You’re married to a sinner. So am I. And so are our spouses. That’s what’s wrong with marriages today. If you read yesterday’s “A Merry Heart,” you know we hosted a FamilyLife Art of Marriage conference. In the “Love Fades… the Drift Toward Isolation” chapter, they said one result of sin is the tendency not to complete each other, as God intended, but to compete with one another. In Genesis 3:16, God told Eve, “…Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” I always thought it meant sexual desire, (then the promised pain of childbirth), but the scholars explained that the original language implies the desire to rule over your husband. The New Living Translation says it this way: “… And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.” (Biblos.com has many translations, plus scholarly articles at the bottom, if you want to read more.) So one of the results of sin was conflict in marriage. We all want to be the boss, because we are by nature selfish! Even with the first sin, Adam and Eve began throwing blame around: “It was the serpent’s fault! He tricked me!” “It was the woman’s fault! You know, the one YOU gave me!” Anything but admit that they did wrong! They immediately threw somebody else under the bus. We need to remember that at the bottom of most– all? — marital conflict is the fight to get MY WAY. MY rights have been violated. And sometimes they have. But do we have the right to claim our rights if we are Christ-followers? He had the right to have everyone– EVERYONE– bow down and worship. They didn’t. He forgave. One thing to remember, though, is that our spouse is not the enemy in the situation; he is just doing what sinful people do. There is a spiritual battle taking place in every marriage.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)
The answer is seen in the following verses:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11 (ESV)
Remember, we were created for relationship, intimacy, and unity with God, and in our marital relationships but sin blew that plan. The same Christ that built the bridge between God and mankind offers the bridge between husband and wife.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned– every one– to his own way. Isaiah 53:6 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23
And Christ provided the cure:
“… in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:19 (ESV) “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
I love a quote from one of the scholars they featured, Paul David Tripp: “What the cross brings is fresh starts and new beginnings.” We’ve all needed those from time to time! So how about you? Do you need a fresh start and new beginning today?