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Marriage Day 11: Strengths and Weaknesses in Marriage

Marriage Day 11: Strengths and Weaknesses in Marriage

Photo: ©Taryn Elliott from Pexels via Canva.com

31-Day Marriage Devotion Resources

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves (Philippians 2:3).

One of the most powerful ways to imitate Jesus in our marriages is by having an other-worldly lack of self-interest (Philippians 2:5-11). A profound statement that connects so well with the gospel is that if the gospel truly anchors us, we have nothing to fear, nothing to defend, nothing to lose, and nothing to hide. Isn’t Jesus like that with you? He is so secure in His relationship with you that any angry frustration from you or the other ways in which you express your disappointments to Him do not manage Him. He is not a manipulatable person, no matter how anyone responds to Him. We have said all sorts of sordid things to Him, but His soul is as sturdy as ever. The reason is simple: Jesus is about redemption and restoration of fallen souls rather than Himself. He dramatically proved this by going to the cross in our place. Though we should never be angry with God, and I’m definitely not recommending it, it is possible, and if that were the case, our anger would never disorient Him or sever the relationship we have with Him. He eagerly listens to us and loves us in response (Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:8). That kind of love is what husbands and wives should model for each other.

Insecurity Illustrated: Biff is immature and insecure. If Mable says anything that relates to him, their marriage, and the need for him to change, Biff takes it personally and usually sulks for days in response to her remarks. Mable does not believe she can be completely honest with him because of his insecurities. Biff’s reactive demeanor causes her to take a guarded posture. Rather than speaking openly and honestly about what is going on between them, it is more like talking to a child, where Mable must weigh and measure every word before she shares it (John 16:2). Mable is pulling double duty: she must care for her soul and care for her husband’s, too. She has to grow him up before he can contribute to her sanctification or their marriage.

Mable works hard not to be self-righteous about Biff, but it is a challenge. Biff is a weak, immature, and insecure husband. He does not process things through a biblical lens, as his shaping influences have captured him. He responds to things through his past personal experiences and hurts. His dad was a mean and condemning man who had a significant influence on Biff’s life. Biff is a tedious man who weighs heavily on Mable’s soul. She grows weary when around him because of his longstanding insecurity. There is ongoing and seemingly unresolvable in-equitableness in their relationship. It is similar to a college student married to an eighth grader. Biff is so different from Christ and not getting any closer to Him. He esteems himself more than his wife, which sabotages his walk with God and his relationship with Mable.

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Time to Reflect

All Christians carry baggage from their former manner of life into their new creation that God is transforming them into. In most marriages, there is an in-equitableness in how the two partners are maturing in Christ, which makes sense because each Christian is unique, never in the same place as any other Christian, even if they are married to each other. It would be a monumental mistake to expect one spouse to be equal to the other.

  1. In what ways are you different from your spouse?
  2. Did you answer the question by highlighting your strengths and your spouse’s weaknesses first, or did you think about your spouse’s strengths and your weaknesses first?
  3. If you thought about your strengths first, you might not have an other-worldly lack of self-interest like Christ. The danger is that if you think more about where you get it right and where your spouse gets it wrong, you might become angry, bitter, and unforgiving and resign to hopelessness, along with your pre-existing self-righteousness.

Practical Suggestion

Share with your spouse one of your weaknesses and how you need their help working through it. Invite them to share similarly.

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