Are you experiencing difficulty in your marriage relationship? Are there times when you just can’t seem to get on the same page with your spouse?
People say in their marriage vows: “I will love you and comfort you and keep you in sickness and in health. Forsaking all others, keep unto you as long as we both shall live. Take you for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish until death do us part.”
We dutifully tell each other that. But unless we bring the fruit of the Spirit into our marriage, these vows are impossible to keep.
If you get married with the idea that the person you’re marrying is going to transform your life – turn you into a loving kindly, gentle, cheerful, happy person – you’re mistaken. Marriage is first of all a matter of your spirit, and marriage will reveal what kind of spirit is in your heart.
Philippians 2:1 gives us some practical advice for marriage. “If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy ….” The interaction we have with our spouse comes from God, not from what’s happening around us.
Does this describe you? Is Christ living in you, helping you to love your spouse, or are you trying in your own strength to make the relationship work?
Verse 2 of the same chapter in Philippians tells us, “Make my joy complete: be of the same mind.” Many times we are unable to move on to verse 2 because of the condition of our own hearts. That may be why you are having trouble with your marriage.
The choices you make in your hours together will determine what kind of a relationship you are going to have with each other. The condition of your relationship will reveal the condition of your heart. According to Philippians 1:2 your goal in marriage is this: “Make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” You need to work at being of the same mind!
To do that Philippians 2:3 instructs you to “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit.” Selfish ambition – pretty strong words! Are you looking out for yourself or for your spouse?
For every two couples getting married, there’s one couple ending up in divorce court. Why? Because to have your own way is more important than the marriage. Being “like-minded” is a command of God, a basic fundamental requirement of any two people that have to work together. Being ‘like-minded” is tough – the circumstances of our lives are always changing, but the commitment to be “like-minded” can help you navigate the difficult places in your marriage.
Take a step . . .
Ask God to bring to your mind one way you can reach out to your spouse in an unselfish way. Then make yourself do that thing!
This is a summary from Dr. Brandt’s manuscript Marriage God ‘s Way.