Your Marriage is a Message
Do you have an accurate view of married love? I am not talking about what the world calls romance. The world’s views are warped.
Our culture tells us that love:
Is full of tingly feelings of deep longing and intense affection.
Experiences peace and harmony in our interactions.
Unfolds in settings of beauty—at romantic chalets, moonlit beaches, or walks in the park feeling the crisp fall air and viewing gorgeous, colorful leaves on the trees.
Is characterized by our spouses giving us expensive, extravagant, or well-thought-out and meaningful gifts.
Means knowing your partner so well you can finish each other’s sentences.
Is a warm puppy. (Okay … I have never understood this one, but I threw it in any way!)
Our brains ever-so-subtly adopting the definition of what culture thinks love means is doing us completely in.
So, what is love—I mean true love? No better place to look than in the book about the greatest love ever—God’s love for us by sending Jesus to earth to become the sacrifice that took away our sins and offered us a place in eternity with him forever.
Speaking of Jesus…
What fabulous lessons we can glean from how he interacted with others while here on earth. No need to turn on a Ted Talk. Just flip open a Bible—or tap and scroll your way around its pixilated pages if you use the electronic sort. Throughout the reports in the gospels (the first four books of the New Testament that give an eyewitness account of Jesus’ life), we see Jesus spending his time with all kinds of people.
Jesus didn’t just hang out with the social elite or the wealthy and influential. Nor did all his interactions take place with those who aligned themselves with his beliefs. No. He sometimes he spent time with the religious and governmental leaders. Other times he welcomed the children and the tax collectors and the cheats and those whom society rejected. His last conversation at his crucifixion was with a thief who hung beside him, convicted and sentenced to death due to his unlawful behavior. Jesus modeled upside-down living and loving. He granted dignity to people and was kind to them because … well, they were people.
News flash! Your spouse falls into the category of people! In fact, I’m ashamed to admit that often I treat other people much better than I treat my spouse. The stranger at the grocery store standing in line in front of me. The fellow sports mom sitting next to me in the bleachers. Even people who do something that irks me. Like the server who leaves off the jalapeño on my sub when I actually asked for extra. I don’t unload on them; I sweetly smile and grant them grace.
All the directives in Scripture that talk about how we are to treat other people also apply to how we treat our spouse.
There are times when I’m just about ready to open my mouth, letting some not-so-nice words fly in my husband’s direction, that I will stop and give my ready-to-come-unglued self a little reminder. It goes like this:
He’s not just my husband. He is also my brother in Christ.
I honestly ask myself, “How would I react if this were one of my Christian guy friends? What if this was a fellow male church member? Would I behave the same way with him?” This line of questioning has saved me from spewing out words I would later regret.
So, remember at all times that he is your husband but is also your brother—well, you know what I mean! We show love and respect to him as we would to any other person we know. Why?
Because it isn’t just pastors who deliver a sermon. Your marriage is a message and people are watching you preach.
Will they see the gospel in how you treat your husband? More importantly, will your husband see Jesus in you?
Praying for your marriage,
P.S. Come celebrate the release of my new book on marriage, Keep Showing Up: How to Stay Crazy in Love When Your Love Drives You Crazy and enter to win a $500 Date Night Prize Pack HERE on my blog.
It is true that opposites attract--for a while. But often as the years go by in our marriages, opposites may also begin to attack. The habits and characteristics we once found endearing about our significant other are the exact things that drive us crazy years later!
Whether you and your spouse disagree about finances, parenting, or how to load the dishwasher, your differences don't need to divide you. They can actually bring you closer together--and closer to God.
Throughout Keep Showing Up, Karen includes ideas to implement in your marriage right now, such as powerful statements to speak to your spouse, date-night-on-a-shoestring suggestions, and discussion starters. Discover how your "incompatibility" can become the strength of your marital team in this real-life guide to both living with and loving your spouse--differences and all.
Share this post: