Marriage Points

Posted: Jul 05, 2024

Michelle and I have been married since 1989. Over the years we’ve pressed through plenty of trials, pain, sin, and mistakes.

The first 10 years of our marriage I was a world class Christian jerk. I was messed up from abuse of the past, including being molested as a teen, and had a lot of healing I needed to do. This fed lust and sexual sin; I committed adultery with a prostitute in 1991. I was angry, critical, depressed, empty. If I hadn’t taken the actions steps to break free from sexual sin and faced my heart wounds and healed, we probably wouldn’t be married today. My heart would have turned to stone years ago, I would have continued to wallow in sexual sin, and destroyed our relationship.

For a marriage to survive and grow, it is critical that both spouses face the wounds and sin of their heart and do what it takes to heal. Ongoing issues with depression, anger, fear, anxiety, or sin are signals that the heart needs attention.

Porn, sexual sin, and the lying that come with it derail a marriage quickly. It takes years for both sides to recover.

I’ve heard some Christians say that their spouse “completes them.” No, they don’t. No human being can fill in the gaps and heal a heart to the depth the Holy Spirit can. Attempting to make the spouse or other family members the source of life is doomed to failure. Our God-given spouse compliments us, but they don’t complete us. God is the only source of life. When husband and wife are both seeking the Lord independently for the deep love and life that only He can give, their marriage can thrive.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6

Your spouse will fail and hurt you, just as you will fail and hurt your spouse. Cut each other some slack. Extend grace. Forgive quickly.

Forgiveness and reconciliation are 2 separate issues. It often takes years for a marriage that has been traumatized by sexual sin to recover and for trust to be rebuilt. Trust is rebuilt when the husband takes consistent action steps on an ongoing basis.

Learn to listen. Make your spouse feel heard.

It’s easy to go to church when your marriage is hurting, see everyone smiling, and feel like a failure. If the pastor asked everyone to raise their hands whose marriage was struggling, hands would go up all over the room.

Don’t look at the picture of Michelle and I above and think we have it all together. Our pressure points are different than yours.

Forget about the fairy tales and lies that we ‘re supposed to run around pretending like marriage is easy, smile, and act like we have it all together. We’re told in Scripture that marriage will be hard:

“But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you.”
1 Corinthians 7:28

It’s okay that you struggle and don’t have it all together.

Little things can make a big difference. Notes, cards, inexpensive gifts, small acts of kindness, and words of appreciation touch the heart. “Thank you for… You look beautiful/ handsome today… I appreciate the way you… I believe in you… I’m glad I married you…” When is the last time you said something kind or encouraging to your spouse? How often do you build them up? For many men, hearing “I believe in you” from their wife can cut straight to the heart.

Sex! Have you read Song of Solomon lately, with its descriptions of the woman’s body, including her breasts? Much of S.O.S. is a celebration of a husband and wife’s sexual union. Married couples should be burning up the sheets like there’s no tomorrow. Have at it. Live it up. Take your time. Enjoy it. What are you waiting for?

“Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love.”
Proverbs 5:18-19

If you’re reading this and there are no wedding rings on your fingers while you’re having sex, stop, step back, and if you have to, break up. All sex outside of marriage is sin.

“Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
Hebrews 13:4

Trust is critical. Do not lie to your spouse.

There will be days when all you have is perseverance and prayer and you can’t stand to be around your spouse. And that’s enough.

Both of you should be meeting with another believer once a week for the purpose of support, accountability, encouragement, and prayer. Don’t dump all the weight of your emotions and stress solely on your marriage. It’s too much. You need another believer (Jesus with skin on) who you can vent, cry, and pray with to release the pressure in your marriage.

Date! Pursue your spouse! Doesn’t it feel good when your spouse shows you they still want you? Or they say something like “you look hot, I want you”? Have fun together. Staying home all the time has as a way of setting the two of you into a rut. What did the two of you do when you were dating that got the sparks going? Many women say that their husband stopped pursuing them years ago. Get back in the game. Major Hint: TURN YOUR PHONE OFF. If you’re loving on your phone hours a day while you give your spouse several minutes, your priorities are jacked up and/or you’re addicted to your phone.

Pray for your spouse every day. Both husband and wife should be devoted to prayer. Your spouse needs your consistent prayers. No one knows how to pray for your spouse like you do.

Pray together every day. Praying together brings the powerful third cord of the living God into your marriage.

“And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Ecclesiastes 4:12

Pride is a relationship killer.

Always remember spiritual warfare. You are at war and so is your marriage. The enemy is going to do everything he can to destroy your relationship. Your spouse is not your enemy, Satan is. Always remember this. Fight together against your spiritual adversary, don’t allow him to play the two of you into going to war against each other. If you stumble in this area (and we all do), regroup and keep moving forward. Keep praying. You are powerful on your knees.

Your marriage is precious in God’s eyes. He put the two of you together, knowing your differences, sin, and failures. He has a purpose for the two of you.

Keep your eternal priorities in mind. Make your lives count for eternity. Encourage each other to be a light where God has planted you.

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
Colossians 3:1-2

“And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.”
Titus 3:14