Asking the Right Question in Marriage – MM #27

Asking the Right Question - Pixabay - CanvaSometimes when we look at our marriages we wonder if we can live like this for the rest of our lives. We wonder, are we getting enough out of our marriage? And that’s a good question, to ask. But is it the right question?

I say this because of another question that was posed to us several years back. It sure made us think in a different direction.  David Ferguson (the director of Great Commandment Network/Intimate Life Ministries) challenged my husband to instead ask a different question. He said, many people ask whether they are getting enough out of their marriages. But he said as Christ followers we should instead ask: “What is GOD getting out of my marriage?” Does God have a higher purpose and message He can deliver out our marriage? “What does God want out of our marriage?” Are we contributing, in a positive way, toward furthering God’s Kingdom work by the way we interact in our marriage?

Asking the Right Question

These are hard hitting questions to ask ourselves. But can we ask any less if we are really serious about living for Christ and glorifying God in our lives? It’s easy to say we are followers of Christ. But it’s difficult to actually live it (showing that we mean what we say).

In Colossians 1:16 we’re told that we were created by Him and FOR Him. There is more to our Christian walk than just making our life work for our individual comfort and desire for happiness. Can’t God work good out of that which seems not so good? We refer you to Marriage Message #24 – How Big is Your God? We serve an awesome God who cares for you and everyone in this world.

Why should anyone want to become a Christian if they see that we serve such a puny God who doesn’t empower us to live above our circumstances? How can they see “the hope that is in us” when we live our lives in displaying hopelessness?

You yourselves are our letter, written on hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ… written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:2-6)

Living God’s Testimony

Are you living out God’s testimony of love? Are you asking yourself the right questions? “What is GOD getting out of your marriage in the way you are living out your vows? Can He use your life to draw others to Himself? Are you living in such a way that others might say, “I want to know your God” —where God’s power and the Light of Christ is displayed for all to see?

I’m reminded of my brother Rick who died a number of years ago. Rick came to faith in Christ less than a year before he died. When he called me up to tell me that he “finally did it.” He finally asked Christ to be his Savior. He told me of how God drew him in to make that decision.

Rick told me that God used us to help him to see God better through how we lived our lives. Our “unconditional love” and our unwavering walk with God caused him to think deeply about the things of Christ.

And God especially used his precious wife, Linda to help him see who Jesus really is. He pointed out that she didn’t always live out her faith perfectly. But he told me that he consistently saw the love and power of Christ throughout her life. She LIVED Christ. And God used Linda’s unconditional love for my brother over many years of hard times, to draw him to the unconditional love of God.

Speaking God Through Our Lives

He admitted that many times he didn’t make it easy for her. But her love for him spoke volumes. And eventually God used her, and other people to get through to Rick until he wanted to know God as Linda and we know Him. How I thank God for her perseverance.

My brother was a tough one to love sometimes (as we all are in one way or another). But praise God, Linda saw beyond the surface and loved him and God enough to keep living for Christ, no matter what!

Together, let’s ask the right questions. “What is GOD getting out of my marriage? How can He use me to further the mission of spreading the Love of God to my spouse and a world that needs to know Him?

Together, lets live out the principles found in Philippians 3:13-14 where it says:

One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

For Christ’s love compels us…
Cindy and Steve Wright

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Filed under: Marriage Messages

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7 responses to “Asking the Right Question in Marriage – MM #27

  1. (KENYA)  This is great. I think if we stay connected, it can help my husband and I to take our marriage to a higher level. Kindly send me a copy of the discussion guide. God bless you.

  2. (South Africa) This is powerful. Thank you a lot for your weekly messages. They really make me a better person in my relationship. My partner complimented my heart just two weeks ago. He said it’s very rare you find a lady with such a heart. All goes back to you guys for all the guidance in relationships. You might think what you doing is little, but to us people and God, THIS IS GREAT. Your messages changed me to be a better person. I see things differently from the world perspective and this makes me to be different from other woman same age as mine. Married people come for advice to me and I try by all means to build their marriages so that God maybe glorified. I thank you once more. May God bless you.

  3. (USA)  The question of, what am I getting out of this marriage? is definitely not the right question to be asking. In a marriage it is not what can I "get" but rather what can I "give" to my spouse. If you are in a taking marriage pretty soon all will be taken and then there is nothing left. The result is difficulties and very often marital failure. What our attitude needs to be is what can I "give" to my spouse.

    With God’s grace, and much prayer, I have been able to leave that taking attitude and move toward a giving attitude. I give my wife love, attention, support, understanding and an available ear when she just wants someone to listen. No, I can’t solve all of her problems, only God can do that, but I am there for her, giving her what I can as a her husband.

    There is the comment "but my spouse is a taker so if I want anything I need to take also". This can be very difficult to deal with.

    This is what happened in our marriage. I made a commitment to "give to my wife" unconditionally –emotionally, spiritually, and physically, without any strings attached. I did it out of love for her and love for God, for that is what He commands. It was a major thought change for me as it was for her.

    At first, she was thinking, what is he trying to get? She even asked me this. I then explained that I wanted to have a better Christian marriage, and that in a good marriage it was a relationship of giving and receiving, not taking. At times I was quite discouraged for I did not see any change in the way she dealt or reacted to me. I asked God to keep me strong and focused.

    "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:38) NIV

    Over time my giving attitude became more natural, and her attitude started to follow mine. I do warn that there were many set backs and bumps in the road. Even though the path has been rocky and rough at times, the journey and the results have been worth every difficult time.

    This change in attitude was not fast or easy. And we still have much to work on. But it can be done. Not alone, but with God’s help. Be loving, be caring, and give. FHG, Rob

  4. (South Africa) Your website has been most encouraging to me over the years. I myself have never written to you, but after reading this message, I really would like to encourage people to “stick with it”. Honor the Lord by keeping the promises that we made before God and our spouse when you were married.

    My husband had an extra marital affair about 4 years ago. Through much prayer and a deep belief in marriage and the promises I made, my husband and I have worked through this time in our lives and marriage. We are still together and I though my husband is not born again, I pray and trust the Lord on a daily basis to work through me to show my husband “God’s Love” Your story about Linda and Richard really encouraged me to know that our prayers, challenges and efforts to live a Godly life do pay off.

    Yes, most days it is more difficult to act in a Christlike way and love our husbands the way God expects, but it sure builds character. I would encourage anyone thinking of “quitting” to stick it out and truly God will honour your efforts. Thank you for a great website.

  5. (South Africa) I really enjoyed this message but there’s something else I thought about while reading this. We also need to constantly ask ourselves “what more can I put into this relationship?” because wanting to put in an extra effort into your marriage all the time without expecting something back shows selflessness and I think that portrays God’s love and people can see that clearly. Can you imagine the effect we could have other couples??

    Another thing I thought is when people say “God wouldn’t want me to stay in an unhappy marriage!” then its easy to say that yes God doesn’t want you to stay in an unhappy marriage but instead of giving in and getting out I honestly think God would rather want you to stay in that marriage and work to make it happy! It’s always so easy to say that, your partner is impossible and makes life so uncomfortable but the Bible says that the wife’s good works will eventually win her husband over, like your brother.

    People take marriage too lightly these days. I believe that your vows are the same as you and your partner making a deal with God and we are told in Numbers 30:2, “If a man vows a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word.”

  6. (South Africa) Our marriage is so rocky it’s on the verge of breaking or has broken. I believe that God has a plan – it’s extremely difficult as there is another women involved. My husband says they are friends but she takes precedence over me and my wishes etc. I’m very two minded on whether to ask him to leave or to be what God wants me to be – like Jesus was – humble, loving etc.

    We have 2 boys 14 and 10 and have been married for 18 years. He says there is nothing left in our marriage – he can’t talk to me – he’s superior to me and better, smarter. I’m me down to earth. We are going to talk this weekend about going forward. After reading the “ask the right question’ I realize God says that in ‘the worse’ we must stay and work it out. He doesn’t seem to think so.

    Please remember us and lift my husband up in prayer as I believe ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE with God. I know satan is trying so hard to destroy our family. I don’t want us to be another statistic. May God bless the work you are doing – saving marriages and putting us in the right frame of mind – ‘God’s frame’.

  7. (SOUTH AFRICA) I may be way off the mark, but to me it is all about love. If you truly love your spouse, there will be no reason for adultery, abuse, etc. We all know what the Word says about divorce and everybody will find something in the Word to justify their actions. 1 Cor 13:13 says ‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love’. Is it the right thing to stay in a loveless marriage just because we made a promise?

    Is it fair to the children to be brought up in a home filled with stress? I sometimes look at couples who have been given a second chance with a new partner and how happy they are and wonder… God will not hold it against us if we had tried and it doesn’t work out. He is a God of Love and I believe that he wants his children to be happy. After 25 years I have to make my life changing decision and I could stay, but it will be for all the wrong reasons (children, family, finances, etc). I want someone in my life that loves me unconditionally and vice versa. Because it there is love, all the rest falls in place.