A good online friend posted something this week that I thought was truly profound.
The idea that true change has to flow from the warm fuzzies about another person is just wrong. It’s unbiblical. For the Christian, true change flows from the heart that fully trusts God for salvation. It springs from the love we have in our hearts because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Any other basis is dishonest to the core.
Scripture backs this up.
Romans 5:6-8 (NASB)
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
The thing is so many believe just the opposite. Too many believe what my friend’s quote is trying to dispel, the idea that making mature change flows from warm fuzzies about another person. That is just a lie. That’s not love.
Love is an action word as demonstrated by the cross of Christ. While we were still sinners Christ died for us. That is the demonstration of His love for us. Christ died for the ungodly.
Why do so many believe this lie? They’re focusing on the wrong thing. Instead of focusing on Christ’s sacrifice for them they’re focusing on the inadequacies (sins) of their spouse. Their focus on the failings of their spouse actually inhibits their ability to serve their spouse in a Godly way. Instead of focusing on how their spouse is failing them they should take a more Ephesians 4 look at their spouse and their marriage.
Ephesians 4:25-32 (NLT)
So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
You may be asking, what does this have to do with marriage? Well, if you apply these truths to your marriage you will find out. Be truthful to you spouse and do not sin by allowing your anger to control you. Makeup before going to bed because anger in your marriage gives the Devil a foothold in your marriage. If you are defrauding your spouse, STOP! Give generously to your spouse. Don’t talk down to your spouse, build them up instead. Live in a way that would please God, not bring Him sorrow. Remove bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, slander, and all poor behavior from your marriage and replace them with kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness, remembering how Christ has forgiven you.
If we change our focus to doing these things in our marriage we will be much further along the way toward a grown up marriage.
What are some other believable lies that are crippling marriages?