Ok, ok, I know your screen is dripping with sarcasm so I’ll stop the charade.
It’s no secret that in marriage there are times of peace and times of war. The truth is that disagreements are inevitable. Especially when you consider that sometimes marriage feels like putting two territorial jungle cats into a cage and watching them fight for dominance. No matter what the breed of cat or the type of relationship we have we all fight for the same thing.
We battle for “self”.
How can I get my quota of “self” as high as possible so I experience the least amount of change and the highest amount of satisfaction. We all look into the mirror and judge our expectations of one another off of our current state of being. After all, it’s gotten us this far and we feel pretty good about who we are so why wouldn’t the other person not want to have some of my way of doing things in their life so they could feel good too?
It seems so simple.
Yet, when the other person doesn’t yield and won’t buy our “How To Be Me In 5 Easy Steps” Starter Kit for $39.95 we get mad and start to resent them. We dig our heals in physically, emotionally, and spiritually and prepare for war. This is when communication gets shut off, sex is used as a weapon, and becoming roommates in your own home begins.
One of the most common battle cries from one camp to the other, especially when one person sobers up enough to realize they need help, is “I don’t need help, YOU do! “, “If you get fixed everything will be fine.”, or “You need counseling to figure out your issues, because your broken not me.”
Now listen, there are times when one person needs to get more help over another. Addiction and abuse are mistresses in your relationships and until that third party is taken out true healing cannot begin. In those cases one person does need to seek help before moving on, but the other person also will need help too.
However, for the majority of marriages out there the notion that one person needs to “just get fixed and everything will be better” is not only untrue, arrogant, and prideful, but unBiblical as well.
When a couple steps forward before God and desires to become married they are not just doing it so they can wear a dress, have a party, and go on an exotic vacation. The commitment is far greater than the size of the bar tab at the end of the evening.
The commitment is a covenant between themselves and God where in they submit their “self” and embrace the “we” or the “one”. These aren’t just clever words that pastors think up so divorce rates go down, but rather these are the words of Jesus himself!
Listen to what he says about marriage to a group of religious Pharisees trying to find loopholes for divorce in the gospel of Mark.
“‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” – Mark 10:7-9
Jesus, quoting Genesis 2:24, is saying that when you step across the relational line and vow to marry one another things change. You no longer think in terms of “I” but in “we” which means that you can’t look at one person or the other person as the problem because you both are. One person isn’t the sick one you both are sick. One person doesn’t need help you both need help. One person doesn’t need counseling you both need counseling. The reason is that in God’s eyes He can’t see you as anything BUT one united person!
King Solomon drives at the heart of why this is so important in Ecclesiastes when he says
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
By telling your spouse they need to get fixed while you stay home and keep being “awesome” you are in essence telling them “you are on your own buddy, good luck getting up.”
That’s not how God designed Christian marriage to work. Sure, it’s how the world will tell you things should work, but we don’t buy what the world is selling. We believe God has a better plan and His plan is laser focused on working together through any challenges we may face.
Listen, is it going to be hard to work through some stuff in your marriage? Yes, but you didn’t sign up for easy, you signed up for “richer/poorer, life/death, sickness/health” remember! You signed up to follow Christ in your marriage to be “be Holy as He is Holy”.
Here’s the bottom line:
The best way for Satan to break up your marriage is to get you isolated and alone so he can fill you with lies, pride, and despair. The only way to combat him is for you both to have a God honoring, Satan destroying, and joy-filled marriage that is united together through any and all circumstances.