Devotional

To fully know and still fully love, is the primary aim of marriage.” – Fierce Marriage: Radically Pursuing Each Other in Light of Christ’s Relentless Love

A 20-something told me recently that marriage is just too difficult and misery seems inevitable. She went on to say it’s just not working out. Nothing is changing. No matter what you do, no matter what you say, he doesn’t get it. She added, “I am angry and apathetic….I don’t have much hope that anything but tough days lie ahead.” 

Most marriages will have their ups and downs. Like a virus, discontentment, anger and apathy can affect and weaken every healthy aspect of life and marriage. It infects our affections, our views of each other, our contentment and happiness, and our very trust in God. There is no question that maintaining a strong, vibrant marriage is not an easy thing to do.  

For Christians who are married or in relationships, there are a lot of “one anothers” concerning how we treat each other.  Here are a few of them that relate to marriage: Live in harmony with one another. (Romans 12:16);  Accept one another. (Romans 15:7); Care for one another. (1 Corinthians 12:25); Serve one another in love.( Galatians 5:13);  Don’t spitefully hurt one another. (Galatians 5:15) Carry one another’s burdens.( Galatians 6:2) Be kind to one another. (Ephesians 4:32); Forgive one another. (Ephesians 4:32); Don’t lie to one another. (Colossians 3:9) Encourage one another. (Hebrews 3:13) Pray for one another. (James 5:16).  There are more but you get the right idea. 

These “one anothers” are perfect “to-dos” for a healthy marriage. What if we lived our lives and focused our marriages on these amazing biblical mandates on how to treat our spouse? But when troubles arise, when the day gets busy and we get distracted, we must admit that we all tend to short-cut this to-do list.

As we look at the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, He obviously lived out the “one anothers.” He understood that treating people by the Golden Rule of “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you” is not just a philosophy of life, it is the way to live life. Mother Teresa once said: “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” From my experience, the happiest people are the ones whose to-do list is filled with loving and serving one another.

God clearly presents the case that marriage is to be a covenant in which husband and wife and we need to focus on making the other party of the covenant better, stronger, more complete. The marriage roles of a husband and wife are designed to complement each other; one is incomplete without the other.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you look at marriage as a series of “one anothers?” Or as a to-do list? 
  2. What would be on the top of your to-do list in your marriage?