Marriage is not government created, it is God designed. Because marriage is designed by God means it is sustained by God.
God calls us to live for Him and serve one another, but we like to live for ourselves and have others serve us.
Love for God will help you love your spouse, but what exactly is love?
Love is influenced by feeling, but determined by choice. It is a choice to put someone else’s needs above your own. It is easier to choose love when you feel in communion with your spouse versus when you feel at odds with them. Ultimately love can be void of feeling, but never of choice.
If love is a choice influenced by feeling, then marriage gives you countless opportunities to love your spouse. Today you may love your spouse and tomorrow you love yourself.
The tension you feel in marriage is deciding in your heart which kingdom you will live for. Are you going to live for your kingdom or His Kingdom?
When you live for your kingdom, you view your spouse as an inconvenience when they don’t accommodate you. When you live for His Kingdom, you view your spouse as an equal image bearer to be loved even when they don’t accommodate you.
The contrast between these two kingdoms is what creates conflict between a husband and wife. When conflict begins, the hope is that it ends. Many times we don’t understand what the source of conflict so we don’t know how to end it.
Conflict between a husband and wife does not end when the argument stops or when you go to separate rooms. It ends when the walls of pride surrounding the heart are derailed by the grace of God and space is created for reconciliation.
What is more important: Fortifying the walls of your pride or tearing down those walls to be in communion with your spouse? Do you value the fortification of your own pride so much that it comes at the expense of your marriage?
Marriage is full of confrontation, but the person you will confront most in marriage is yourself. Marriage is like a CT scan, but rather than it exposing what’s in your body, it exposes what’s in your heart.
Everything you do and say within your marriage is a manifestation of what resides in your heart. Matthew 15:17-18 says “Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.”
If conflict is an issue of the heart, don’t hope that God eradicates the sin out of your spouse’s heart; pray that God kills the sin within your own.
Pray for your spouse, but realize that prayer also changes your heart towards your spouse. You may be praying for them to change only to realize you are the very person God is using to change them.
Conflict is a daily reality, but realize that apart from Christ we are hopeless. Remember that marriage is designed by God and it is sustained by God and His grace.