Such a harsh word, don’t you think? Con.fron.ta.tion. It sounds like it wants to pick a fight! And oftentimes it does in many marriages.
What if the next time our spouse mentions something in which they believe we need to change, we were to go to work seeking God’s help to change in that very area? What if we were to give as much attention to our own weaknesses as we are tempted to pay attention to our spouse’s? Maybe this is the key to lasting change, going after the log in our own eye.
I ask you, is there an area in your life that your spouse constantly brings up? Are you tempted to tune them out because you’ve heard it before? Why do we do this? If we are committed to grow our marriage for God’s glory, then we mustn’t shove issues under the rug of ignore. This doesn’t communicate the kind of love we vowed to each other on our wedding day.
- True love listens.
- True love pursues personal growth for the good of the marriage.
- True love seeks to be the best spouse they can be, which means doing the hard things.
If you were to walk into my home today, you might get the impression that my home is organized and clean. However, if you opened the door to my linen closet you would find out otherwise. I have needed to take everything out, sort through what I need and get rid of what I don’t, but I put it off. A linen closet seems like such a little thing, and who sees it anyway?
Ah! There in lies the key! God sees our linen closets. We are to do all of our work as unto Him–the all-seeing God who cares for us. But if I’m willing to ignore messy closets because no one sees them, I realize I have a wrong motivation. If I’m only doing things to look good before others, then I’m no better than the Pharisees of the New Testament.
Our marriage has linens closets, so to speak. Areas that we know need attention, yet we never seem to want to deal with them. It doesn’t seem necessary because who else sees or knows, except of course for the one to whom we’ve committed to love and cherish for as long as we both shall live. I realize this post can sound “in your face.” That’s not my intention. In the same way going to a dentist for help with a toothache can seem more painful when you’re actually getting the help you need. Don’t let comfort be what leads your decisions.
Let conviction be the driving force for change.
It may feel like an “in your face” post, but so did my friend to me who suggested I might be angry with God, not “disappointed,” as I had falsely labeled it. When we hit the snooze button on our spouse’s observations we are slowly hardening our heart towards God.
We never realize this hardening is taking place, and as we ignore our spouse, we tempt them to grow in bitterness. If this describes your marriage, won’t you take my challenge and respond differently? Open the messy closets and take all the issues out. Get rid of what’s false, and refold the truth. And then when others marvel at how nice your marriage looks, you’ll be able to share with them the Truth–Good marriages don’t just happen. It takes two people humbly realizing their need to grow and change, and their need for God to make it not only happen, but to bring about the change that will last.
In what ways are you tempted to ignore your spouse? Is your linen closet in need of a thorough clean-out? Will you take some time to pray about this post and talk about it with your spouse? We encourage you to do so, and let us know how it goes.
Click the picture at the top of this post for simple steps to help you confront your spouse in a Biblical way.