, no matter what challenges God might bring into our lives. It didn’t seem possible I would ever want anything else.”
And she willfully and wholeheartedly took the oath, “Noël, do you take John to be your wedded husband to live together in holy matrimony? Do you promise to love him . . . and forsaking all others, be faithful only to him so long as you both shall live?” There was not a doubt in my mind or heart when I declared, “I do!”
Like many others she also experienced the tempting storms in which their marriage could have been ship-wrecked. But God held them together.
“How could I have known that the worse of “better or worse” would lead to a season of sleepless nights when I wondered how I could keep on? I felt desperate for something different. That’s the time in our marriage when I would have been most likely to turn to someone else. But thank God, it didn’t happen. He held us together. There were a few habits that helped.”
She formed some practical and tough habits which is the embodiment of love and dedication to her husband John Piper. These habits are still relevant in these post-modern times where people tend to be unfaithful at least in social media. Try these habits to keep the marriage safe and pure.
- “Not flirting with other men.
- Avoiding men who seemed too interested.
- Not meeting alone with any other man.
- Having regular devotions together with Johnny.
Faithfulness required more than four habits, but these four have been central and essential.”
Men can also follow the habits. For her the hardest habit was the last one; to having devotions together with her husband. What she learnt from her parents – togetherness in prayer inspired her to keep the promise.
“The last is the hardest, but most important. My appreciation for it began, as with many things, with my parents. It is amazing my parents stayed together. About twenty years into their marriage, their rampaging differences seemed about to rip them apart.
Through even the most difficult months — years, really — Daddy and Mother took us all to church every Sunday. And every evening of the week, one of us kids was sent to the front porch to holler down toward the pasture and out toward the woods, “Sto-o-ory and pra-a-yers ti-i-ime!”
After all nine of us kids (later we were ten) had tumbled into the living room from the barn and creek and kitchen, Daddy read the next passage in our years-long path through the whole Bible. Then we kneeled at our chairs and took turns praying”
And she had questions and doubts of wandering away from the sanctity of their marriage. But she chose the path of faithfulness and it yielded great results in their personal lives. And for the millions of people who read and watch John Piper and his family, their life is a perfect example to follow.
She asks herself some important questions, and she picked up the right answer.
“What did it boil down to during my darkest nights? I was saved from wandering by some form of this question: What kind of a cleaver am I? Am I the deadly implement who will split my family — with a husband and five children — into shreds? Because, with or without divorce, that is what unfaithfulness will do to us.
Or will I cleave to the husband God has given me? Will I cling to my marriage and pray desperately for something different? I chose to cling, and God is still proving his faithfulness. He will do the same for you.”
Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled .. Hebrews 13:4
By Prakash P Koshy