In the past few weeks, my husband and I have been meeting with couples helping them prepare for their up coming marriage. We have also been meeting with couples who are struggling in their marriage. Steven and I truly have a desire to see marriages be everything God intended for them to be. A Godly marriage is one of the biggest blessings we can have. It was one of the first things that God created.
22 And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man. 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:22-14 (AMP)
God set apart marriage. He created this relationship to be sacred. Since that day until now there have been wonderful God centered marriages that have brought much joy and peace but there have also been painful, unhappy, and strife filled marriages. My guess is that anyone who is married, has the desire to have a wonderfully happy, peaceful marriage. Why then to do many struggle?
Throughout the past several years as Steven and I have worked with couples we have found a very common thread that runs through most marriages that struggle. Most problems in marriage are related to unmet needs and expectations. The idea that each spouse has needs is correct. We all have needs. Men have needs for respect, sex, fellowship and domestic support. Women have needs for security, affection, open communication and leadership. We are designed this way. In a marriage relationship it is important to have these needs met. Most happy marriages have most of these needs met on a consistent basis. However, the problem comes in when we focus our attention on having our needs met. This focus shifts us into a mode of selfishness. Selfishness threatens the very life of every marriage. It causes us to take our eyes off of what we are supposed to be bringing to the marriage and puts them squarely on what someone else is supposed to be doing. Selfishness is the most prominent killer of marriages. So exactly where should every spouse’s focus be. Most would answer that the focus should be on the other spouse. That is not what the Bible says. The Bible says that our focus should always be on God and what His word has to say to us. You see by placing your focus on your spouse will bring about some improvement in your marriage and may make your spouse happier, it will never bring about the truly blessed marriage that having and keeping your focus on God will bring.
Steven and I have this idea that we talk about all the time. It goes like this “The best way to have a great marriage, draw a circle around yourself and work on everyone in the circle.” When we begin to approach our marriage by focusing on God and what He says we should do as a husband or wife in order to please God, then we will find that we have the best marriage possible. God has been very direct and very precise about what He has called Husbands to do and what He has called wives to do. When we purpose in our hearts to search the Bible and find out exactly what it has to say about our roles in marriage and then we begin to do those things because we choose to honor and obey God, we will have the best marriage ever. Our focus always has to be on God. We must always chose to follow His word. We must serve our spouse and others because we are doing it as a service to God. I encourage you today, adjust your focus. Truly make God the center of everything you do in marriage and in your life. It will make a huge difference in your marriage. I just want to leave you with the passage that I think speaks directly to this.
33 But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. (AMP)