This post is more for married couples; however, dating and engaged couples can still take a lot from it – so, pay attention. “Why should it matter if my marriage is going well? My walk with God is all that really matters anyway, and my relationship with Him is awesome!” Phrases like this present a huge red flag. To think or say there is no link between your relationship with your spouse and your relationship with God is to say there is no link between the three portions of a braided rope.
If you think your relationship with God is awesome but you are not pouring time and energy into your marriage, you are fooling yourself. Once you have taken a spouse, your relationship with God changes. You and your spouse are now one flesh in His eyes. By committing to be this person’s life partner, you’ve promised to love and honor him or her. When you are mistreating, neglecting, insulting, or being unfaithful to your spouse, you are breaking a vow to God. In a culture that does not take contracts seriously (because there is almost always a loophole or way out of them), we don’t want to believe that God really holds us accountable for those vows.
“Why does my walk with God have to be affected by my failing marriage? I’m trying so hard to make it work, but he or she wants no part of it!” Romans 12:18 says “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (ESV). If you are treating your spouse in a Godly manner and making every effort to love and honor him or her, then you are doing all you can and the rest is up to God. You can’t make your spouse love God and you can’t make your spouse put forth effort in your marriage; but, God can soften his or her heart. In such an instance, be faithful to God and leave your marriage in His hands. He can repair your relationship better than you can!
Maybe your marriage looks vibrant on the outside; but, behind closed doors, you find yourself being short and snarky with each other. The attitude you portray to your spouse is a window into your heart. If your attitude towards them is unpleasant, then it’s a sure sign that your heart is not right with God.
Being short with them occasionally can simply be a bad mood – which should still be rectified. However, if you are sarcastic, mouthy, and disrespectful of your spouse as a way of life, then that is stemming from something which is unresolved between you two. The longer you fester in your anger before being reconciled to your spouse, the harder it is to get to the bottom of your problems. Don’t allow unresolved conflict to linger. Strive each day to live in peace with each other.
Ephesians 5:22-32 tells us explicitly how husbands and wives are expected to treat each other. If our relationship with God were not affected by how we treat each other, He would not have made His expectations so clear in Scripture. If we know to do good and we don’t do it, it is sin (James 4:17). To further show how serious God is about the marriage relationship, he told men to live with their wives in an understanding way so that their prayers would not be hindered (1 Peter 3:7). When our prayers lives are hindered, our access to the throne of God is hindered – and that certainly affects our walk with the Lord.
Getting married is an exciting step in life. If you are engaged, or dating and considering engagement, I urge you to get into the habit of resolving conflicts quickly. If you are in the habit of sweeping problems under the rug now, the pattern will follow you into marriage. Don’t fall for the lie some of us tell ourselves which says, “It’s no big deal and it will just go away.” If something is bothering you, let your boyfriend, girlfriend or fiancé/fiancée know. It’s not fun working through disagreements, but you will become more skilled in reconciliation the more you do it. Trust me, the reward of a peaceful marriage is worth the effort!
Do you have unresolved issues with your future spouse?