30/30: MyMarriageStinks. Change. One Story.

13 03 2008

Marriage isn’t the easiest thing; it’s the hardest thing. But when we do it God’s way, it can definitely be the greatest thing.

After 16 years of marriage, Kathy and I would say that our relationship has required more work than we ever thought and challenged us to grow in ways we never imagined. There have been moments where we couldn’t get enough of each other and moments where we’ve had enough of each other. If you feel your marriage is struggling, don’t give up. Get some help. God can make all things new. Epic Members Craig and Starr had separated and decided to go through a divorce, but God intervened and they responded. Check out their their story…

When we are struggling relationally, Satan begins to whisper lies in our ear, “This can’t be fixed. This relationship is beyond repair. You married the wrong person.” But the biggest lie that he tells us is, “Our spouse is the problem in the relationship.” If they would change then everything would be just great. James in the Bible had a radically different approach in James 4:1 “Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? They come from the selfish desires that war within you.” Ultimately the relational struggles we face come from this thing inside us called sin. We want to have our way. We think “It’s THEIR fault, not mine. THEY are the one with the problem.”

As shocking as it sounds, maybe God has you in this challenging relationship right now, because he wants to change you. Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways. Proverbs 20:30

Here the Relationally Truth: Can you change you change your spouse? No. Has God called you to change your spouse? No (I can see some of you cringing). Who is the only person you are responsible for changing? YOU. Only You. The only person you can change is you. We don’t really like to hear that because we think, “But God but if I change, what if they don’t? It wouldn’t be fair.” This is what I’ve learned…You are not changing for them. You are not changing even changing for you. You are changing for God. In my sixteen years of marriage the main question I’m learning to ask is, “Tim, do I want to live a life that honors God? Or do I want to live a live a life for me?”

If I want to live a life that honors Christ and bring glory to Him, then my life will reflect that. Even if my spouse doesn’t appreciate what I do, I will live with integrity in my role as a husband. Even if they are ready to give up, I will never give up. Even if they don’t return my love, I will love them. I want to be radically serious about my commitment to Christ.

Sometimes we think that God should make things easy and comfortable. He surely wouldn’t make things hard. But every time we take a next step with Christ, he always takes us to places out of our comfort zone. God is not interested in my comfort, He is interested in my obedience. So…“If you haven’t been led to do something uncomfortable for your spouse in the last week, you haven’t been listening to the voice of God.”

Marriage Commitment: So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

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