This past weekend, Pastor Dave gave a message on marriage called “Love Worth Fighting For.” Marriage is one of God’s greatest blessings, but at times it can be so hard. Throughout his message, Dave gave several tips on how to handle conflict with our spouses, but maybe the most profound tip he gave was this: love and forgive like Jesus.
Marriage is hard; I don’t know many married people that would argue that statement. Working at a relationship takes time and energy, and when you throw in bills, kids, errands, and the rest it doesn’t take much for the marriage relationship to become strained. All of that to say we’re not always at our best with our spouses; in fact, for most of us, we can be overly snarky, short, and combative at times. But what does Jesus say? “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” --John 13:34b
God uses marriage as a way to mirror His relationship with us. As Christians, the Church is the bride and He is the groom. And how does He treat us? With anger and bitterness? No. When we fall short, He continues to love us, and when we fail miserably, He forgives us. How do we model that same type of love and forgiveness with our spouses?.
In marriage, it’s easy to keep a record of wrongs. It’s easy to remember who did what chore last. It’s easy to find reasons to argue. Through Jesus’ example of how He treats us, especially as Christians, our marriages should be places of love, respect, and forgiveness.
How many little things can we let go? What would happen if we didn’t judge and were more merciful? Where could our marriages head if instead of meeting anger with anger, we diffused situations with love?
With our spouses, let’s get on the same page and strive to be better. Let’s pray together for gentleness and patience. Let’s act on our prayers and let the little things go. Let’s let our marriages be an example to our kids and to our families that Jesus is love, and because He loves us we can love our spouses, forgive their wrongs, and be full of grace towards each other.
Ending his message, Dave said, “If I realize I am loved by God, then I have love to give to someone else. If I realize I'm forgiven by God, then I'm able to offer forgiveness to others.”
We are loved and forgiven by God. Even when we don’t deserve it, He loves and forgives us. Let’s answer His call and love and forgive our spouses like He does.
To help you connect (or reconnect) in your marriage, we've put together some tools and resources for you to check out. You can find them by clicking here.