How’s your marriage doing?
Are things a little stale? Do you wish you could hit the refresh button?
Maybe you need a complete remodel; tear everything down to the studs and start rebuilding.
No marriage is perfect.
We all have things we wish were different; things that differ from marriage to marriage.
But the catalyst for change in every marriage- and every situation- is God’s plan and God’s Word, not ours.
So, let’s dig into it and start a revolution within our homes and marriages.
How do I start the process of change?
I’m not Aladdin, there’s no genie in a bottle who will grant me three wishes.
I can’t just snap my fingers like Mary Poppins and put everything back together.
I’m certainly not a magician who can wave her wand, say “Abracadabra!” and *poof* create a perfect marriage.
If you’re anything like me, there are times I wish it were that simple: bringing forth a beautiful, blissful marriage in an instant.
But I know it is more involved than that. God designed it to be more involved.
It’s like the “God will save me” story (joke). Have you ever heard of it? It goes like this…
A guy is in his house when horrendous rains start falling. The water begins to rise, and before long it becomes a major flood. The roads are covered in water making driving impossible.
After a while, a boat comes along. A rescue worker in the boat yells, “Come on! We’re here to save you! Get in the boat!”
The guy in the house responds, “No! I’ve got faith that God will save me!”
After an unsuccessful rescue attempt, the boat leaves. The water continues to rise, and the guy is forced up to the second floor of his home.
The county sheriff’s boat comes along, and the sheriff yells, “Come on! You are going to drown if you don’t get in the boat.”
From his second floor window the guy says, “No! I’ll be okay! I have faith God will save me.” The boat moves on.
The house, except for a small part on the roof, is submerged in water. The guy is on the roof as a helicopter hovers overhead. The pilot shouts out, “This is your last chance! Climb up the ladder to safety! If you don’t come now you’re going to drown!”
The guy hollers, “No, thanks! God is going to save me!” The pilot shrugs his shoulders and flies away.
The house is covered, and the guy is swept away by the flood waters. He ascends to the Pearly Gates, where God is waiting for his arrival.
He asks God, “What happened? I have been devoted to you and had absolute faith that you would save me. Why did you let me down?”
God answers back, “What more do you want? I sent you two boats and a helicopter!”
Yes, it’s a joke, but there’s a lesson in it for all of us, a lesson which stems from James 2:17- Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Faith in action. That’s how we start the process of change.
God can (and does!) provide everything we need for marital change. Do you believe it?
If so, are you willing to follow His lead, receive His guidance, and obey His instructions?
Are you willing to put your faith into action?
Commit to get involved
He invites us to retire from our role as bystanders and be ALL-IN for our marriage (and our life in service to Him).
Ephesians 2:10 tells us: We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, SO WE CAN DO the good things He planned for us long ago.
Does that sound like a God who’s asking us to pop some popcorn and prop up our feet, watching how our life in Him unfolds?
On the contrary.
He wants us to be involved, because He knows action is how we learn best.
So, He gave us faith in Him, created us anew in Christ, and set His plan in place for the rest of our lives.
It is not a one-and-done deal. He wants us to stay with Him- in every season, every struggle, every celebration- our hearts continually subject to Him, irrevocably tethered to His truth and love.
Faith in HIM produces faith in action.
Will our life look neat and tidy?
I’m sorry, no.
Just look at Jesus: His earthly life was messy. But He inserted Himself into complicated situations because He loved people. God gave Jesus a mission and sent Him to earth- to get involved- BECAUSE HE LOVED US.
And because He loves us, we can love others (1 John 4:19).
When things get difficult in your marriage, God will not change who He is, because He is perfect.
He won’t change His design, because His design is perfect. Therefore...
The restoration of your marriage starts with the restoration of your relationship with HIM. If you have a relationship with Christ, He should be your First Love.
After all, He moved Heaven and earth to rescue you (and all of us) from sin.
Just to recap what God does for us:
He gives us faith (Romans 10:17)
He asks us to put our faith into action (James 2:14-26)
He plans good works for each of us (Ephesians 2:10)
He sends His Son to be our example (1 Peter 2:21)
He goes to great lengths to show His love for us (1 John 4:9-10)
And that brings us to....
The Cycle of Change.
Let’s start at the top and work our way around, one section at a time.
We can’t skip ahead, we must go through each section to complete the cycle.
God first loved us.
God calls us to love Him back.
We say yes to His love and salvation.
We now know what love is because we experienced it when we were rescued from death to life.
We draw near to God, to understand Him and His love more deeply.
We obey God because we know His way is best. This knowing provides a natural and instantaneous outflow of obedience.
Our obedience is shown in loving others. Loving others shows we truly know God’s love for us.
We find our truest joy and peace- remembering, knowing, and trusting that God loved us first (1 John 4:19).
In which section do you find yourself?
Maybe you know exactly which one, but more likely you’re somewhere in between sections, wandering… wanting change.
How does this happen?
It happens when we lose sight of God’s love for us and forget what He’s asked us to do in response to His love.
Don’t worry, there’s good news!
You can restart the cycle of change as many times as you need. (Trust me, I need to restart OFTEN. Daily. Hourly. Sometimes moment by moment.)
When you get off track- and you WILL, we all do- remember what Jesus said in John 16:33- “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Do not give up and stay stuck in one place. Trust God’s promises. He will bring peace and victory, even in the trials.
Listen to His voice leading you back to the Truth- that God first loved us- and restart the cycle.
Check it out:
Our enemy works hard to interrupt and break the cycle. He lies, deceives, and tempts us in effort to keep us from remembering our First Love.
In the next post, I Want Change, But I Just Don't See It! we’ll look at some of the things that break the cycle of change, and how our response to those things can move us further from- or closer to- remembering God’s love for us.
Listen to the corresponding podcast for more information: