As I was strolling through the grocery store yesterday morning, in the center of the aisle, was a little round spindle rack containing some Christian books. One book in particular jumped out at me, it was entitled, “52 Ways to “Wow” Your Husband.” I immediately picked up the book and began to thumb through it. From the little I read of it there, standing in the middle of the aisle, I thought it had some really amazing ideas and I quickly plopped the book into my cart. I’m always looking for ways to keep my marriage vibrant and fresh and I’m definitely looking forward to reading this book and implementing some of the great ideas!
I think we as Christians need to be pro-active in our marriages. The enemy is on full attack these days and he would love nothing more than to destroy the family through our marriages. The statistics for divorce among Christian marriages is the same as that of secular marriages and that is so sad. It really opens my eyes to the fact that just because we’re so-called “Christians,” that our values and morals can quickly start to unravel and resemble that of the world’s when we are not in a daily and consistent walk with the Lord. Our walk and closeness with God should be the foundation upon which we build all other relationships including our marriages.
Our spouse is never going to take the place of God in our lives, they can’t, and they shouldn’t, because they are not God. Only God can bring the true fulfillment that our longing hearts desire. By seeking to love God with our entire being, only then can He in turn help us to be the kind of spouse our mate needs. God is our “beloved” and there should be no-one before him in our lives (Matthew 10:37). Our marriages should be secondary to our relationship with him. Only when we allow God to have his rightful place in our lives can we begin to build and experience the meaningful and rich relationships that God intends for our marriages.
When our focus is not on God, it becomes easy to drift away from our spouse by letting little irritants become inflated in our minds. Discontentment can rear its ugly head and lead to severe trouble if not subdued. Sometimes it’s because we are feeling that we are not getting “our” needs met by our mates. We then start feeling discouraged and it becomes this vicious cycle. Our marriages are not to be built on our emotions but upon the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. God wants us to keep all of our thoughts captive and bring them in alignment with his word (2 Corinthians 10:5). When we don’t handle our thoughts properly, the small mole-hills soon become mountains! When our problems become mountain size, then our task is no longer an easy one. When we discover we now have this mountain to climb, some people easily tire and give up because the task seems impossible. At this point I see so many people throw in the towel or turn to others to try to find the fulfillment they desire. No person can “complete” us, only God can. I can’t emphasize enough that God must be at the for-front of our marriages. “In Him” is the only way that our marriages will ever be what God intended them to be.
We can’t live in the “if only’s” in our marriages. If only my spouse would treat me better. If only he/she would be this way or that. And we cannot compare our spouses to others either. These are tactics of the enemy and we must learn to stop those thoughts dead in their tracks because if allowed to fester, they will lead to destruction. When we marry, we vow that it will be a life-long commitment and it is important that we treat it as such. I truly believe that we are in the marriages we are in for a reason. God can use the circumstances we struggle with in our marriage to strengthen flaws in ourselves. Ah, that’s a novel idea huh! When we are walking with God, he is molding us into the people he wants us to be and sometimes he can use difficulties in our marriage (however small or large) to change us in ways that glorify himself and bring about the healthy, vibrant, God-honoring marriages which God desires for us. We are to honor him in “all” things, our marriage is included. Our marriages should glorify God.
The key to a healthy marriage is to put God first in our own life. And then help our spouse do the same. We must become “other” minded in order for our relationships to become all that God intended it to be (Philippians 2:3). Likewise we are mimicking the relationship that we have “in Christ” and bringing those aspects to our marriages. If you want change in your relationship with you spouse, look to God’s word and pray. He can show “you” what needs to be done to make your relationship better. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but if we are faithful, God will be faithful and he will honor your obedience.
Marriage isn’t intended to be a drudgery. We are called to be “helpers” to our mates (Genesis 2:18). That is God’s design. If our marriages are in line with what God intends for them, they can be joyous, fulfilling and life-long. God will put his blessing on our marriage when we seek to Glorify him through it. I know that’s what I want for my marriage. How about you?
Getting back to my original thought of being pro-active in our marriages. It is vital that we strive to make our marriages into all God has intended them to be and then we take a pro-active role in keeping them in line with God’s purposes. We don’t want to wait till an earthquake hits and then have to access the damage. We need to be actively seeking God and turning to scripture to find out what our role is in creating the healthy and vibrant marriages God intends for us. With Christ at the center of our marriage, he can give us the enduring strength to last a lifetime.