If you are a parent you know the challenge it is getting your child to see the big picture of why they do things.
I remember asking my children to pick up their room cluttered with every toy from their closet, only to return an hour later to see it pretty much in the same disarray. When challenged on their disobedience they would defend themselves saying, “What? I picked up the Legos!” They missed the big picture of the need at hand.
We can do this in Marriage. What is the big picture of our relationship?
As Christians it is to glorify Christ and treat our spouse with regard to His standard, not ours. This is a high calling that requires not only our full attention, but also our full participation. It doesn’t take just an hour a day, but a lifetime commitment!
Tim Challies has an excellent article titled, Forget About Marriage For A Minute, I highly recommend to help you focus on what’s of most importance. He says…
We crave love and long to both extend and receive it. It is the subject of our favorite films, the theme of our treasured poems, the thrill of our happy hearts. Yet for all the love we see and experience, there is one much greater than them all. While we find it in a passage of the Bible that describes the relationship of a husband and wife, it points us to a love that is even deeper, even greater, and even more thrilling. Ephesians 5 tells a husband he must love his wife as Jesus Christ loves his church. So let’s forget about marriage for a minute and reflect simply on how we are loved by our great Savior. (Continue reading)
- How often do we forget how we are loved by our Savior?
- How often do we focus on the day to day needs of our spouse and family -those things that come easy to us-yet miss growing in our willingness to put our desires and agendas aside for theirs.
- How often do we neglect what’s needful to do only what we feel like doing?
I’m not talking about a one-sided giving here. If one spouse is demanding and the other giving under coercion, this is not as God intended. It is selfish, lustful and full of abuse. I recommend another great article by Darcy Strickland with CCEF. She also covers this aspect of missing the bigger picture in Marriage well. It is titled, Sexual Abuse In Marriage, and is part one of a three part series. She shares…
God created marriage to be something beautiful and sacrificial in which the hearts and bodies of a man and woman are united as one. Sex is supposed to be a culmination of this emotional and spiritual relationship expressing unity, peace, and love (Gen. 2:24; Prov. 5:18-19; Song. 7:6-12). Given this foundation, the possibility that marriage could be a place where sexual abuse or violence occurs is almost unthinkable. But sadly, it does happen—and with surprising frequency.
How is your big picture view? Are you Cherishing your husband/wife with the love you’ve received from Christ? Or have you been concentrating on Legos alone missing what’s needed most? Or worse, have you been deceived into thinking marriage is all about your needs and desires to the neglect of giving your spouse what they need and desire as Christ has freely given to you?
No one can make your marriage better but you and your spouse. And it gets better as we allow the Gospel to effect change in our own heart for His glory, one mess at a time.