Letís just be honest. Being married isnít always easy. Itís certainly not for wimps. Almost everything about marriage calls for death to self. I believe that many more Christian marriages could be saved if couples were more prepared. Many marry with totally wrong expectations of marriage. Couples donít realize that marriage can be really hard work at times. Itís not all fun and games. Thereís responsibility and many times you will be called upon to lay down your own wants, crucify your flesh, and put your spouse before yourself.
One of the mistakes I think people make when they get married is they marry with the expectation that marriage is going to make them happy all the time. Certainly there are happy times in marriage, but to think that it will always make you happy is an unrealistic expectation. There will be difficult times, times when your spouse may disappoint you or even deeply wound you. There will be times when you must forgive and love unconditionally. There will be many times marriage calls for self sacrifice. If you have unrealistic expectations of your spouse, these things can cause a huge problem in your marriage and in your personal walk with the Lord. When unrealistic expectations are not met, if you are not careful, bitterness and resentment can take root. This will not only cause much worse problems in your relationship with your spouse but will also destroy your fellowship with the Lord. We cannot walk in unforgiveness and walk with God at the same time. (See Matt. 6:12-15)
When we first get married we seem to only notice all of our
spouses good qualities. Even if we do see some things that may be a little annoying, we just seem to overlook them because we are so in love. We make the mistake of thinking we can change those little, or maybe not so little, annoying things. One of the greatest lessons Iíve learned over the last few years is that I cannot change my spouse. Itís not my job. Certainly I can voice my concerns and share my feelings. But, Iíve found that it is wisdom to go to the Lord first with my hurt feelings and concerns about my husband. When I go to the Lord first, He will give me wisdom on how to share these things with my husband, as well as the proper attitude. I can then go to him with a humble spirit and out of love instead of hurt or anger. When I go to my husband with the proper attitude, it is much more likely that he will receive what I say with humility.
We must be committed to make it through the good times and the bad. If we will have an attitude of serving the Lord by serving our spouse and being the kind of husbands and wives that His Word lays out for us, so many marriages could be saved. There is no room for selfishness and self-pity in marriage. Itís not all about you. An attitude of how can I serve my spouse and in doing so serve the Lord, would put a stop to many divorces. Itís really all about Him.
Read more articles by Pam Frey or search for articles on the same topic or others.
Hi Pam, It was refreshing to read this article. I say well Done! Marriage certainly is hard work but I find that when God is the third person in our marriage we entertain the right attitude towards our spouse and the situation at hand. An attitude of service and forgiveness. You covered that quite well in the earlier part of the article and in the closing note as follows:
ďI believe that many more Christian marriages could be saved if couples were more prepared... An attitude of how can I serve my spouse and in doing so serve the Lord, would put a stop to many divorces. Itís really all about Him.Ē
Keep serving sister!