7 Relationship Goals for Your Marriage

Day 6 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

#6 - facing challenges with God


Christine: In our 35 years of marriage there have been many times when I’ve felt resentful and bitter towards Mark. I've let issues get between us. In those times I’ve noticed that we quickly lose emotional closeness, and I can also feel more distant from God. 


Mark: It’s struck me how much my relationship with my wife is connected to my relationship with God. Through often painful experience I’ve learned that when I least feel like spending time with Christine I need to get right with God first because there is usually some personal sin lurking. 


There are many things that can challenge a marriage: 



  • Our different personalities, backgrounds, values, and expectations often attract us in the early days, but later on can "drive us crazy!"

  • There is a danger of basing our relationship on "performance": is he/she putting enough into the marriage?

  • Every relationship faces tough times: difficult seasons in life, illness, financial problems.

  • We can seek fulfilment outside of the marriage—an affair—if we don’t get the fulfilment we desire. This could be a love affair, or career affair, sports affair, materialism affair . . . 

  • My priorities! We may not be deliberately selfish, but we all tend to naturally put our feelings, needs, and happiness first. That makes it difficult for the union of two to become a team of one.


How we handle relationship challenges will determine whether we grow closer or become emotionally distant.


God can help us face challenges to our marriage because He helps us deal with the root of the problems: our sin. 


When we confess our sin to God, accepting Jesus as our Savior, He forgives us and gives us the Holy Spirit. 


If we try to live the Christian life in our own strength we will struggle, because it’s impossible! We need God’s power and guidance to live as He intends as well as to face challenges and to do this we must live in step with the Holy Spirit.


Christine: Whenever I sense my sin taking control I admit my failure to God. I ask for forgiveness, and then I need to receive God’s forgiveness. I also ask for God to fill me afresh with His Holy Spirit.


Mark: As we surrender control back to God’s Spirit we receive His power and presence to live life—and marriage—to the fullest.


REFLECTION


What challenges are undermining our intimacy as a couple?


How does, or can, God help us?


PRAYER


Heavenly Father, we recognize how much our self centeredness and sin can damage our marriage and our relationship with you. Please forgive us. Help us to surrender our lives to Jesus and live filled with, and in step with, your Holy Spirit.