How to Quickly Change Your Christian Marriage for the Better

 By Marcus Carter

What is the key to a long-lasting Christian Relationships?

If you ask 100 experts what the number one rule to maintain a healthy relationship is, you will get a myriad of different answers like: "Do or say something daily to show your appreciation;" "Realize every relationship has value;" "Never take your spouse for granted;" 'Remember always to seek a compromise;" and—my personal favorite— "Don't tell everyone else your business." The truth is, however, that none of that advice will lead to a long-lasting Godly marriage! 
 
Picture of a couple

You know what the key to a long-lasting Christian relationship is? Being ready, willing, and able to take an "L" (or a loss) at any given time in your marriage!

For the record, when I say "L," I mean Loss. If you have committed to become a disciple of Jesus Christ (Luke 9:23), you know that you signed up for a lifetime of losses, be it friends, family, material possessions, goals, happiness, etc.

The misconception is that we believe we are entitled to happiness, but in reality, at no point in time did God or Jesus ever promise happiness (John 16:33; Acts 14:22)); they promised peace and joy (John 14:27).

Today, we will discuss why it is essential to take losses and teach how to turn what feels like a loss into a gain to change your Christian marriage for the better. 

Corresponding Post: 21 Best Scriptures for Marriage That Will Encourage You to Love More


Good Christian Marriage Resources




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I wish I'd had these book 30 years ago!

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts 


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This book is a life saver in the field of relationship. If you think you knew your partner, think again. It’ll also help identify what’s important in your love life.

Love seems simple, but sometimes you need to see things through a different set of eyes. The 5 Love Languages is a book that all couples wanting to ensure that communication remains open should get.

 

Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs


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5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read!

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Very informative, understandable and eye opening! Glad I made the choice to not only purchase, but to follow through with reading. I was hardly able to put it down until I finished it. This is definitely a must read for couples and singles alike. 


How to Completely Change Your Christian Marriage for the Better

Couple Reading Book

   

Scripture Reference [Mark 14:3-9]


14 3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. 4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor." And they rebuked her harshly. 6 "Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing for me. 7 The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."


Context


Mary—as we learn from (John 12:3) brought a box of ointment of spikenard—a celebrated aromatic (Solomon 1:12)—that was very precious and costly and wiped Jesus' feet with her hair. In response Judas (John 12:4) questioned the act.


Application


I like the term "Take an L" because I feel like it signifies what it feels like for most of us when we give something valuable up for the sake of another person (i.e., surrender and make sacrifices)—it feels like we lost.

You may have heard this before, but there is an old saying that goes, "To have a great marriage, you must learn how to compromise."

Marriage is not one long lesson in how to compromise; instead, it should be considered one long lesson in how and why we should ever compromise at all.

 

The Problem with Compromising


Compromise is an agreement or a settlement of a dispute reached by each side making concessions.

As Christians, we know that we should always do what we know is best; we should never lower our standards and still defend what is real and right.

    · Compromise strives to do the impossible, make everyone happy at least a little bit! It is a trading of one item for another. It creates unrealistic expectations/reciprocity (i.e., You played golf on Saturday, so you need to make up for it by helping more around the house).

    · Compromise can lead to resentment and damage relationships.

    · We should never compromise for anyone or any reason if we are aligned with God (Colossians 2:8)!

Now understand that this standard requires obedience to God; if your values are based in the world, then they are not valid and right anyway, so compromise away because it does not matter.

I know right now a lot of you are thinking, "Didn't he just tell us we need to take an 'L' and now he is telling us not to compromise?" Isn't he contradicting himself?

Do not compromise; instead, surrender to God so that you can sacrifice to others (Philippians 2:6-8).

What is a sacrifice?

Sacrificing is living for others, meaning a willingness to give up comfort and privilege when that will help others (Luke 18:28-30; Matthew 19:21).

Sometimes sacrifice means ordinary things, such as giving up being politically correct (so your friends accept you) or giving up the safety of not saying anything or making life simpler to be free to serve others.

A relationship based on 50/50 splits and comprises fails because it overlooks one key factor—selfishness. There are days when you will not be able to give 50%, and there are days your spouse will not give 50%. 

If the other person offers 40% or 30% or even 0% for long enough, you will grow tired of picking up the slack if you have a 50/50 mentality. Relationships are giving 100% because when one person fails to provide his or her best, the other is there to keep things going (1 John 3:16-18).

If we are not willing to give 100%, then we need to check our status with God.
   

Ask Yourself: Do you remember a time in your life when you sacrificed something important to you for someone else?


Sacrifice sounds awful, but it is one of the purest ways to show love to someone.  Someone saying, "I love you" is good; but, giving yourself time after time is proof that you mean what you say (1 Corinthians 13:4-9).

·        Men and Women are equally blessed, but men are moving heavier burdens than women! God is not looking for equality.

·         Men are called to obey, work, and love/care for the woman (Genesis 2:15-17; 23).

·         Women are called to obey God, be a helpmate, and nurture (Genesis 2:18, 21).


Why is sacrifice important in Christian Marriage?


All Godly relationships require sacrifice. Two people cannot come together and genuinely care for each other without occasionally suffering for each other (Ex. Give up drinking, you give up drinking too even though it is not a problem)

Relationships are full of opportunities to sacrifice. Sacrifice builds character in us and intimacy between loved ones. If you are in a relationship with someone who usually refuses to go without their comforts and pleasures, seriously consider the impact of that dynamic on your future. [Are you prepared to do all the giving?]

3 Ways to Improve your Marriage for the Better  

 Couple

1.       Focus on Jesus: Remember Christ as the example of sacrifice (Luke 14:25-35; Romans 5:8).

·         It is a common misconception that we should sacrifice for the sake of others. We should not!  At all times, the focus of our sacrifice must be Jesus and Jesus alone. 

·         If you have love for God, then you will have love for all others.  If you do not have love for God, you will never absolutely love anyone else (Matthew 10:37-39).

·         It is not about being nice! It is not about currying favor! It is not about tradition or doing what we believe is what we are supposed to do; it is simply about surrendering to Christ's supremacy and obeying him.

·         We idolize our relationships, our families, friends, children, etc. We must forsake all relationships in favor of a relationship with Christ (Luke 9:23). 

·         Sacrifice is an intentional choice that does not seek men's approval but solely based on our love for Jesus.   


2.       Be Obedient: We must submit to God to determine the nature and time to sacrifice (Luke 18:18-23). 


People often say that timing is everything. To do the right thing at the wrong time or do the wrong thing at the right time, both achieve the same incorrect result.

 

    FAQ: How do we discern the right thing at the right time?


    If it is God's will for your life, it will:

§Tune-up with what God has already revealed in His Word (Psalm 119:105);
§  Get clearer over time the more you obey what He has already told you to do (Romans 6:17-18);
§  Be confirmed over time with peace, renewed passions and with open doors (Colossians 3:15-4:3); and
§  Edify the Church and help spread the gospel to the lost (Matthew 28:18-20)

We must surrender entirely to God and spend time with him to recognize his voice amongst all the clutter.

If Mary had said to herself, "Wait till I have two alabaster jars, or when I am richer, then I will pour out one for Jesus." Then she would have missed the opportunity to serve Jesus.

Moreover, if Mary had listened to the people in the room (disciples), she would not have served Christ.

There is a divine window of opportunity for us to act. There are times when the opportunity to do something for God or bless someone is only within a particular time frame.  

And while it is true that God gives us second chances, there is nothing like the first time.  

 

3.       Be Meaningful: Sacrifice requires that it be something you care about (2 Samuel 24:24)


If it does not mean anything to you, it does not mean anything to God (Mark 12:41-44).

  •  The perfume that Mary used on Jesus' feet was expensive, but she wanted to give Jesus nothing but the best.
  • The perfume cost about $50.00—which was equal to a year's wages.

Whoever or whatever is your master, you will be asked to give it up!

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, relationships are not easy! A selfish person cannot have a Godly relationship.  Pray this week and ask yourself if you are ready to take that "L." If not, keep working on being the person God wants. 

 Special Thanks to my husband Marcus Carter for this amazing post on Christian Marriage. It is our sincere hope that this post taught you how to make your marriage better!




Learn more about my Journey to Discovering Jesus. Follow me on social media! You can find me @contemporarymochanista find me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. @mochacontempa on Twitter

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