Many Christian marriages struggle so much that they often pray and pray for God to help them. Yet, nothing seems to change, and the marriage may increasingly spiral downward. Is there hope for lasting change?
We all want to be loved, accepted, and respected in our marriages. Yet, we bring fleshly patterns into the marriage that get exposed when we feel unloved, rejected, or devalued. Unless this gets resolved in God’s way, the hurt and resentment often build into a mountain of pain. We can fall into the trap of focusing so much on the other person’s faults that we don’t realize that we have issues God wants to free us from. In other words, those fleshly patterns can cause us to be blind to our own self-centeredness.
The good news is that God loves you and your spouse. He wants your marriage to work, but, in most cases, He is using the struggles in your marriage to transform you. He often does this by showing us that He wants us to change our focus from our spouse to ourselves. In that posture, He can reveal unresolved issues within you from which you are operating. You can then let His love and life in you heal you as you discover what it means that Christ is your Life, Identity, and Source of love.
Romans 8:6 explains the difference between living from our flesh and living from Christ in us in a very beautiful and succinct way. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. When our focus is on our flesh, we breathe “death” into the marriage, meaning we bring conflict, frustration, and rejection into the relationship. On the other hand, when our focus is on Christ as our Life, identity, and Source of love, we breathe “life” into the marriage, meaning we bring love, acceptance, and understanding into the relationship.
Often, we need someone else in the body of Christ to help us get there, which is why most of our counseling at GLI is marital counseling. We also offer our Marriage by Grace Conference twice a year, and it is like no other Christian marriage conference you may have attended. Bill and Tonda Layle, staff members, share how the life-giving power of God’s grace healed years of painful struggles in their marriage and how the same can be true for your relationship. They share how to live a marriage the “grace way,” at which you will marvel!
If your marriage could use encouragement, please register today for our upcoming one. Also, if you know of a couple struggling in their marriage, consider paying for them to attend. It would be a great early Christmas gift. By the way, pastors, missionaries, and their spouses attend for free.
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© Mark Maulding (But feel free to share this.)