In our marriages, how do we get from ‘where we are’ to ‘friendship?’ Honor Christ by submitting to each other. TLB Ephesians 5:21 That means you say yes to each other. So what stops us from saying ‘Yes’ to our spouse? Here is the problem in marriage. Inside you, deep inside you, there is something that raises it’s head and you say, “No!” Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. NLT Galatians 6:7-8 What are you experiencing in your marriage? Sin. “I refuse to honor Christ and submit to my spouse.” A marriage that lives like this, will harvest the consequences of decay and death.
The best understanding of marriage is this: Two sinners coming together and struggling to love each other. If you are having marriage struggles, the problem is probably sin. Your sin mixed with their sin creates what all sin creates, death. Your Control, Pride, Bitterness, your Immaturity, mixed with their Control, Pride, Bitterness and Immaturity, leads to death. Your marriage struggle is probably because of sin.
Because sin is the problem, there are a couple implications. Sin in your life [control, pride, bitterness, immaturity] ruins your heart. When your old nature was still active, sinful desires were at work within you, making you want to do whatever God said not to and producing sinful deeds, the rotting fruit of death. TLB Romans 7:5-6
Your sin, deadens your heart to God and the way God works. That’s why, even though Jesus paid the ultimate price to love you, you still want to remind your spouse how they have failed you. That’s why, even though Jesus paid the ultimate price to heal you, you still want to blame your spouse for your problems and not be healed. The longer you live with sin, the harder your heart becomes. And the more comfortable you are blaming others and making excuses.
Sin in your life [control, pride, bitterness, immaturity] ruins your marriage. It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: …all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; … ugly parodies of community. MSG Galatians 5:19-21
Sin in our lives, makes it hard to fully love our spouse. The love and grace and mercy that God showers on you, you struggle to give to your spouse. The longer you live with sin, the more comfortable you are with a struggling marriage. And you begin to give up. You don’t fight for health any more.
What do we do about this? You are under the penalty of death; therefore repent and save your life. TLB Ezekiel 3:18
Get rid of your sin and if you need it, get healed. Get rid of your sin that comes out as control, pride, bitterness and immaturity. Get rid of it so you can say, “Yes” to your spouse. The reality of your marriage is you are either falling more in love with each other or you are growing cold to each other. If sin continues to stay in the middle of your marriage, you will grow cold. Your heart will stay hard, you will continue to say no to each other. If you both repent, and Jesus is in the middle of your marriage, you will fall in love. Your heart will soften, you say yes to each other. Couples NEVER NEVER NEVER fall out of love. They fall out of repentance.
What it means to repent. Some practical points. Let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet. MSG James 4:7-10
I’m going to be a little unfiltered. Many people want to attend church, learn new information, go home without making one change. Checking off our religious activities makes us feel good but our relationships continue to be a mess. Few people are aggressive at purifying their inner heart. This is how you get aggressive at allowing God in. 1.) Get honest. Take ownership of the mess you created. Please please please, stop making excuses. 2.) Ask God to forgive you and heal you. 3.) Go back into life, and you make choices to live a different life.