Friday, May 21, 2010

Why Do You Have A Good Marriage?

Matt and I are leaving today to teach a marriage conference in Griffin, GA. As I was giving my final instructions to the boys and saying my good byes Joshua ask a very thought provoking question. "Mommy, why do you and Daddy have such a good marriage?" "Well, Joshua, it's because we pray, read our bibles and listen to the Holy Spirit guide us in our marriage." "So if people don't have a good marriage does it mean they don't read and obey their bibles?" WOW! Out of the mouths of babes. First let me say how blessed I am that my 6 year old thinks we have a good marriage. That speaks loudly to me and lets me know that they are watching. His comment also spoke truth to my heart this morning. There is only one way to have a good marriage, the best marriage. We must be obedient to the Word of God. How can we expect our marriages to become good or even better when we are leaving out the glue (Jesus)? So often we know what we need to be doing, but it apparently is not important enough to us that we are willing to die to self. I thought about it this have a headache and you know if you take tylenol your headache will go away, but instead of stopping what you are doing and seeking out the remedy you continue to suffer all the while complaining about "this headache." The same is true in so many marriages, we know that a closer walk with Jesus, spending time in His Word and fellowshipping with Him in prayer is the key to "fix" the problem, but we would rather complain and hold on to the hope that a miracle would come along that would require us to do nothing, than to die to self and actively seek what is the "only" answer. God has been teaching me the trick to never having an argument with my spouse. Matt and I do not fight. We never have. We occasionally have disagreements and get irritated with one another, but they never last more than about an hour or 6. I am fixing to share with you how you can never again fight with your spouse. Are you ready for this? Luke 9:23 NIV "Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Do you see that little four letter word in there...deny....that's it. That's the secret. Fighting in marriage is a result of selfishness. Wanting our way, wanting the last word, wanting to be right, thinking we don't deserve to be treated that way. It's all selfishness. Jesus says that if we really want to come after Him and be known as one of His then we will deny ourselves. How often? DAILY! That means that today it is ok if I don't get my way. It is ok if I don't get the last word. It is ok if my husband makes a decision that I find utterly ridiculous. It is ok because I am following Jesus and denying myself and HE will take care of the rest. In Ephesians we as wives are instructed to respect our husbands and submit to their leadership and husbands are instructed to love their wives just as Christ loved the church (giving up his very life). Hey folks this is not my opinion, this is scripture so take it up with Him. If we are respecting our husbands and submitting (all of which require denying self) and if our husbands are loving us as Christ loved the church (giving up His very life because of his love for her) then where is there room for fighting? The "secret" sounds like an easy solution right? It sounds easy in theory, but the problem is bound up in the foolishness of our hearts. It is so hard for us to die to self and deny what our flesh so desperately longs for. This is where we get back to Joshua's question..."So if people don't have a good marriage, does it mean they don't read their bibles?" My answer to Joshua was this..."It's not actually reading the Bible that produces a good marriage, but it is obeying it and doing what God says to do. He has written it all out for us, but we have to choose to obey what it says. When we are studying the Bible and seeking to obey everything it says, then we can have a good marriage." That's the secret, walking so close to our Savior that we know the truth of His word and we OBEY it. It is not enough to just know, but we must put into practice that which was first knowledge. Our knowledge has to grow feet so that it can become faith. Knowledge alone is a dangerous thing. It puffs us up and can harden our hearts. It's knowledge that leads to obedience and there in that humble obedience we find a heart that is pliable willing to be molded and shaped into all that God desires for it to be. Do you want a good marriage? I do! I want a great marriage. I want the best marriage. You can have it today. Following the secret...DENY yourself, Abide in His word, Obey His word and watch Him pour open the flood gates of blessing in your marriage.

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