If I could sum up all of the great wisdom I have learned, accumulated, tried, failed at, etc. it would come down to this:
Marriage is all about being a team.
I know you’re thinking that there are two members to this team, but don’t disregard God’s role in your teamship.
Sure, it might feel a little odd to think of God as a “member of your marriage”, but I don’t think it really works like that. He is present in your marriage – just like in other relationships. But also: God has blessed you with your marriage. God is sovereign over your marriage. God has plans for your marriage.
God’s plans for your marriage
You are a picture to the entire world of what Jesus Christ is to the church: a sacrificial relationship in which the One gives everything He can, while still retaining His 100% holy character, to present a pure bride – the church – to Himself.
I can see why Paul, describing this in Ephesians 5:25 – 33, calls this a profound mystery. Christ gives Himself up to an earthly death on a cross so that all of His children can be considered righteous in the Father’s eyes – and this is all for Himself! Verse 27 says, “to present her to himself”… as holy. Verse 28 says, “He who loves his wife loves himself.”
Is anyone else’s head turning in circles trying to follow this!?
But remember, God created us because He wanted to! For His glory! Read this post where I flesh that out a little more. Did you know that God does whatever He wants?
And from this, I can only conclude that God ordained from the beginning of time for your marriage to be this picture. For His glory.
Your marriage is not primarily for you. It’s for Him.
God uses marriage as a tool to bless us with many relational benefits: companionship, love, loyalty, children, sexual intimacy, friendship. But these things are not the end of marriage. If you got married because “he makes me happy” – your satisfaction is in the wrong thing.
God is the only One who can truly satisfy our relational desires.
Getting in on the Team Mentality
Your husband or wife is your God-ordained team member. They are the one with whom you are supposed to grow Godly with. The one with whom you partner to tell your neighbors about Jesus – even if they never mow their grass. The one from whom you learn about God’s sacrifice for His children.
What if your marriage doesn’t work like a team? What if you would rather do your own thing? What if your spouse doesn’t trust Jesus as his Savior?
It’s time for you to become the team member you should be, regardless of these excuses. Your husband isn’t a Christian? You are still called to be his chief encourager; his number one fan; his running back. Remember that God can use you to bring your husband to Jesus – how will that happen if you’re not willing to respect him as God has called you to do?
Do you have issues with control? It’s time to work together with your husband. Give him room to take the lead, and be willing to run the plays!
Your wife is selfish and just wants to do her own thing? That’s exactly what we do to God, but to the Nth degree – God gives us every thing we need physically and spiritually, and we act like a whore – pursuing other things instead of Him and flaunting it in its face. And if you’re a husband, you are still called to sacrifice for your wife and love her like you love yourself.
Wow. I’m convicted. How about you?