Have you ever felt frustrated in marriage? You know the type of frustration that leads you to walk away from hard conversations or where you try to tune your spouse out during a heated debate. I hate to say this but I have.
I have struggled to want to pursue my wife. I have struggled to “live with my wife in an understanding way” (1 Peter 3:7). I have even failed to love my wife like Christ loved the church. (Ephesians 5)
What, Lance?! You haven’t loved your wife, as well as, Jesus loved his church. Yeah, I know it sounds shocking, but I haven’t. And I never will as long as I live. However, that doesn’t mean we are left without hope.
So my question to you is: How do we strive to make our marriages a blessing rather than living like they are a curse?
1) Give thanks to God for everything about marriage.
This doesn’t sound like the easiest task at hand. However, it is clear from Genesis 3 to 1 Peter 3 that marriage is a gift from God. All of marriage. That means we can give thanks to God during a disagreement and when we are in agreement. We can give thanks when we don’t want to be in the same room and when we don’t want to leave each other’s presence. We thank God when it’s hard and when it’s easy.
Why? Both of these are blessings of a sovereign God. In every moment, God is using our sin, suffering and sweet moments to make us more like Jesus. That’s the best place to be in the whole world. Not where it’s easy, but where the Lord is changing me.
2) Keep the gospel at the center of your marriage
Chances are when you have fallen out of love with your spouse, you really have fallen out of focus. The focus of marriage is that we bring God glory, by displaying the gospel to the world.
Jesus was perfectly patient when we were unloveable. He was gracious and forgiving even when we were rebels. He pursued us passionately with his love when we were passionately pursuing sin.
This is the glorious grace of God. And we have the opportunity to display his grace by the way that we speak to our spouse’s with patience. By the way that we pursue them even when they are not being loveable. And by the way we are gracious and quick to forgive when we have been wronged.
3) Die to yourself daily and live for your spouse daily.
One of the keys to making your marriage feel like a curse is making everyday all about you. All about your wants, your desires, your right way to do things, and your feelings.
When marriage becomes all about you, it displays how little you value your spouse and your Savior.
So the best thing you can do for your marriage is to kill yourself today. What I mean is, kill your desires, your demands, your have-to’s, your don’t question me’s, and kill all the “you” that gets in the way of your marriage. Instead, pursue your spouse. What does she desire today that will make her feel valued? How could I honor my husband in a way that he knows I care and respect him?
When we begin to give thanks for our marriage, keep the gospel the focus, and die to ourselves, we can be sure that Christ will be glorified and our days will be blessed.
**For more information about an upcoming marriage seminar at Christ Fellowship, click here.