31-Day Marriage Devotional
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES IN MARRIAGE
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
One of the most powerful ways to imitate Jesus in your marriage is by having an other-worldly lack of self-interest (Philippians 2:5-11). One of the statements that connect so well into the gospel is that if the gospel truly anchors you, you have nothing to fear, nothing to defend, nothing to lose, and nothing to hide.
Jesus is like that with you. He is so secure in His relationship with you that He can take your angry responses and other ways in which you express your disappointments to Him. You are allowed to let Him know what you’re thinking.
The reason is simple: Jesus is about you. He dramatically proved this by going to the cross in your place. Though you should never be angry with God, it is possible, and if that were the case, your anger would never disorient Him or sever the relationship you have with Him. He always listens to you and loves you in response (Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:8). That is the kind of love husbands and wives should imitate to each other.
Insecurity Illustrated – Chad is immature and insecure. If Kathy says anything that relates to him, their marriage, and the need for him to change, Chad takes it personally and usually sulks in response to her remarks.
Kathy does not believe she can be completely honest with him because of his insecurities. Chad’s “way” causes her to take a guarded posture. Rather than speaking openly and honestly about what is going on between them, it is more like talking to a child, where every word has to be measured and weighed before she shares it (John 16:2).
Kathy is pulling double duty: not only does she have to care for her soul, but she has to care for her husband’s too. She has to grow him up before he can contribute to her sanctification. She tries not to be self-righteous about it, but it is hard. Chad is a weak, immature, and insecure husband. He does not process things through a biblical lens. He responds to things through his past personal experiences and hurts. (His dad was a mean and condemning man, who was a significant shaping influence on Chad’s life.)
Chad is a tedious man, which weighs heavy on Kathy’s soul. She grows weary being around him because of his deep insecurity. There is ongoing and seemingly unresolvable “in-equitableness” in their relationship. It is similar to a college student married to an eighth grader. Chad is so different from Christ. He esteems himself more than he esteems his wife, which disables him from being Christ to her.
Time to Reflect:
All Christians carry baggage from their old person, into the new creation that God is making. In most marriages, there is an “in-equitableness” in how the two partners are growing up in Christ, which makes sense because each Christian is unique, never in the same place as other Christians, even if they are married to each other. It would be a monumental mistake to expect your spouse to be like you.
- In what ways are you different from your spouse?
- Did you answer the question by highlighting your strengths and your spouse’s weaknesses first, or did you think about your spouse’s strengths and your weaknesses first?
If you thought about your strengths first, you might not have that “other-worldly lack of self-interest” like Christ. The danger is that if you think more about where you get it right and where your spouse gets it wrong, you may begin gathering a list of sins like anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, and resignation.
Share with your spouse one weakness that you have and how you need spouse’s help in working through it.
Also published on Medium.