True Love Markers — Our Summer Love series in review!
Based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, many love markers describe true love in the Church and also between spouses. among them are “Patience: Love Marker 1” and “Kindness: Love Marker 2” and NOT Jealous: Love Marker 3 and NOT Proud: Love Marker 4 and NOT Selfish: Love Marker 5: NOT Selfish.
Do you want to grow in your marriage? Enjoy these blog posts by guest author Pastor Matthew Black of Living Hope Church in suburban Chicago. Pastor Matt kindly let us excerpt sections of a chapter in his forthcoming book The Marriage Enrichment Book.–Ed.
From Failure to Overcomer!
We often feel like failures when it comes to marriage. In my own life, I have to confess that my marriage has humbled me more than anything else in my life. Sometimes I feel like I have “failure” stamped across my forehead.
As I have been preparing this book on marriage enrichment, I sometimes feel that I am the last person on earth that should write this. The truth is each chapter has come out of my own failures. As I have studied and interviewed dozens of couples in my local church, to my amazement, the Lord has reminded me that I am not a failure, and neither are you. We are His precious children.
We are weak, but we are growing stronger in Christ’s strength. God has a word in His Scriptures that identifies those who are battling against indwelling sin and making slow but steady progress: overcomers.
We are overcomers – we are more than victorious (Romans 8:37; Revelation 3:12).
Common Difficulties in Marraiage
What are some common difficulties in marriage? Perhaps it is communication, finances, impatience, time management, sickness, thinking your spouse can fulfill you, responsibilities and roles, love life, in-laws, different philosophies of family and culture, or the struggle to understand each other as male and female. Those are a lot of potential challenges in marriage!
None of us received a special handbook before we were married explaining the unique struggles and trials we would face, but they are nonetheless real.
We sometimes have the temptation to think that if we just address one of the above issues and discipline ourselves to be more godly and do more, then we would finally find true love in marriage. It actually doesn’t work that way.
Victory Begins in the Heart
Our victory is much deeper than the difficulties in marriage. Let me put it personally: my victory comes through addressing my deepest problem – my own selfish heart.
Marriage is not mainly about me and my spouse. Marriage is mainly about me and my Savior. As my heart receives more of His love and is stunned more by His grace, my strength and joy increase. “The joy of the Lord is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). My whole life is touched and changed by Jesus, and that includes my marriage.
The way to a more fulfilling marriage is not mainly by focusing my attention on my marriage. It’s about looking more toward Christ.
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