“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
As we said yesterday, love isn’t magic, but if you do the work it can be magical. Doing the work means avoiding these 12 things in your marriage:
- Don’t be self-centered. James 4.1-3 warns that fights and quarrels come from self-centeredness amplified by passions that are out of control.
- Get rid of the happiness myth. Carefully read I Corinthians 7.28-35, as it provides very challenging insight about marriage. It is not your spouse’s job to make you happy!
- Don’t seek your identity in your spouse or your family. Your identity is in Christ.
- Don’t make work the enemy, and don’t seek your identity in your work. Your identity is in Christ.
- Do not accept the world’s standards of beauty, marriage, love, romance, and happiness. Do not expect perfection. Manage your expectations. Your spouse is not (and never will be) the Messiah.
- Do not expect ESP or mind-reading from your spouse. If you are thinking or feeling something you want your spouse to know, then communicate it!
- Do not be moody. Learn to manage your emotional state, or it will manage you.
- No sarcasm. It’s lazy. It’s toxic. Sarcasm always hurts and never helps.
- No BCD (blame, complain, defend). BCD never achieved a goal, it never solved a problem, & it never improved a relationship.
- Do not focus and fixate on what you don’t like about your spouse. Everyone has flaws and imperfections.
- Avoid men who disrespect women. Avoid women who disrespect men.
- Do not try to control your spouse. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).
Trust God, love your spouse, and do the work!