Apr 162014 0 Responses

What a Married Believer Desires More Than an Unbeliever

You don’t need Jesus to have a good marriage. I wish that wasn’t true. It would be better for me if good marriages were only saved for those who believed in Jesus, obeyed him, and were clearly different than everyone else.

Yet it’s not the case. It is very possible to have a happy, healthy, and vibrant marriage without any connection with Christ.

However, faith in Jesus should create at least one major difference between a couple who does not believe and one who does.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you believe:

marriage is God-ordained

your vows were made not only to each other but also to God

at minimum God allowed you to marry your spouse and at maximum He created him or her specifically for you

every command given to the church can also be applied to your marriage for its benefit

your relationship symbolizes God and the church serving as a testimony to the world of God’s love.

All of this reveals what should be the major difference between marriages of believers vs. those of non-believers:

Because marriage is part of God’s sovereign plan, a follower of Jesus desires a relationship which thrives, not just a relationship which survives.

They may not always experience a thriving relationship. Believers can struggle just as much as unbelievers. When faith is only present via words and not actions, marriages between people who claim to be Christians can actually be far worse than those between non-believers. (See: Does Being a Christian Hurt Your Marriage?)

However, if a couple takes their faith seriously and is trying to live a life in grateful response to what God has done on their behalf through Jesus, those believers will not be content with a second-rate marriage but will do everything in their power to seek a marriage which brings the most glory to God by loving, serving, and forgiving one another. When we lose sight of God’s eternal plan for marriage, we can easily grow content with a relationship that just survives rather than pursuing one which thrives.

Are you content with an average or below average marriage? If so, you haven’t given up on your spouse or yourself, you have given up on God. (See: Change Your Marriage Today)

Yet if you believe in God, if you realize you are a recipient of his grace, if both spouses are attempting to grow in their spiritual lives, and if you see marriage as one platform through which God can use you to make his love known, a couple will NEVER grow apathetic about the state of their marriage.

They will always desire to grow, learn, and love at deeper levels. While they may be grateful for where they are, they will desire to improve.

Has your marriage hit a plateau? Has apathy set in?

Is it possible that the problem is a spiritual problem? (See: The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry)

I see it all the time. Couples grow stagnant in their spiritual pursuit and their marriage begins to suffer. It’s an obvious problem when an affair occurs or fights ignite, but it isn’t so obvious in most situations. A stagnant or apathetic marriage can appear okay to outsiders. Even one of the spouses (normally the husband) can believe all is fine. Yet to one spouse or a professional counselor, the problems are obvious.

You might have loved well in the past, but new love hasn’t grown.

All knowledge is past knowledge, nothing new has been learned about one another.

Past seasons were navigated well, but this current season (with kids or an empty nest or with grand kids) is not being handled well.

The marriage isn’t growing. And a marriage which isn’t growing is dying. (See: Why Marriage Matters to the Church)

While some of those marriages might survive, they won’t thrive and survival is too low of a goal. It’s especially too low when you believe marriage is part of God’s plan of making Himself known.

I desire a marriage which is better tomorrow than it is today. I do, in part, because I love Jenny. But I also do so because I desire to know God and make Him known.

Believer and unbeliever alike can desire and achieve a good marriage, yet only a believer can be driven by the dual love of spouse and God.

For more, see:

5 Keys to Save Your Marriage

The Easiest Way to Rejuvenate Your Marriage

Is it Dead or Dormant?

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