It is interesting to me that Satan didn’t temp Adam and Eve to sin until after they were married (Gen. 2 and 3). Why? Satan wants your oneness. He seeks to destroy your unity. What is interesting is it really is not about you. The underlying treasure at stake is the marriage between Jesus and His church. Satan wants to destroy the church one marriage at a time.
Today, I want to give great hope and instruction through seven steps that will lead to the ultimate marriage. #1 - Stop fighting with your mate as though they are your enemy and start fighting with your mate against everything that seeks to destroy your relationship. Start fighting for one another instead of with one another.
#2 – Ask God and others for help. You are not alone in your marriage struggle. Others have had problems as well. Stop wondering what others might think if you reveal your issues. Your appearance of perfection isn’t important; your disappearance of marriage intimacy is! Seek help and healing from God and a trusted counselor who is growing in Christ.
#3 – Stop trying to fix your mate and let God fix you. Allow God to search you. You will never be happy or satisfied trying to just fix your mate. They are not perfect – and neither are you. Let God repair your sins and faults before rushing in to those of your spouse’s.
#4 – Start believing the best instead of the worst about your mate. Love, 1 Peter 4:8 says, covers a multitude of sins. This doesn’t mean you overlook sin but stand side-by-side with your mate loving them as they work through the sin. If you always speak or think negatively about your spouse you will reap resentment and bitterness. You will never change your spouse by belittling them. Believe that the Lord is at work in them and allow Him to change them.
#5 – Look at your mate through Jesus’ eyes. Perspective is everything. If you see them as worthless, sinful, and hopeless then that is what your marriage will become. When you start seeing them more as God’s child and less as your pet project then you will treat them with respect, love, admiration and compassion.
#6 – See your mate as someone you can serve, not as someone who serves you. It is selfish to think your spouse was created to serve you when we are all created to serve God. Because we love Him, we serve one another. Jesus didn’t want to be served but sought to serve others (Mark 10:45). When was the last time you served your mate without expecting something in return?
#7 – Be the first to repent and forgive. Here are some actions that will destroy your marriage: resentment, grudge, cynicism, anger, fury, and offense. Some life-giving actions are forgiveness, repentance, love, compassion, and service.
Remember, Jesus desires you to have the ultimate marriage primarily to give honor to Him. The end result of restoring your marriage is not you – it is Him. Jesus is not your therapist; He is your Lord.
• • •
Stephen Harrison is associate pastor of Family Church at White Hall.
• • •
Editor’s note: Pastors or associate pastors interested in writing for this section may submit articles to email@example.com. Please include your phone number and the name and location of your church or ministry.