Date To Mate

handsFirst Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage…

We live in a world where it’s difficult for a husband and wife to catch their breath. The work inbox, maintaining the home budget, the meetings, the kids’ sports and activities, the office politics, a few minutes on the elliptical… it’s so easy to come to the end of the day too exhausted to spend time, focus, and energy on our most important human relationship – our marriage!

A Jesus-centered marriage is one of the most precious and joy-filled things in life. But it’s no secret that a marriage relationship can (will!) face seasons of challenge. After all, a wife and a husband are still human. Feelings can get hurt, communication can break down, bitterness can creep in, and it may feel like the other person’s just on a different page. It’s during these fragile times where the relationship can either head south, doomed for failure, or can be strengthened in a time where both parties are able to grow closer to the person (and couple) God made them to be. Let’s go deeper than the classic “love verses” (1 Cor 13) or even the “sex verses” (1 Cor 7:3-5) A relationship that’s founded upon putting others before ourselves is where the successful marriage really begins. Philippians 2:1-4 “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

So how do we protect our most important human relationship during fragile times of conflict? The answer lies in the Bible verse above. We have to put our spouse before ourselves, even at the cost of our own feelings. “How is she feeling? How may I have hurt him? Why is he feeling the way he does? Is there other stuff going on in her life?” If we approach the communication with our spouse through the lens of grace, rather than approaching it with a closed off and easily offended heart, it opens up an opportunity for the healing to happen.

If you’re married, then your challenge during the upcoming “Date To Mate” series is to think of your spouse as you listen to these nine special Talks, asking God to show you how to approach your relationship with grace. Pray for me, and I’ll be praying for you!