What if I was to say to you that marriage can either get better or it will get bitter? What if I was to say that marriage does not necessarily change you as much as it reveals you.
Some of these truths might be difficult to grasp but they are enormously important to understand. Either these truths will shape and mold your marriage into Christ-likeness — or, they will do just the opposite. Here are a few thoughts about what a real marriage looks like:
This past weekend, my wife and I along with another couple we are friends with attended The Real Marriage Conference in San Diego. It was a great time of fellowship and learning about friendship. Below are the “big ideas” or “aha moments,” that were beneficial to me — and I hope they will be beneficial to you:
Three types of friendships in marriage:
- Back to Back: Existing together but not at all friends. Marriage here gets bitter rather than better.
- Shoulder to Shoulder: More like roommates than soul mates. You are working together but are not really living together.
- Face to Face: A marriage that is enduring and endearing. We shall see Jesus face to face. Friendship is face to face. Loving God and serving God together. It is living a life that is fruitful, meaningful, valuable, purposeful. The greatest thing to building your friendship is serving and honoring God.
Men: are you a good friend to your wife? What would your wife says? She is the umpire on this one.
Women: Stop asking your husband “What are you doing.” Instead, ask “How are you doing.”
- When both husband and wife are committed to friendship, your relationship will be filled with love and laughter.
- If you want to grow in friendship in your marriage, you have to go first — to pursue this.
- The man is the leader and the woman is the helper. They are equal but they are different. They complement one another by working together.
- If you say to your spouse: “I do not need you,” you are calling God a liar. The bible says “it is not good to be alone” (Gen. 2:18).
- A good friend doubles the joy and cuts the grief in half.
- The most important day is not your first day but your last day. This can only happen if you are friends and devoted to one another — as God in Christ is devoted to you.
- Marriage does not change you, it reveals you. You do not know how selfish/impatient/irritable you are until you get married
- You have two options: Either push your sin away or push your spouse away.
Couples do not fall out of love. Couples fall out of repentance.
- Repentance is coming clean, not getting caught.
- It is not blame shifting, denying or excusing sin, it is owning sin.
- It is not worldly sorrow. You say you are sorry but you have no intention of change. That is deception.
Your marriage is on a continuum of getting better or getting bitter.
Our sin is not just breaking the law of God, it is breaking the heart of God.
It is hypocrisy to receive forgiveness from Jesus without extending forgiveness like Jesus.
Love is more like poetry than math.
Marriage is for one man and one woman. It is not just a legal institution, it is God’s ordination.
Do not make a list of what you want your spouse to be like. Make a list of what you want to be for your spouse.
Your standard of beauty is your spouse.
Huge Highlight Of The Night:
Towards the end of the first night, here is what happened:
Pastor Mark said that he felt the Holy Spirit compelling him to extend an invitation to anyone in the audience to come to Christ that night. As he was making this invitation, four people came from the audience and on to the stage — this was so powerful! These new believers prayed and Pastor Mark prayed for them and over them. This was an epic way to end the night.
God is good, Jesus is alive and my marriage and yours has hope so long as our focus is Christ and Christ alone.
Here is a short photo essay of the event: