As I preached about humility from Philippians 2:3, I said that we are inclined naturally to be selfish, self-centered, and self-oriented people which is the opposite of humility. The world revolves around us and our desires. I was thinking about our marriage relationships and how much we need to practice humility so that we can glorify God and bring joy to Him.
Marriage is when two sinners saved by grace come together. Although we are saved by grace we still have the earthly body of sin. Husbands demand that their wives respect them, and submit to them. Wives demand that their husbands love them. These aren’t bad expectations. They are biblical realities mentioned by Paul in Ephesians 5. We assume that if these expectations are met we have a recipe for a wonderful marriage. And when either spouse fails to be the beneficiary of their expectation, we conclude that the marriage has failed. Keep in mind that we are able to love our spouse irrespective of the responses we get from them because of the gospel. Remember that while we were sinners Christ died for us. He loved us in spite of who we were. If he chose to give us what we deserve, it would have been death. But Christ, because of his mercy towards us gave us eternal life. And now since we have experienced His mercy and love we can show the same love to someone who doesn’t deserve it. The ability to love and respect our spouse is given to us by the Holy Spirit indwelling in us.
Failed expectations in our marriages are not opportunities given to us to reveal the flaws in our spouse. We must humbly accept that the spouse God has given to us is a perfect gift from above and it is to reveal the idols of our heart and to help us in our sanctification. The difficulties in our marriages maybe due to the sinful attitudes of our spouse, but they are there for a reason. So, when we go through conflicts with our spouse we need to humble ourselves and ask the Lord to reveal the sinful attitudes in our lives that are making the situation worse. When we are trying hard to fix our spouse we must recognize that God is using our spouse to shape our character and to refine us. In spite of a difficult marriage we need to be humble to thank God for our spouse and for the spiritual growth He is producing in us. As we humbly work on our heart attitudes God will use that to bring love, joy and unity in our marriages.
~ Pastor Sam