Sometimes I think we treat marriage more like a fairy tale than real life. We have bought into the Cinderella story hook, line and sinker. We have been duped into believing the fantasy. We believe marriage is the cure-all remedy for life. It’s the magic pill that will heal our condition. Drink the potion and all will be well. We believe:
- Marriage makes people happy.
- We won’t have problems if we stay in-love.
- Marriage will end my loneliness.
- Marriage will make me complete.
- Romantic love is key to a long-term marriage.
- A good marriage automatically grows over time.
It is just not so. Marriage is a hard-fought battle. When the battle rages we don’t realize that our opponent isn’t our spouse. The battle we fight is against it is our self.
The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. (from 1 Cor. 7 MSG)
Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh. (from Eph. 5 MSG)
In the “battle period” of our marriage I was convinced that I had to fix my husband. I just knew that if I got him to see things my way that everything would be ok. I pressed. I prodded. I nagged. And guess what? Nothing got better. Nothing got better because I was living in disobedience to the counsel of the God of the Universe.
“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Rom. 12:10
You want to drink the magic elixir that can save your marriage? It is called imitating Christ (1 Cor. 11:1). Think about just a few days of Jesus’ life leading up to his death. Jesus sat at a table with his betrayer and washed his feet. He allowed mortal men to arrest him, the King of all Kings. They tried him and crucified him in criminal fashion. He died a brutal death. Why? To provide a sacrifice to save YOU from your sin. He did it to serve you.
And we are called to imitate him. “Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other.” So today when you get frustrated that things aren’t going your way and your spouse just doesn’t “get it.” Go serve and see what God can do!