Keeping The Focus Of Your Marriage Relationship Where It Belongs

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LUKE 6 : 41-42   NKJV

41.     “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but 
            do not perceive the plank in your own eye?

42.      Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me  
            remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do 
            not see the plank that is in your own eye?  Hypocrite!  First
            remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see 
            clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.”

To best relate my topic in the most understandable manner and way as regards this subject, permit me to relate a true story that will best set up the topic of discussion: 

A sad and unhappy wife called her pastor and asked,……”What does a wife do when her husband doesn’t love her like Christ loves the Church?”…How would you answer such a penetrating question?…

The pastor wisely replied that he has never known a husband, new or experienced, who is alive who loves his wife, new or experienced, this well.  While all Christian husbands should aspire to it, the truth is that we all fall way short of loving our wives to this extreme degree.

Unsatisfied with the pastor’s reply, the wife decided to tell him about her personal story.  She proceeded to tell it all!…..

“Before I got married, I read several Harlequin romance novels a day, and I thought real marriage would be just like it was described within the pages of those books.  For a while it was. but then things cooled off.  A couple years later, I found that type of exciting love once again by having an extramarital affair; but after a few months, that too cooled off as well.” 

At that point, she had thrown herself into the church, but after a while even God became too boring.  That’s when she “fell” into yet another affair, which to no one’s surprise,…also eventually cooled off.  In the aftermath of those two affairs, in which she wounded and humiliated her husband about as deeply as a wife can, she finally, out of desperation, called her pastor consumed with how her husband wasn’t loving her like Christ loves the church…..Aren’t people simply incredibly foolish and selfish?

Here is the truth…All of us have hearts that tend toward dismissing our own faults while magnifying the flaws of our spouses.  As it is with the above discussed extreme example, we sometimes need the shock value in our own lives to show us how dark our own hearts really are.

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, could not have been any clearer when He said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and  then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (See Luke 6 : 41–42).

Now let’s slow this discussion down a little bit and give it some serious contemplation before proceeding any further.  If you are right now thinking, “But in my case, my spouse really “is” the worst sinner,” then just know this: Jesus is talking specifically about you!  This is precisely the attitude He finds so offensive.

Human beings, especially spouses, arguing over who is the better or the worse of the two sinners doing the arguing is not pleasing to our Lord in any way, shape, or form.   Sin is sin is sin….anyway you want to measure it.  We are all so very many degrees below God’s standard of perfection that even the holiest of humans is in desperate, aching need of God’s gracious mercy and forgiveness.

We humans tend to rank certain sins, in the glory of God’s goodness.  Every mark of sin–whether an errant attitude , a prideful spirit, or a lust of the flesh–is vile and offensive in God’s sight.  

There are contradictions and arguments by and between married couples all of the time  about every kind of sin you can ever imagine.  I’ve have seen or been around extremely overweight wives who continue to abuse the intake of food…and look pitiful in their personal appearance,….get angry and scream at their husbands who are struggling with pornography;  I have seen controlling and arrogant husbands disdain their wives for watching too much television while they themselves spend all week end snoozing in the hammock while outside chores remain unfinished.  Both seem completely blinded to their own failures and shortcomings.

We are not called to judge our spouse—ever.  WE ARE CALLED TO LOVE THEM.

We are not called to recount their failures in a Pharisaic game of “I am holier than you”; we are called to ENCOURAGE them.  We are not called to build a case against them regarding how far they fall short of the glory of God; we are called to  HONOR and RESPECT them.  Remember your calling and live it out!

Allow me to close this discussion with one final thought:  You might never talk to another person about your spouse’s weaknesses, but when you pray for or about him or her,…how do you sound to God? 

Are you spending more time asking God how you can love your spouse like he or she has never been or ever will be loved, or are you endlessly repeating your spouse’s failures and presenting God with a laundry list of things you want Him to change?

If God seems silent, maybe He is hoping you will catch a clue and turn the mirror on yourself.  

For the coming month may I exhort you to revolutionize your marriage by asking God where you fall short.  Every time you are tempted to turn the spotlight on your spouse, ask for God’s gentle correction by praying this little prayer:  

“Lord, where am I falling short of your will for me to be the loving husband [the loving wife]?  Where do I need to grow?  Am I loving my spouse with the extravagant love displayed by Jesus?  Lord I truly desire to be a much better spouse and love my mate with the same type and  kind of love that you displayed to your church.  Help me, Oh God, to become the very best and kindest loving mate that You want me to be.  In Jesus’ Name,….Amen.”

Have A Great Forever!………….

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