I have found as social media has grown, so has our ability to create a false self or image. Marriage is the one place I can’t do that. My wife sees my struggles and successes. She experiences how I handle disappointment….How I handle temptation….How I handle life and the relationships in it. She really knows me, and the amazing thing is she still loves me. God uses her acceptance and love to create change in my heart. Her love is a mirror of how Christ’s love and kindness leads us to repentance Romans 2:4. I think this is the mystery that Paul talks about in Ephesians. Unconditional love takes our breath away and creates the soil of transformation. The love a couple has should be a model of the true love and grace found in Christ. Ephesians 5:22-33
“It’s an act of our will to choose to see people simply as wildly loved by God, to assume their beauty before guessing their depravity.” Mary DeMuth
Marriage is a place where we can know and be known. When we have the safety of commitment and love we are more willing to vulnerably grow in pain and joy. Marriage is the primary relationship that God uses to form us into the image of Christ. A Godly marriage creates a space where God can change us rather than us trying to change our spouse. God wants us to be happy but His highest goal is for our lives to bring Him glory and to form us into the image of Christ.
“If you want to be free to serve Jesus, there’s no question—stay single. Marriage takes a lot of time. But if you want to become more like Jesus, I can’t imagine any better thing to do than to get married. Being married forces you to face some character issues you’d never have to face otherwise.” Gary Thomas in The Sacred Marriage
In the post What’s God doing with My Life? I wrote about how God is doing two things in our lives:
- God is forming us into the image of Christ and
- He will be glorified in and through our lives.
My marriage is the primary place God uses to accomplish these two things. I seem to work against him… most of us do. We want to change our spouse more than we want to change ourselves. How do we partner with God? Die to ourselves. I have come to realize if I am willing to die to my goals and agendas, even my preferences, and live by faith in Christ, I am happier at a much deeper level – Galatians 2:20. This truth means my focus and heart should be to love and serve my spouse and seek as well as expect God to change me.
How is God changing your life through your relationships?