Marriage and the Past

“Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find? The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him! A king who sits on the throne of judgment winnows all evil with his eyes. Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin?” – Proverbs 20:6-9.

As you well know, marriage is a subject near and dear to my heart. Marriage is a gift from God that He wants you to fully enjoy. But if the pain you’ve suffered in your past is still impacting your relationship now, you can’t fully embrace the new life God offers you because you’ll be stuck in a frustrating rewind of the past. 

When I married Angela I didn’t know everything about her. Nor did she know everything about me.  Neither of us knew much about married life, but we wanted to figure it out together—the two of us. I was learning how to be her husband, and she was learning how to be my wife. And that included dealing with any issues in our past. The truth is the past isn’t the past until it has been dealt with properly, because our past affects today in a negative manner. Therefore, it is still the present.

We must look back and deal with the past in order to move ahead. Your best bet for a successful future is to own your share of the past. In order to deal with your past, you first of all have to be willing to be blatantly honest with yourself. We need to honestly look at some of our less than stellar qualities and ask this question: “Could I be this way because of something in my past that I haven’t dealt with?”

The answer could be yes because we are the sum of all our experiences. The good things in our past show up in the positive aspects of our lives today. But here is the thing. The bad things in our pasts that we haven’t dealt with can create personality problems, emotional issues, relational difficulties and potentially, trouble in marriage. Those same bad things can also show up as positive aspects of our lives if we give them to God and we learn from them.

Jean Paul Sartre once said “Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” So what are we going to do to dissolve the hold the past has on us? In marriage as in very phase of life, the first thing to do is to surrender to Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you anything or anyone in your past you need to deal with. And that includes forgiveness. Forgiveness is an essential part of marriage and when we forgive, we give up the right to punish others. The simple act of forgiveness can set you free from your past and free from your future faster than almost anything else you can do.

When Angela and I stood hand in hand at the altar, promising to stay in this covenant for better or worse, in sickness and in health, until one of us died, we knew little of each other’s past. But it really didn’t matter unless we let it matter.  We were focused on our future and what God planned for us. We were focused on loving God and loving each other.   

Now, after all these years of marriage, we know much more about the past. We have learned to look past what is not important down to the terra firma. And that is one relationship with Jesus Christ.

Discussion Questions: 

  1. Talk about a time when you’ve seen someone repeat mistakes from the past because that person didn’t take ownership of his or her part of those mistakes.
  2. Why do you think it’s so difficult for people to recognize their roles in past mistakes?
  3. What are some things in your past from which you’ve hidden? In what ways did that make you unavailable for the people in your life?
  4. What is one area of your life where you haven’t owned your part of past results? What can you do this week to begin to own your part? 

A Marriage Made In Heaven

“To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with.” – Mark Twain

Life as you no doubt have learned, is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. Wives are not perfect. Neither are husbands. We all have our imperfections. But in an unforgettable marriage, the husband and wife have learned to accept the imperfections in each other. Over time, they have stopped trying to make each other in their own mold and have learned to celebrate their differences. Or in other words, they have learned to love each other for who they really are. That was the purpose and the motivation behind the Unforgettable Love Story series we finished this week.

If you missed any part of this series, I encourage to go back and listen to any you missed. You can find them at I would like to summarize some points we covered in the series. 

First, is that love is an unconditional commitment, not a fleeting, fickle feeling. When you hear couples say that they are “falling out of love,” I always wonder if they really grasp the meaning or implications of true love. Love isn’t a fairy tale feeling, but a commitment, a choice each of us make. Love isn’t a fairy tale story with a happy ending. Love is a story without end. 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT) reminds us that, “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”  Marriage needs commitment to each other and to God to flourish and deepen.

Second, every wife needs love and every husband needs respect. There will be times when your spouse is doing something that is unlovable or disrespectful. Loving them and showing respect during those times is not easy, but it is important that we do it anyway. God gives us His best when we’re at our worst, and He calls us to do that for each other in marriage. People usually need love most when they “deserve” love least. Ephesians 5:33 says, “However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” 

Third, your spouse’s needs have to come before your own. In each of us there is some level of selfishness. Let’s be honest. So we tend to look at every relationship, including marriage, as an avenue to getting our needs met. But as we have seen in this series, marriage is laying down your own rights for those of our spouse. This requires mutual submission and serving your spouse even when they’re not inclined to reciprocate. Mutual submission is modeled by how Jesus served us and even died for us when we were undeserving. “…submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)

And fourth, a marriage takes three. The third member of a marriage is God Himself. He created marriage not just to be a man and a woman, but rather, a man and a woman in a growing relationship with each other and with God. The more you love God, the more capacity you will have to love each other. Marriages that put God at the center of their marriage are happier than those that don’t. They focus on God for the source of their happiness rather than their spouse. Deuteronomy 31:8 “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

My hope and prayer is that this series will enrich your marriage/relationships and your walk with God in some way. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you view as the most important theme for the Unforgettable Love Story series?
  2. What do you want the legacy of your marriage to be?
  3. What is the one thing you plan to do or not do as a result of this series?
  4. How can God be a bigger part of the marriage/relationship going forward?

Hang In There

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” –  James 1:12.

As a pastor, I often look at a person or couple and say, “hang in there!” Likewise, people tell me to hang in there as well. In that phrase I intend or receive a word of encouragement and hope. Galatians 6:9 essentially says the same thing, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Paul is telling us that it is possible to become weary at doing good, and that includes our relationships and marriage. 

To “hang in there” we need perseverance. It is what makes life worthwhile in spite of adversity. It usually requires a level of courage we may not know we even possess. And it calls us to lean on and draw strength from the Lord when we are facing challenges that have left us weary and discouraged. We may be to the point we feel like giving up. But God hasn’t given up on us. At the proper time, we will receive the crown of life.

But sometimes it seems like things are just not working out. Happily ever after. Yeah, right. No one told you you’d be as miserable as you are. You started well, but now you’re living with a broken heart, feeling trapped in a difficult marriage without hope, and you don’t even want to begin to think about the future. Hope has taken the last train out of town, and you are resigned to facing some tough days ahead. Is this my marriage? Has it really come to this? You’re not able to run away from the reality that your marriage is empty.

My answer to that situation will not be popular with today’s culture and can seem like pie-in-the sky dogma that you would expect from a pastor. That answer is to not give up on the marriage. Don’t stop trying. Don’t stop praying and searching for a way to turn your marriage around. Miracles happen, and people change. I’m seen some pretty dire situations fixed through prayer, hard work, and determination. Where people work even harder to get the marriage on track and over time do exactly that.

That’s all fine and good but you tell yourself, “I’ve done this all before and have gotten the same negative result: Nothing really changes.” You are tired, frustrated, becoming cynical, and leery about ending up even more disillusioned.

I would encourage you to continue hanging in there because even then, God wants your faithfulness. Even in lonely times, God’s message is unchanged, “be holy as I am holy.”

Mature marriages result from two people developing the skills and selflessness needed to address the hard issues in their relationship. These marriages are a result of honest work and sacrificial love and are filled with transparency, humility, and honesty. They, indeed, have a depth of maturity that serves as a positive model. Along the way, at some time and in some circumstance, they chose to hang in there.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you ever feel like you can’t hang in there any longer? What made you feel that way?
  2. Do you believe that God can fix/heal any situation? Do you believe some situations will never get batter?
  3. Do you believe you owe it to God to hang in there?
  4. What can you do this week to demonstrate your commitment to your marriage? 

Commitment And Trust

“If you had started doing anything two weeks ago, by today you would have been two weeks better at it.” – John Mayer.” 

Do you believe commitment and trust are synonymous when it comes to marriage? If you talked to married people, you would probably get the following answer to what’s the difference between commitment and trust: Commitment is our intent to stay in a relationship with our spouse; trust is the practice of doing so.

That answer makes sense to me. Committed spouses will build trust over time. Commitment is built by paying attention to “little things” to show their love and concern. To set up a firm foundation in any marriage the husband and wife need to feel a sense of obligation to each other. God designed marriage to bring a couple deep-seated joy and contentment. He intended for a man to “rejoice in the wife” and for “husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.” (Proverbs 5:18; Ephesians 5:28) To create that sort of bond, a couple must be committed. And their marriage relationship will grow. They will form a bond the Bible describes as being so close that it is as if the two people were “one flesh.” (Matthew 19:5)

Conveying commitment isn’t showy, but subtle and and often behind the scenes. But we still have to do it. 

Trust is built in very small moments in which one person turns toward their partner when they’re in need. When our partner responds positively, by “being there” for us, that builds trust.

Once we are “there” for each other over and over again, we can also begin to trust each other in the face of anger or upset. Having a ground rule that says, “its okay to be angry, I am not going anywhere,” is a very important building block to trust. Marriage should be a top priority both in spending time together and in carrying out the commitments of daily life.

Commitment means investing time in any relationship. Or putting your spouse above other things. It also helps build trust because you are creating evidence that you are reliable, that you can be counted on and trusted. The ability to rely on each other as a team is real trust in the relationship.

When you are fully committed and it is shows in your relationship, it can be a powerful force. True commitment in a healthy relationship takes time to get to know each other, demonstrates a commitment to certain values, accepts each other’s personal standards and involves faithfulness. Such a marriage will be healthy and successful.    

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you view the difference between commitment and trust? Which of the two values do you identify with the most?
  2. If you had to choose one or the other in a relationship which one would you choose and why?
  3. Can a lack of trust in a marriage or relationship be fixed? If so, how?
  4. Read Proverbs 3:5-6. What does it mean to trust the Lord with all of your heart? We all have areas where is it easier to trust Him and also have areas where it is more difficult. How does this apply to marriage?
  5. What can we do this week to build trust in a relationship/marriage?

Committed For The Long Haul

“Marriage has the power to set the course of your life as a whole. If your marriage is strong, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are filled with trouble and weakness, it won’t matter. You will be able to move out into the world in strength.” – Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God

Do you ever think about the meaning of the words in your wedding vows? “For better or for worse . . . in plenty and in want . . .  in joy and in sorrow . . .in sickness and in health . . . as long as we both shall live.” The words may have been different but the intent was probably the same. Whether you have been married for a short time or for decades, when we get married we make a commitment in that moment of time, with God and friends and family listening. My question is this: Were those just empty words of tradition from the past? Or do they represent a genuine promise of commitment that had meaning then and continues to have meaning today? I believe the level of commitment is instrumental in determining both the longevity and quality of any marriage. 

“Till death do us part” can sound so romantic – but it can also sound ominous. Regardless of whether one marries in a secular or religious ceremony most couples still believe that they are making a permanent commitment. Unfortunately, the divorce rate tells us clearly that intentions are not always enough. 

What happens between the solemn pronouncement of wedding vows and the decision that we have irreconcilable differences? Certainly, this is not a “one size fits all” situation. But I believe that somewhere along the way one or both spouses got bored or tired of trying to make it work. In other words their commitment dissolved.

But here’s the thing: commitment is a mindset, a way of thinking that will enable you and your spouse to navigate through the still waters and the storms of a marriage relationship. Commitment means you’ve promised to stay and work it through, not just today but forever.

Commitment is a decision that comes in two stages: first making the commitment and then keeping the commitment. We make the commitment when we get married.  Keeping the commitment is a different story. Keeping the commitment means that we do loving things for our spouse, speaking kindly and respectfully, and deciding over and over to pay attention to the relationship. it also means that we commit ourselves to God and seek His grace and wisdom in the relationship.

Commitment is also a choice to give up our rights. Although this might at first sound limiting, it actually brings great freedom and depth. Once committed, all one’s energy goes into making this commitment work. No longer are other possibilities a distraction. 

Couples who understand the essence of making a permanent commitment realize that it’s much more than just a decision not to simply let things evolve. It’s a commitment to do the daily work of keeping the commitment alive. It may mean turning off the TV or taking a nightly walk in order to listen to each other’s concerns. These simple actions, and many more, are the stuff of commitment. They are the actions that keep a marriage vibrant, interesting, and exciting. It means being vigilant so temptations or doubts do not surface.

Honor the commitment each of us made when we got married. And every day re-commit to making the marriage all that God intended it to be. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is commitment an overused concept? If so, why?
  2. How do you define commitment in marriage or in relationships?
  3. Do you believe commitment will enable you to: sacrifice for the sake of your marriage, be more satisfied with your relationship and enjoy longer-lasting marriages? Why or why not?
  4. What disciplines are needed to help maintain your faithfulness and commitment in marriage? 
  5. In what areas of marriage do you feel God is calling you to pray and work on going forward?  Spend some time praying.

Analysis Paralysis

“I’m tired of being inside my head. I want to live out here, with you.”  Colleen McCarty.

Early in the engagement, most of us sit down to think about what we want to accomplish in our marriage. It would be refreshing to talk, pray, trust God, and dream big together. It would be the stuff of Hollywood movies; a marriage that starts strong and yet deepens over the years. However, somewhere between the dream of what you want your marriage to be, you begin to wonder if you have all the right stuff to bring the dream to reality. Have you ever found yourself endlessly obsessing over an issue, unable to move beyond it? When dealing with a problem or potential opportunity, do you ever have dozens of seemingly unanswerable questions swirling around your brain? If so, you may be suffering from one of the most common afflictions known to modern man: paralysis by analysis. If you had a good friend they would have told you that you are overthinking the situation and that you need to trust God. 

It is easy for people to overthink the situation, at least when it comes to relationships. Too often we spend a significant amount of time and energy mulling over our situation. But sometimes, all the thinking and talking falls flat. When we spend so much time analyzing these aspects of our relationship, the paralysis can cause us to do nothing. If you want a deepening of your marriage doing nothing seldom works.

Sometimes we spend so much time focusing on our problems and analyzing our issues that we fail to integrate real, actionable change into our lives. Thinking deeply about your marriage is fine, but it takes action to bring about real and actual change. If we want to improve the situation, then we need to do something. 

Love is articulated though action. Thinking about a relationship is most useful when the other person inspires us to demonstrate new behavior. Ideally, godly servant-minded thinking should spur intelligent action. After all, it doesn’t make much sense to start a whole life together as a unified couple when both people have spent so much time trying to “find themselves”.  It is a deepening marriage where we learn more about the spouse after we are married and do something to make improvements as a result of the knowledge. 

Don’t fall prey to analysis paralysis. Take the steps necessary to change your marriage for the better. That’s a great place to start. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you think it is wrong to think through a subject? Why or why not?
  2. Does thinking about a relationship lead to action?
  3. In the area of relationships, do we tend to take too much or too little action? Why do you feel that way?
  4. What steps can we take to ensure we don’t suffer from paralysis by analysis?
  5. Pray and ask God to give you the wisdom on when to take action and when not to.

The Course Of True Love

“The romantic love we feel toward the opposite sex is probably one extra help from God to bring you together, but that’s it. All the rest of it, the true love, is the test.” – Joan Chen

It was William Shakespeare who said, “the course of true love never did run smooth.”

Shakespeare was right. True love will have some bumps. Especially when you consider the radical mind bending unconditional love exemplified by Jesus. If you don’t learn to show your spouse unconditional love, your marriage will not deepen. Without true love,  marriage will never deepen because it is dependent on a shallow and fragile root system.

That’s why it’s so important for us to learn to love our spouse unconditionally. It is not easy. Giving your spouse unconditional, unwavering love requires grace, patience, affirmation, encouragement, respect and time. Even when you don’t feel like showing love, or your spouse is trying to be unloveable at that time, you continue to love unconditionally. It is a sure way for your marriage to experience a deepening.   

Jesus Christ demonstrated how to show true love. He loved us not because we were lovable or worthy of that love, but because He is the personification of true love. Romans 5:8 describes godly love in action: “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

That love requires us to be concerned for the well-being of others over our own wants and desires. God even gives us His Spirit to enable us to exhibit true godly love toward others. As the apostle Paul explained:  ”…you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:9-10).

Remember that God is the author of unconditional unselfish love. If you want true love, go to God for it, for He can give you the power and desire to put into practice the little things in marriage that constitute true love. He can help you develop more outgoing concern for the needs of your husband or wife rather than concentrating solely on your own feelings and desires.

True love comes to those who are willing to make their personal wants and desires secondary in giving of themselves to their marriage partner.

Don’t expect true love overnight. True love grows as a husband and wife learn how to better meet the needs and desires of the other. True love matures through living experiences and through feeding the fires on a  daily basis.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is true love more than acts of kindness? Why or why not?
  2. What is the expectation of love in marriage or in a relationship?
  3. What must you risk in loving your spouse sacrificially?
  4. In unconditionally loving our spouse, what is the worst pain we face? What will you have to give up?
  5. Pray and ask God to help you love your spouse unconditionally.

Deeper Connections

“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock,the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a young woman.“ – Proverbs 30:18-19.

The couple has gone on several dates. When reflecting on the experience so far, it is common to hear one of them say, “I definitely think we made a connection. It is not something tangible, but it is there.” Making a connection is important when dating but deepening that connection and understanding of your mate becomes all the more important once you get married.  Growing that connection infuses relationships with new spirit and life.

But as I have said several times in the Unforgettable Love series, dating is one thing, and marriage is something else. That is because once we are married life happens. Responsibilities and time commitments grow. As a result, the close connection God wants married couples to enjoy can become neglected and strained.

Don’t settle for a week connection. Talk about your schedules, and time commitments. Find time to spend together to just talk. Talk about your individual lifestyle preferences. Talk about your daily joy and disappointments. Talk about even the little hurts, so these small things don’t build up into big things that will come between you. Talk about possible solutions to any big areas of disagreement.

And finally talk about your spouse’s needs. They may need you to be reliable, to be honest, dependable, and on time. Let your spouse know that, no matter what, you will always care for and value him or her. Be genuinely interested in doing what’s best for your spouse and your marriage. They may need you to give more time and energy to your relationship. They may want you to respond differently: they may want you to simply listen without judging, criticizing, or problem-solving. They may have a need to know that you care about his or her thoughts and feelings. They may need you to understand why they reacted in a certain way by asking questions so you can better understand what’s bothering your spouse, and why. They may need you to understand your spouse’s perspective on the issue and to clearly communicate yours. They may need you to avoid defending yourself or blaming your spouse. They may need you to be willing to be open to doing things differently.

There are numerous other examples I could give, but my goal was to give you food for thought, not to be all inclusive.  Here’s the bottom line.  If you want a deeper connection with your spouse make sure you are communicating and in that communication you know his or her needs.    

  Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you think you have a good understanding of your spouse’s strengths, weaknesses, desires, and aspirations? If not, what can you do to find out more about these aspects of his or her character and personality? How can this knowledge deepen your connection with your spouse?
  2. How would you describe your “long view” of your relationship? Where do you see yourselves in five years? Ten years? Twenty?
  3. There is a famous saying: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Does this maxim apply to marriage? If so, how?
  4. Do you ever feel that you’re simply too busy to deepen your connection with your spouse?

Where’s The Fire?

“To keep the fire burning brightly there’s one easy rule: Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm and far enough apart — about a finger’s breadth — for breathing room.” – Marnie Reed Crowell 

To Build a Fire” is the title of a short story by American author Jack London. It describes the plight of man in 75 degree below zero weather in a classic man verses wilderness race to build a fire before the cold overwhelms him. He ultimately fails. Building fires is sometimes easy and sometimes not so easy depending on the environment and the materials. I’ve started many a fire with good old Kingsford charcoal. You spray and get that wood or charcoal briquettes good and wet – I’m not much of a Boy Scout, but you just throw a match on it, and it lights right away. The fire starts quick and burns out quickly as well. Starting a fire is one thing, but keeping the fires going in a marriage over the years requires much more than lighter fluid. 

It requires you to be active, and to basically say, “you know what? We’re going to keep this thing burning.” We are going to proactively focus on this relationship, and along the way develop and use a few fire starters. Because fires, whether they be real fires in a grill or fires in the human heart, the passion and romance go out when they are not tended well and fed with fuel. If you are wondering why there isn’t much romance in your marriage, take a step back and ask how much fresh fuel have you brought to that fire?

There are many things that can extinguish the fire in a marriage. Neglect, indifference, and stress are just a few. But there is one that has the potential to be the most powerful fire extinguisher you have ever seen. It can squirt on a fire so quickly. It is the lack of or loss of respect for your spouse. There are others, but while these can extinguish a fire, they can also add logs to the fire when done right.  Let’s review a few of them briefly. 

Let’s start with acceptance. The second need of a woman is for acceptance. Our spouse needs to know that we love them for who they are and not what they do. They need to marry them all over again. Another is nurturing the special connection we have with your spouse. We need to set aside the quality time to reconnect emotionally with our spouse. When we connect we cultivate a fire that has warmth for hours. In addition, we need to become a student of your spouse and what their needs are.  Not what their needs were years ago. School is always in session. And don’t forget respect. We need to respect our spouse in a way that leaves no doubt as to our true feelings. And we need to work at it. We need to make romance a priority, an action item on our daily to do list.   

Our spouses have given us a lot of great gifts over their lifetime, but none greater than themselves. Recognition of that fact, coupled with working constantly on cultivating the fire of romance, is what deepens the marriage in the way God intended marriage to be.   

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does keeping the fires burning in your marriage mean to you?
  2. Is this something that you proactively do or something you react to when needed?
  3. What do you see as the biggest fire extinguisher in your marriage/relationship?
  4. What is the best lighter fluid or fire starter?
  5. How do you show respect to your spouse?

Pride And Conflict

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant ? – 1 Corinthians 13:4.

Pride and conflict go hand in hand. Pride is, “I’m more important than you. What I’m doing is more important than you. So, whatever you want, whatever you think you need, whatever you’re doing, stop, because me and my situation, activities, and needs, they’re more important than yours. Don’t inconvenience me with you. You and I should both agree on how important I am. I’m more important than you.” Now that may seem both harsh and unrealistic, but is it? If we look closely we all probably have some degree of selfishness and pride manifesting itself in the relationship.

It is hard to remove ourselves and our emotions, self-interests and personal judgments from a conflict. And the stark fact is we hate to lose.

If you can’t stand to lose, if you have to be the victor at the expense of your spouse, you probably should not get married. Because every married person is going to have to lose on occasion. Sometimes you will lose because you are wrong and sometimes you will lose because you care more about the relationship than the argument. And you may lose because you are trying to be more like Jesus.

Jesus practiced mind-blowing, unfathomable humility. Philippians 2:5-8 tells us: ”Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[ being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Think about it for a second. God becomes a man. He goes from heaven to earth. He goes from a throne to a manger. He goes from riches to poverty. He goes from hearing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,” to “Crucify him, crucify him, crucify him.”  Jesus repeatedly teaches on humility. He says in Matthew 30:26, “…But whoever would be great among you must be your servant.”  You want to have a great marriage? Then be a great servant.

When in conflict or at any other time for that matter ask yourself: Do you consider your spouse and his or her needs above your own? Does it show up practically with how the money is spent, and time is spent, and what the holidays look like, and what vacations look like, and what date night looks like, and where you live, and how life is put together?

“But Marty, I’m mad.” 

“He offended me.”   

“She’s wrong.”

“He owes me an apology.”

I understand. But Jesus was wronged. You got what He clearly didn’t deserve. He could have done things differently, but He humbled Himself. We can mirror our Savior if we put our pride and our need to win aside. Attack the problem, but never the person, communicating about difficult topics, with humility and reconciliation as the goals. Don’t let your pride blow things out of proportion. Serving your spouse with humility communicates that you still care about the marriage. It protects each other’s heart.

Every conflict presents us with a choice. We can either stick with pride, and miss out on all God has in store for you and your marriage: or we can stick with God and find out all the adventures that He has in store for you and your marriage. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you struggle with pride? In what areas of your life.
  2. Do you struggle more with pride against God or with others?
  3. How is pride destructive to marriage or relationships?
  4. What can we do this week to eliminate pride in our lives? Pray and ask God to show you the areas of your life where pride has taken hold?