For years current pollsters like George Gallup and George Barna have revealed through their polling data that Christian marriages fare little better than marriages at large. The divorce rate is nearly identical. Biblical teaching and preaching on marriage is readily available from well known pastors and ministries. Many of them provide easy access to sermons and programming on their websites, MP-3 podcasts, radio programs and TV shows. Marriages are under attack. It’s not a matter of “if”, but “when”.
All of this “advice” is great – however, the best resource for marital woes is still directly from God’s Word. You must search the Scriptures and allow God to speak to you one on one. I like to think of it as “checking my God-mail”. By taking the time to stop and look at my “Inbox” – I allow the Holy Spirit to remind me of an action, thought or word that I need to reflect upon in order to respond appropriately.
I might have been overly critical with my husband on an issue that was emotionally charged for me. No matter; you must let the Holy Spirit speak to you about your behavior, actions and heart motives. The health of your marriage depends on your ability to “delete the spam” and open the important God-messages that He sends your way. Practice extending grace to your mate. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
Sometimes we complain to the Lord about our spouse. We grumble about their behavior or general demeanor. Let’s be clear here – we’re not responsible for their actions. Jesus told Peter in John 21:22, “If I will that he [John] remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” In other words, don’t worry yourself about what Jesus is going to do or not do for that person… you follow Him and what He has destined for your life. Let God work in you to resolve your issues regarding your mate. You’re a “work in progress” that God will complete according to His divine wisdom and sovereignty. Commitment to your mate and vows is critical to overcoming adversity at home. You have to purpose to work through problems and extend grace liberally.
Pastor Greg Laurie, on his radio show A New Beginning, said this regarding marital strife and minding your own business: “Read your own mail.” He was preaching on the state of marriage within the Church and how the enemy delights in our willingness to “play the Jr. Holy Spirit” [my words] when it comes to pointing out your mate’s sin. We all get caught-up in recognizing sin in another person's behavior. We focus on our own hurt, pain and betrayal. We keep our gaze on our feelings instead of God’s character and His ability to alter our thinking and circumstances. Jesus clearly reminds me to “remove the plank from my own eye, so I can then clearly see to remove the speck from my brother’s eye.”
Next time you sit at your computer or grab your iphone, just remember - God might be vying for your attention. Listen for the Spirit's alert subtly announcing “You’ve Got Mail !”