Okay, sweet friends… I feel like I need to give you a word of warning before we tread these shores of marriage together. It may get a bit deep… the waters may be get a little treacherous. Really! It may get a little messy, girls!
I know as women, we like things served nice and neat and pretty, but in order to really make progress in our marriages, we need a bit of the ‘shoot it to me straight’ kind of encouragement. So, we’re going to get personal and we’re going to be very transparent as we look at where we are in light of where we should be in our marriages.
You see, I’m afraid many marriages are struggling to stay afloat when they could be sailing the clear blue sea!
I remember a young wife who came to me several years ago and her sweet heart was hurting. Her marriage wasn’t turning out like she had planned. Her husband wasn’t exactly who she thought she had married. Her dreams of ‘happily ever after’ were becoming ‘hope we make it ’til next year.’
Marriage is seldom easy.
So, for the sake of those marriages that are hurting and for the sake of those wives who long to make their marriages the best they can be, let’s do this thing!
So here goes…
Our marriages are not about us.
Marriage is really more about honoring God than it is about how we feel, what we think or whether or not our hubby is treating us right. Tough stuff. I know. But true.
We get caught up in the emotions of the moment and are wounded by words that should have never been said. We start fights, fight back in wars waged within the walls of our own homes.
Sometimes we’re on the offensive other times we’re on the defensive. We struggle with anger, forgiveness, feeling unappreciated and even unwanted.
I realize many of you are in very difficult places in your marriage. Please know that this post isn’t meant to minimize your pain or predicament. But even in the midst of the mire, our goal is to glorify God.
Victory in even the worst situations is found in focusing on God and trusting Him in it all.
So, dear one, I know this may be difficult to hear (read) but whether your marriage is good or bad…
Our marriages aren’t about us. Our marriages are about how we can honor God in and through it all… for His glory… to make our marriages a reflection of Christ and the church… a beautiful, inseperable union with an unshakeable foundation of unconditional love.
Below are 3 biblical principles that solidify the fact that our marriages are really about Jesus and not about us:
1. Marriage is to be a picture of Christ and the church to a lost and dying world.
Ephesians 5:31-32 is part of a wonderful passage that presents the marriage/church parallel…
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.”
2. EVERYTHING we do is to glorify God.
In 1 Corinthians 10:31, we find these words…
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Easy to live out when life is sweet, but not so easy to live out in the trenches. We all face days when we feel like a war is going on… even in our homes… but God is often glorified most when we are walking through difficult days and giving Him the glory anyway.
It’s not always easy to glorify God when your heart is hurting, your marriage is hard and you can’t get past the pain. But the way you choose to respond demonstrates that you honor God in spite of your circumstances.
3. Your vow to your husband is really a vow to God
I remember when I wrote my Bible study on Ecclesiastes, Understanding What Matters Most, one of the ‘lightbulb’ moments I had was when I read Ecclesiastes 5 and discovered that not only does God require us to fulfill each of our vows, but that I actually said I do to a lot more than just, ’til death do us part.
Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 says,
“4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. 6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands?”
After reading those verses I remember trying to mentally retrace the vows we made on January 31, 1987. I couldn’t remember them all, but I’m pretty sure I even said the dreaded word, “obey.”
The fact that I couldn’t remember them all really grieves me. Vows made in a moment hold a lifetime of obedience.
Sometimes we think that because we choose to remain married that we are fulfilling our vows. But I’m sure you said much more than, “‘Til death do us part.” I know I did.
When we are determined to make our marriages all about Jesus and less about us then we will consider those binding words we said as we stood before the Lord and entered into holy matrimony as something sacred, knowing we are accountable to keep that which we vowed many years ago.
Making our marriages about Jesus means we choose His will over our desires, His glory over our feelings, His praise over our needs.
- The way we talk to our hubbies is to glorify Christ.
- The way we choose NOT to talk about our husbands to others is to glorify Christ.
- The way we treat our husbands is to glorify Christ.
- The way we serve our husbands is to glorify Christ.
- The way we submit to our husbands is to glorify Christ.
- The way we pray for our husbands is to glorify Christ.
- The way we choose to meet his needs instead of worry about our own is to glorify Christ.
When we make our marriage all about Jesus, we will find Matthew 6:33 come alive as we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (even in our marriages) and all those things we need will be added unto us.
Our marriages… they’re really all about Jesus!
As you read this post did you notice any areas in your marriage in which you find it hard to make it all about Jesus? What advice would you give to a wife who is dealing with a difficult husband? How can she make it all about Jesus?