Marriage and Family: What we didn't know about marriage until we divorced!September 09, 2015
We think it's true that people learn and grow more through their struggles than their successes. This was certainly true for us when it came to the break-down of our marriage which ultimately ended in our divorce. But, after our divorce and re-marriages to one another, we asked ourselves a question that taught us something about our marriage that we didn't know until we divorced. (READ OUR STORY)
There are many couples who simply do not know why they are married. For us, we fell into love and fell into marriage. But we were not prepared for it and we certainly did not know biblically why we were married. Some people get married because of an attraction, financial benefits, companionship, children, or a plethora of other reasons. And these can be good reasons that have great benefits and blessings as you journey through marriage, but they are not the reason you are married. And this is what we didn't know about our marriage until we divorced.
Here's how it happened. We had gotten re-married to one another and we paused for a moment and asked ourselves this question: why are we married? I know, it's sounds like a simple question, but it's really not. And, the answer for us was life and marriage changing. It brought so much into perspective and it changed the way we looked at our marriage, the way looked at our conflict, the way we looked at one another. The answer we discoverd was this: we are married to each other because God wants to change us into his image and he is going to use our marriage to do so!
You see, most of your marriage challenges have very little to do with your marriage and have eveything to do with a place in your own heart that Christ wants to heal, grow, change. The marriage just reveals it! This is why marriage is not for you, being a husband or wife is not a label, role or identity - no marriage is for the Glory of God and the arena where HE steps in to do his deepest work of transformation. Your fights, quarrels, dissappointments, unmet needs, etc. are now opportunities for you to lean into Christ as you partner with your husband or wife and journey toward Christlikeness. This means your husband or wife will never be your enemy and your marriage will never be about what you can get from it, but rather how you can grow in it!
So, how does this happen. First, recognize we are all a work in process. God is not finished with us yet and none of us have arrived. Stop trying to be perfect or perform your way through your marriage and surrender to the process of growth and change. For us, we constantly try to ask ourselves: "Lord, what are you trying to do in me?" "Where do I need to change Lord?" This led to the second choice to constantly confront our own-selves and the way we relate to one another. We had to "face-off" with ourselves first! This helped us no longer pass the buck, blaming the other one, or making excuses for our bad choices of relating. Third, we continue to offer grace and forgiveness as the Lord changes each of us. This doesn't mean that we don't confront in love or condone bad behavior, it just means that grace and forgiveness is also involved. You see, if marriage is the place where we change and grow into the image of Christ and grace and forgiveness was the very thing HE offered us to begin this journey, then doesn't it make sense that in order for the journey to continue, we need to both receive and offer grace and forgiveness?
Yes, what we didn't know about our marriage until we divorced is that God is after much more than us having companionship, money, kids, houses, cars, etc...as good as those things are in a marriage...what HE is really after is changing us into HIS image and he is using our marriage to do that. So, embrace your marriage, enjoy the journey and see your spouse with spiritual lenses as an intimate ally on the pathway toward Christlikeness. Your marriage is the place where God will change and grow each of you as you walk with HIM and walk through life together. See your marraige as the place where Christ desires to do his deepest work of change and we believe you will find joy, purpose and passion both individually and in your marriage.
Post a comment to this question: What characteristic of Christlikeness has God developed in you through your marriage?
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