How do you keep a Christian marriage (or any other marriage for that matter) together? There are literally thousands of books available to guide us. I looked in my book case and found, The Love Dare, Love and Respect and It’s Not My Fault. A quick online search gave me ideas from allowing God to develop forgiveness, love, respect and perseverance in our marriages. I found books on how to understand primary love languages, how to learn each other’s secret desires and win their hearts, how to understand, appreciate and honor one another. I even found a book billed as the “Christian Manual for sexual intimacy (complete with illustrations no less)
You get my drift here; there are so many books that what should be common sense quickly becomes yet another guessing game. None of them are wrong, all of them offer good advice, all will probably strengthen your marriage. However, there is no way on earth that you can read every book on Christian marriage and follow all the advice. It isn’t humanly possible and its confusing.
Once again, it seems to me that maybe we are making complicated what should be simple. I’m not saying that keeping a marriage healthy is simple, IT IS NOT. Keeping a marriage healthy is the hardest and some of the most important work you can do. However I think we tend to get bogged down in human advice when there really is only one true marriage manual.
Every marriage is as unique as the people involved. We have to remember that as good as all that advice seems, the partners in a marriage are human and will act human. I didn’t say we might act human, or we will act human once in a while, we act human all the time and that is enough to mess things up in our marriages a lot of the time.
I have had to put the earthly marriage manuals away (whether written by a Christian or not) and simply fall back to the “Keep it Simple” way of thinking. I don’t need another book to read, I need practice and I need the Bible. There are times we think that we are the injured party in the latest argument, that we are getting the short end of the stick, whatever is stopping us from having a fulfilling marriage we need to figure out how to get past it.
I didn’t say we need to figure out how to get our spouse past it, I didn’t say we need to prove our spouse wrong at any expense, I didn’t say we need to seek revenge, I said we need to get ourselves past it. There are ALWAYS two people in the current situation, no one is blameless.
If it is hard at the moment to love your spouse on your own, let God’s love shine through you, simply treat your spouse, no matter the situation, as God would have you treat anyone. Here is the biggie, at least it is to me, I have to leave the consequences of behavior to God.
In a nutshell, make your marriage a priority and set about seeing it stays at the top of the list.