THE MARRIAGE ABCS
Copyright © Ufuomaee
Jesus said “the Truth will set you free” (John 8:33), and of course He is right! He means Himself! He is the Truth that sets us free…(John 14:6) But knowledge of AND acceptance of any truth always brings freedom.
There is a truth that ought to bring many captives of bad marriages freedom today, and that is the truth that NO ONE IS PERFECT. No, not them, not their spouse, and not any imaginary knight in shining armour or Princess that they hope will save them from their miserable marriage.
Living with imperfect people is not only a fact of life…it is also a JOY of life! The sooner you embrace this truth, the sooner you will set yourself and your spouse free from the bondage of unrealistic expectations, and start to truly KNOW and appreciate each other, as you ought to. Marriage is a beautiful mess of two imperfect people, learning to appreciate and love each other unconditionally. As hard as it may be, you gotta love it, and when you persevere in it, it brings forth a beautiful fruit in your spirit and in your union!
Maybe you already know that no one is perfect, and can admit that you are not perfect. Maybe you do not expect perfection from your spouse, but yet they fall short of your minimal standards, and you wonder…even if there’s no one perfect, surely they can do better! You’re probably right. But, as we saw when we dealt with expectations in marriage, you could be wrong too.
After you have accepted that no one is perfect, the next thing to accept is that no two people are the same!!! You are both different, and difference is okay. Difference is good! Difference is beautiful! Accept it, and find a way to NEGOTIATE your differences, and find common ground for your continued fellowship.
Stop trying to see every disagreement as right versus wrong! If you do, you’re always going to be wrong, because the only one that was ever right was Christ! Right is where you are both going from being at different levels of wrong, and you won’t get there by yourself! You need your team-mate, and you both need to be dropping some of your ideas and opinions and drawing closer to right…to Wisdom. This journey requires lots of understanding…lots of humility and lots of grace!
You may find that even after you have exercised grace and humility to your spouse, and tried to be understanding of their difference, their flaws and short-comings, you still are faced with someone who NEEDS to change. They may be abusive. They may be uncompromising, so that you are the only one bending to them… They may be blatantly walking in sin and error.
Sure no one is perfect, but we shouldn’t excuse people who are abusive, who make no efforts to grow or change or walk in love. What then? Do we walk away from our marriage, when we have pledged to love and honour our spouse until death separates us? Do we give up?
NO!!! We should not. Because that is not what LOVE would do. Remember, love never fails…(1 Cor 13:8). Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet 4:8). We must NEVER give up (Gal 6:9)! We must abide in love – in Christ – that the power of God may be unleashed in our marriage (John 15:1-5).
Be faithful in prayer. Be long-suffering in trials. Be kind with offences. Be ever hopeful and ever believing…in God. Do not lay your hope in Man, but in God who is at work in your marriage to the glory of His own name!
This is how we show our faith! Faith is not required when things are easy… When the odds are in our favour. Faith is required when the road is hard and bleak, and the obstacles seem insurmountable! It may be impossible for men…but ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE FOR HIM WHO BELIEVES (Mark 9:23).
The world will tell you it is hopeless. That your spouse will never change. They will quote statistics. They will turn your gaze to yourself…talking about what you deserve. You deserve the punishment Christ paid for your salvation on the Cross. He gave you life, so that the life you now live, you live for Him who died for you…(Gal 2:20).
In everything, think of your spouse (Phil 2:3). Think of the duty of love that you owe them, which is unconditional. Think of how God is about to turn the situation around, and how your faithfulness is key to the testimony of your trial.
Remember that whatever evil they may do, they “know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Jesus wasn’t lying. Those who are taken by the enemy to do evil are blind and need deliverance. And however evil they may seem, no one is beyond redemption! Allow yourself to be used by God, so that you may even save your spouse through your perseverance in love. Who knows if that was not the reason for your union in marriage…(1 Cor 7:16)
However, I surely hope that you are not going through the worse end of marriage. If you’re suffering, seek help and counseling from Christian Marriage Counselors, and let them pray for you and your spouse. Regarding issues of domestic violence, it will be needful to separate and protect yourself and any affected children from harm. I have more to say on the issue of domestic violence and divorce, but for now, it is good to remember two things:
- “If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim 5:8). If such is said for those who neglect their family, what can be said for those who violently abuse them?
- “But if the unbeliever leaves, let him go. The believing brother or sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you to live in peace” (1 Cor 7:15). An abuser is an unbeliever, no matter their profession by mouth. If you can be free, be free of them, for “…you were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” (1 Cor 7:23).
Love an abuser as you would love your enemy, without paying evil for evil (Rom 12:17-21). You wouldn’t fellowship with your enemy, so you need not be intimate with an abuser. But free them with forgiveness from your heart, and continually pray for their deliverance, believing by faith that God is able to restore them… And walk in the LIBERTY that Christ has called you to walk (Gal 5:1).
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