Devotional

“Are you pouring the best into your marriage? Or are you giving it the crumbs and leftovers of a busy life?”  – Ngina Otiende

If you watch TV for an hour each day, chances are you will see a Pharmaceutical commercial that both highlights the benefits as well as gives a long list of possible side effects of a certain medicine. Those side effects are potentially bad, sometimes including death. The commercial then states that the commercial “describes only one person’s experience and your experience may vary.”

We all have an idea of what we think marriage should be—but our expectations don’t always match reality. Marriage is not for everyone. Marriage comes with a long list of expected and unexpected side effects. How do we deal with marriage, even when your results are not typical or your results may vary? Side effects may include anxiety, frustration, hair loss, lack of hearing, sensitivity to turning into your mother and children. How do we deal with marriage, even when our results are not typical or our results vary from what we expected? 

There is no question that people who are married or getting married, know what results they are looking for. Most people get married assuming that marriage is an environment that produces all the things they are looking for: companionship, romance, intimacy, friendship, laughter, financial security, and joy. And we pick our partner because they think/hope/assume that everything can be provided by their future spouse. 

The truth is if you want your results to vary, if you want a godly marriage, both spouses need to contribute to the marriage. Each person needs to contribute things like love, kindness, appreciation. They must develop a servant mentality and the habits that bare a byproduct of that mentality: giving, sharing, loving, being kind, being affectionate, serving, sacrificing, communicating, appreciating, forgiving, accepting, not sweating the small stuff, being consistent, and so on. In other words, your results will vary when you are actively contributing to those results.

When we love another person, we want to give to that person in a way that is meaningful to him or her; we want to be good to that person; our focus is no longer just on ourselves, but is also equally if not more so on the other. We have the other person’s best interests at heart—and not just some of the time, but constantly. We have internalized the other person and their interests so much that they have become a part of us, inseparable from us.  

Discussion Questions

  1. What results are you looking for in marriage? Why do results vary so much in marriages?
  2. What can we do this week to contribute to our marriage results?