Last week, we discussed some prominent lies in many marriages that can lead us to seperation or divorce if not replaced with the truth. This week, we have a few more:
Lie: If you’re not happy, divorce really isn’t a big deal.
Truth: Covenants were the backbone of biblical history. Within our human anatomy, the backbone not only houses our spinal cord but it enables us to stay upright. Without it, we’d be rendered useless. With this I say that marriage is a divinely created covenant. While there are certain circumstances where divorce is the right decision, the very basis of marriage is meant to keep our marriage upright when everything seems to be crumbling down.
Nowhere in the history of covenants was our happiness the main indicator of success. Thankfully, God created this specific covenant to house joy-giving aspects like sex, laughter, romance. However, at any moment when these seem to have dried up – which is inevitable – remember that the essence of marriage is this all-important covenant, promise, commitment of love. Christ stayed on the cross for us – died for His creation, the very people who crucified Him. He didn’t want to stay there but He did. Because He loves us. Those initial feelings of affection and delight cannot sustain your marriage as they are sure to fade from time to time. However, the promise of covenant? That’s a beautifully binding promise of love.
Lie: It’s my responsibility to change my spouse.
Truth: That’s much too big a burden and responsility for any of us to carry. Consider that a great thing! This doesn’t, however, completely free us of the part we play in our spouse becoming their future glory selves – evidence of a beautiful, Christ-centered marriage. Each spouse should see the work that God is doing in their partner and want to be a vehicle for seeing those changes come to fruition. Marriage at its core is designed to make us holy.
How, then, do we become a vehicle for change in our spouse without taking on the full responsibility of changing them? Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). It’s amazing the power and weight that our spouse’s words to and about us carry. More than anyone else’s opinions of us. According to Timothy Keller, this is why, when approaching our spouse, truth and pove must work together. You cant approach them doing one without the other. Speak the truth without love and you offend their very nature, they’re character. Speak love without truth and you’re impeding them from becoming their glory selves.
“Truth without love ruins the oneness, and love without truth gives the illusion of unity but actually stops the journey and the growth. The solution is grace.”
God designed marriage to bring out the worst in you. It doesn’t create your weaknesses but it reveals them. However, if we love our spouse the way Christ loves the church, dying for her even against His own desires, we will make them beautiful. Just like He’s making you more beautiful every day.
Lie: If I have a problem, I need to work at it alone.
Truth: This was one that I personally walked into marriage believing wholeheartedly. I was outwardly acting on so many issues I had internally and I believed that because they were my issues and not a result of anything Ray did, there was nothing he could do to help so there was no need even talking about it.
I soon learned that there’s massive value in your spouse praying with you and for you. Thought there may be nothing they can do, they can pray for you. They can uplift you. They speak life into you. They can encourage you. Give them give space and freedom to do that for you!
Lie: What I Do on My Own Time Has No Effect on My Marriage
Truth: If you’re anything like me, alone time is a must to recharge. Like I need it. However, we must keep in mind that what we do during that time definitely effects our marriage and our relationship with our spouse. While these may differ for every relationship, there are some things – porn, other romantic or sexual relationships, certain conversations – that have absolutely no place in any marriage. Keep yourself accountable.
Lie: If you’re not compatible, your married the wrong person.
Truth: Compatibility has nothing to do with traits or feelings. It isn’t something you have. It’s something you make. In fact, it’s something you have to make again and again. Psychologists define it as an attitude, a willingness to work.
If you’re basing your marriage based on the anterior position of marriage – character traits or feelings – then you have the wrong approach. No two people are compatible based on those standards. Anyone you’d marry would be the wrong person. Ray and I couldn’t be any less compatible. However, we work hard every day to become complimentary to each other. The key is to not treat comparability as a noun (something you have) but as a verb (something you create).
We develop these untrue beliefs about marriage from years and years of conditioning from a number of people, relationships, situations. Nonetheless, the responsibility lies on us to seek our the truths and prevent these lies – or replace them – from entering our marriages and relationships altogether. I’d you and your partner stay intimately connected to God, He will begin to reveal which of these, if any, have made their way into your marriage. Together, you have the power to reverse their effect! Be proactive in reducing the probability of divorce in your marriage.
Have you believed any of these lies in your marriage? What steps did you take to remove them?