What does it take to build a good Christian marriage?
Recently, I heard a statement that blew my mind.
“My ability to mess things up is no match for God’s ability to make things work”
When we think about a good Christian marriage, we think about our part in that equation: how to play nice and be good people so the marriage can be good.
It’s an excellent pondering because marriage needs two deliberately good people.
But here’s the truth which was eloquently described in the quote above: marriage isn’t good because of our good efforts and intentionality. Marriage is good because God is good.
Recently I attended a class at our church where we were taught the power of identity when it comes to walking in the fullness of our relationship with God.
One of the things I took away from the session was how feelings of unworthiness had blinded me to God’s provision and generosity.
For the longest time, I believed I had to be good enough, worthy enough to be loved by God and to enjoy the blessings that come from a close relationship with Him, including a healthy marriage.
I worked hard to be worthy and good.
Unfortunately, I am not that good. In the sense I always find new ways to mess up (my husband too.)
The “earning” and “deserving” logic, set me up for a lifetime of struggle: low-grade anxiety that affected my relationship with God and my experience and expectations of Him.The Good Christian Marriage - What happens when you don't measure up to that high calling? Thoughts for the wife in turmoil
It has been one of my greatest areas of struggles in my Christian life; letting go of this itch to earn my way into God’s good books and the fear of what will happen when I mess up.
Wally Cook, the leader of the class, said
“Instead (of thinking how bad we are) if we are thinking of how awesome Jesus is and how His awesomeness isn’t restricted by our faults and imperfections, good things happen.”
So here’s what I am learning about creating a good christian marriage and walking in the fullness of what God has for me and my marriage.
1. I need to change my focus.
I need to think about myself less and think about God’s greatness a whole lot more. Understand that “my ability to mess things up is no match for God’s ability to make things work.”
2. I need to change how I view myself.
Begin to see myself as God does, not as I was before I met Him.
Because 2 Corinthians 5: 17, 18 says “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5: 17, 18
Jesus paid the ultimate price so you and I might grow in the intimate knowledge of Him and be radically transformed.
We are no longer to be controlled by fear, uncertainty, trepidation but be fully conformed into His likeness; which births a fierce conviction and courage, no matter what we are going through.
We don’t have to be defined by our pains or mistakes or trials or unmet desires. We are God’s dearly loved children (Ephesian 5: 1) and we are what He says we are.
Certainly, we have a role to play in weaving a healthy marriage and life story; it’s intensely intentional as much as it is grace-filled.
But we do our part, not to earn our place in Him, but because we have been gifted a place in Him already.
We love because He first loved us. We overcome obstacles because He already did. We follow Him because He is worthy. We are loved because He decided to love us.
We have a good marriage because He is a good God; not because we know how to keep all the balls in the air and walk the tightrope of “good humans.”
Marriage is good because it’s Creator is good and He knows how to keep it working, despite our remarkable ability to fail Him and our spouse.Marriage is good because it's Creator is good and He knows how to keep it working, in spite of our remarkable ability to fail Him and our spouse.
Question is, will we allow God to shape and form our hearts so we can begin to see ourselves as He does, not as we were?
For that is how we begin to experience the wonder of a God-defined life and relationship.
Your turn- have you ever felt like you don’t measure up in marriage? How do you work through feelings of overwhelm and disappointment with yourself/spouse? Let’s chat in Comments.