Christian marriage between a man and woman is the specific design and plan of God and starts in Genesis.
God creates the man and then creates all the animals. Adam names them and realizes that there is none among them that will fill his longing for relationship and love. So, the Lord creates Eve out of the body of Adam because He says, "it is not good for the man to be alone."
The Lord tells us that this husband and wife hold the image of God together and are His representatives to "fill the earth and subdue it, and to rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth." They are given a job to do and will work together as a team to fulfill it.
All is good, and then comes sin. Sin has been the problem in our Christian marriages ever since. Genesis 3 tell us that sin brought fear to relationships, blaming, lying, blame-shifting, a distorted view of God, victim and martyr viewpoints and that's not all. Women would now have pain in childbirth and an unholy longing for their husband. The husband would now rule over his wife as a despot. We see this scenario played out throughout the ages and across societal lines.
And then came Christ.
Christ is bringing reconciliation to all things and that includes Christian marriages. With Christ as the center of marriage, both partners submit to one another and help one another. They can get back to the business of representing the Lord on earth and working as a team.
Easy right? How?
You can only change yourself
All relationships are a dance and a Christian marriage is no different. We learn to do this dance together and the only way to change the marriage is to change the steps to the dance.
If you start to change the steps your partner will, 1)step on your toes at first but learn to dance a new dance with you, or 2)stop dancing with you at all.
Either scenario brings a positive outcome because as you grow and change yourself you are becoming a more healthy, mature human being and that is always the goal. You can't make your spouse become that but you can change yourself, you can grow into a person you like being.
Learning some new steps
Second, we ask the Lord to show us where WE are not treating our spouse as Christ would. Where are we being demanding, selfish, self-centered? How are we not willing to serve our spouse? Take a good, long, hard look at yourself first - remember you are only responsible for and able to change you.
Third, check our hearts for grudges, holding our spouse hostage to things she/he did a long time ago. Check for unforgiveness, bitterness and anger.
Next, take your hurts to the Lord. No doubt we have hurt our spouse too. Usually both people are at fault when a marriage is having problems but as you take your heart to the Lord for healing, maturing and change you will find that you are now enabled to love your spouse as you have not been able to before.
I have never seen a marriage fail when both husband and wife were willing to get on their knees before the Lord and ask for forgiveness for their part of the problem and ask for the Lord to help and change them.
Then they pray for their spouse - not that God would change them into what they want, but to learn to love them as they need, to learn to care for them as Christ would, for their spouse's best and that he/she would become all God intended with their help.
Next, start learning what will help, go to a counselor if needed, make a decision to have a great marriage and tap into resources to dance a new dance with the one to whom you said, "I do."
You can have a great Christian marriage
You can learn to be the team He originally designed. working with Him and proving that His design of marriage not only makes us not alone but also is a way to reflect Him and His image to a world that desperately needs to know what marriage should look like with God.
Don't settle for less than a great Christian marriage.
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