What marriage doesn’t encounter problems of some kind as you try to fit your lives together to “cleave” as the Bible tells us to do? Cleaving isn’t just referring to sexual intimacy. It also refers to being partners heading together down the same path of life. We are to cleave together despite marriage problems. It doesn’t always mean you will think alike, but it does mean that you will work to think TOGETHER.
But what do we do when we hit a snag in the road? What do we do when our differences bring us to the point of clashing with each other? How do we get past that type of situation? How can we work to improve our marriages so that our problems don’t overtake us?
Marriage Problems That Divide
“Certainly God wouldn’t want us to stay in a marriage where our problems are consuming our relationship with each other! He wouldn’t want us to stay in a marriage where we’re both totally unhappy with each other!”
We’ve heard that said over and over again. And we understand the pain behind those statements. But the question we’d like to pose to you is, “Are your problems bigger than your God? Is your God so small that He can’t help you to get beyond them?”
Certainly it takes two people who are cooperating with each other, to make a marriage a strong, healthy, and a good one. But prayerfully consider something that author Gary Thomas said in his book, Sacred Marriage. Gary wrote:
“There’s a deeper question that needs to be addressed beyond how we can ‘improve’ our marriage: What if God didn’t design marriage to be ‘easier’? What if God had an end in mind that went beyond our happiness, our comfort, and our desire to be infatuated and happy as if the world were a perfect place? What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?”
Avoiding Marriage Problems
It’s something to think about isn’t it? Most of us back away from “problems” and see them as something to avoid to get around somehow. But what if we saw them as opportunities to know our God better and asked Him to help us to LEARN something positive about ourselves, each other, and His Kingdom work?
A principle that applies to this, is something that author Leslie Vernick says in her book, How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong.
“Often in difficult times we pray for relief instead of asking God to help us practice the very qualities he seeks to develop in us. God told the prophet Ezekiel: ‘My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words. But they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion. But their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well. For they hear your words but do not put them into practice.‘ (Ezekiel 33:31-32)
“We must ask ourselves, are we looking for a God who just sings love songs to our heart? When he asks us to put his harder truths into practice, do we conveniently ignore him?
Living Out Our Faith
“Jesus, too, taught the importance of practicing what he teaches us. He said: ‘Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock.
‘When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words, and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.‘ (Luke 6:46-49)
“Jesus both warned us and encouraged us that if we make it our practice to faithfully apply ourselves to the things he teaches us, then we will have a foundation when difficulties come. If not, we will be swept away.”
We pray that none of your marriages gets “swept away” because you didn’t apply God’s Word. You must apply His teachings to your lives in how you live with each other in your marital relationship.
Some of you are in abusive situations. We want you to know that our hearts cry for you. They truly do! And we can only imagine how much this especially saddens God’s heart. God never meant for any of us to be abused. That’s not why God created marriage.
If you are in that kind of situation, PLEASE find ways to protect yourself from that abuse. We have articles posted on our web site that might help with that. You can read many of them in the Abuse in Marriage topic. God can be a “very present help in a time of need.” Don’t stop reaching out to Him and receiving the help He can give and show you. But also recognize that it can come to you in ways that are not at first apparent. Keep praying and looking.
However, beyond that type of situation, and even in spite of that situation, God can redeem every hurt and problem we encounter. As Leslie Vernick also said:
“God knows our real needs, not just our felt needs. When our spouse acts wrong, God will use the resulting injury, whether big or small, to teach us. He can use it to train us, to mold us, and to break us in order that we might become a more perfect representative of him to the world and to our spouse.”
Looking for the Good
We pray that you will look beyond your immediate problems and ask God, “What good can come out of this? What can I learn from this that will help in Your Kingdom work somehow? What can I do, that will BEST help my spouse and my marriage so this ‘problem’ doesn’t sweep us away? Help me to look at this through YOUR eyes, instead of my short-sighted ones? Teach us, train us, mold us… and yes, even break us, if that is what it takes, to help us to get beyond this situation to become all You created us to be. And strengthen and help us to be obedient in this process.”
Pray as the Psalmist:
“Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me“ (Psalm 51:10). “Search me O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there be any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.“ (Psalm 139:23-23)
We pray that God will help you so you can make your marriage the best it can be. May it be a reflection of God’s heart and a witness to everyone in your life that the God of Love is alive. He is working in your life in miraculous ways. We pray that as God sees how you interact with your spouse, they will be attracted to our God and want to know Him better as a result.
Cindy and Steve Wright
You can help us to continue to help marriages grow stronger. We want you to know that if you are doing any shopping over the Internet where you can use Amazon.com, we have an agreement with them. If you go through our web site to do your shopping, they will give this ministry a portion of their profits. This way you can get their discount in shopping, plus bless Marriage Missions financially at the same time.
We have a portal on our web site that will accommodate this opportunity. You can see it on the side bar on every page. By entering in, Amazon will automatically credit to our ministry a percentage of anything/everything you purchase. We greatly appreciate your consideration on this. It will help to keep this ministry growing strong! God Bless!
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Marriage Messages