I was really excited and blessed to write this for John. ~Nathan Penny
When we think of “marriage problems” we usually imagine some embittered couple with arms crossed, backs turned, eyes closed, and hearts shut. But the Bible shows us another picture: an ugly, sobering, and convicting portrait of a couple shaking their fists at God as they openly worship themselves.
The reality is that in most marriages the primary problem is not horizontal (between me and my spouse) but instead vertical (between us and God). How can this be? I think for many of us it certainly appears as though the problems are between us and our spouse; in fact, it often appears that the problem is our spouse! But what does the Bible say?
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Cor 10:31)
Relational conflict is a symptom of a much greater root problem in the heart; a worship problem. If the Lord is my God, then shouldn’t His glory and pleasure be more important to me than my own personal “happiness?” If the Lord is my God then shouldn’t my goal in life be to please Him in all that I do including how I live with my spouse? Yes it should. My focus should be upon what the Lord would have me to do in my marriage, rather than what I think will make me “feel good.”
So who do I worship? If the ruling desire of my heart is to please myself, then I have set myself up as a little god to be worshipped and obeyed. When this happens I need to be dethroned ASAP! There needs to be a heavenly coup in my heart, and the only way that will happen is though repentance!
Repentance occurs when:
i) We acknowledge that God is holy, and that our sin has inflicted sorrow upon Him.
ii) We grieve over our sin (our rejection of God).
iii) We choose to turn away from our sin.
iv) We embrace obedience as worship and are repulsed by our sin.
When we honor the Lord with repentance, He floods our hearts with joy in Him and we experience personal revival! Is there an area in your marriage where you need to repent?