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Since Jesse and I have celebrated several decades of marriage, I've thought to myself, "That's really a big deal these days." What's really amazing is the fact that we have never separated or thought about divorce. Murder maybe, but never divorce.

We had a traditional church wedding on the first Saturday after my high school graduation, three months before my eighteenth birthday and one month before Jesse made twenty-one.

Neither of us were born again and didn't really understand the vows we said before God that day, but in His eyes we became one flesh. Genesis 2:24 says, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

Although God saw us as one, Jesse and I could not have been more opposite. He was a bold and flashy rock entertainer and I was a shy girl with plans of becoming an elementary school teacher. However, just one week after we were married, Jesse loaded all of our wedding gifts in the back of a U-haul trailer and we moved from my south Louisiana hometown to Dallas, Texas.

Jesse let me know from the start that nothing would interfere with his plans for a successful rock music career, including me. It was the most important thing in his life and he would do whatever was necessary to reach his goals.

Most of the first five years of our married life was spent on the road, traveling every few weeks to a new city. Jesse was booked solid, six nights a week, fifty weeks a year and I traveled with him to every single gig (that's what he called each job). He is an extremely talented person and worked very hard to fulfill his carefully laid out plans for his life in the music business.

God Had a Plan
However, God also had a plan and it began to unfold the day that I asked Jesus Christ to come into my life in May of 1973. While Jesse was performing in Minneapolis, I watched Billy Graham on television with our one year-old daughter on my lap and I was forever changed. I began praying for Jesse to be saved and discover this wonderful peace and love that I had found in Jesus.

Almost two years later, Jesse was born again while watching a Billy Graham television broadcast, and took the first steps toward God's wonderful plan for our lives. (You can see why television ministry is such an important part of our life and ministry!)

For the first time in our lives, we really understood what it meant to be "one flesh." God was knitting our hearts together in Him and we understood what it meant to, "...stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel" (Phil. 1:27).

Now I am not saying we agreed on every single thing from that moment on. We are still opposites. Jesse and I often disagree about many things. Being "one flesh" doesn't mean we lost our individuality. Both of us have strong opinions and we get frustrated when the other doesn't see things in the same way.

But we are learning to recognize our individual strengths and always arrive at the best decision when we take the time to talk things out. (Sometimes we talk louder than other times.) I have told Jesse, "I am anointed to help you! So, listen to me!" Occasionally it works.

The Power of "One Flesh"
After thirty years with the same person, you learn a few things. Proverbs 14:1 says, "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." I know the words that can bring us closer together and strengthen our relationship. I also know the words that can drive us apart and tear down all that we have built together.

In the fall of 1999, Jesse and I tag-team preached together for the first time during the Lindsay Roberts Women's Conference at ORU in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We have preached different services at our Celebrate Jesus Meetings, but we had never taken the same text and preached one service together. It was powerful!

We began by just talking to the people about how we met and principles that we have applied to have a great marriage. Now, Jesse and I take our marriage very seriously, but that night everything came out funny. (I know that may not shock you.) It was like a twenty-minute comedy act.

I let Jesse sit down while I preached, "Turning Your Nothing Into Something" and when I was done, Jesse took the same subject and preached one of the most anointed sermons I've ever heard him preach. I tell you, it was an awesome meeting.

Only God can bring two people that are so opposite and make them one flesh. When a husband and wife stand side by side in their covenant relationship with God, nothing is impossible. There are no limits to God's ability to flow to you and through you to others if you will put Him first place in your life. In fact, this is the first key to any good relationship, whether it be a marriage, friendship, family member or business associate.

When God is first in your life, He will guide you by His Spirit and His Word so that you can speak words that bring life and understanding instead of division. Psalm 119:130 says, "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple."

God's Word has given Jesse and me understanding about how to have a good marriage. In Mark 11:25-26, Jesus taught us to forgive regardless of who is right or wrong and we have learned to never go to bed with unforgiveness (see Ephesians 4:26).

Commitment to this kind of love has far reaching benefits. It will help you love one another completely, look beyond faults, enjoy each other and fulfill the call of God on your life. And you shall be one.

Copyright © Jesse Duplantis Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Cathy Duplantis
Web site: Jesse Duplantis Ministries
 
Rev. Cathy Duplantis is an anointed teacher of the Gospel who is dedicated to living by faith and inspiring others to do the same. The wife of Evangelist, Jesse Duplantis, Rev. Duplantis has worked continually with her husband in the ministry since it began in 1978 serving as Administrator, Editor-in-Chief of Voice of the Covenant magazine and television co-host.
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