Monday, March 07, 2016

Marriage Advice

In person, I will be happy to tell you about all the marriage advice I took to heart as a 36 year-old-bride. And then I can easily tell you how each of them one-by-one bombed on my new husband. And then I can laugh with you as I confess how over-dramatically I thought I was failing because this advice was backfiring.

Each marriage is different. Each marriage arrives with two sets of sinful, selfish, doe-eyed people in love with themselves and the idea of what marriage should look like. And of course, there is some good advice thrown in with the myriad of advice that will suffocate both of you with strategies.

The best advice you will hear is this: Live like Scripture tells you to.

Ummm… that's it? No tips on who takes out the trash? No meeting your husband at the door in something ooo-la-la-ish? Just the Bible?

It might not create sell-out seminars, but the Word of God does speak life into marriage. Be warned… if you approach it with a “what's in it for me” question, you'll walk away disappointed. If you want to fix your spouse, you'll get frustrated. If you are at all are looking for your husband to meet your needs or fill your love-tank, I'm sorry. You're at the wrong place.

But, if you want joy in serving your husband and enjoying how God is working in His life, here it is. If you want your Eternal Husband to be the light of your life and then that love overflow into your marriage, this is for you. If you are tired of fighting for your own rights, your own feelings, your own self-satisfaction, this is where you need to be. If being the Perfect Wife isn't all it's cracked up to be, you will find rest.

A Biblical Marriage isn't one that is easy or self-glorifying… but it is a place of growth and grace.

Just look at this verse from 1 Peter 3:8.

         ... all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy,
             brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

Paul has just been talking about how husbands and wives are to interact with each other. And then to both of them he gives this charge.

What if we prayed for our marriage through these five things? Over the next five days, we'll walk through each of them.

Unity of Mind

Other places this is translated as being in harmony with others. That makes complete sense when you see the Greek word: homophrōn.

God knows this is impossible. Really, He does. So, He is the One who is going to make it happen. Look at how Paul describes the One who is giving you the capabilities in Romans 15. Paul knows it is hard, and he's reminding you that God is bigger than the discord in your marriage.



In this text, he is talking to the Church, a group of rag-tag believers who need to grow in their love and faith. And isn't your marriage a part of that? Aren't you both tied to Christ? Then, if God is giving unity of mind to you as part of the Church, wouldn't that overflow into your marriage?

And here we find the purpose of your marriage itself. If it is to make you look good, feel good, or any variation of glorifying your self – then it's not measuring up to what God desires of your life: to glorify Him.

Let's encourage each other to pray for our marriages to be chocked full of unity.


Lord, I thank you for being the God of endurance… of sticking with me and walking through every valley with me. Thank you for giving me endurance when I am so tired. Thank you for the encouragement You give through Your Word and Your Spirit. Please, Lord, I cannot come up with this harmony on my own. I can pretend. When things are going well, it feels natural, but then the second something stressful comes up, my own version of harmony blows away. Bring a real, rich harmony to our marriage because of Jesus. Unite us as one because we are both clinging to Jesus. He is our Hope. He is what gives us our Salvation. Please, let our marriage glorify You. I want it to be happy and strong so that I feel safe, Lord. I confess, that my comfort is more appealing than our worship. Please give us a strong voice of unity in our marriage so that we can glorify You.

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