This post is written by A Surrendered Marriage contributing writer, Mark from Chasing Leadership
Why do I pray for my marriage? Is it for me or for her?
Is my supplication to God for my benefit, or do I care more for my wife’s soul than I do about my own comfort?
The truth is that Leigh Ann is a clear example of Ephesians 3:20 in my life. She is more than I could ever ask for or imagine.
Why then do I lose patience with her so easily? Why do I let frustration and or bitterness build up when she does something that I don’t prefer, or acts in a way that bothers me or hurts me? Why do I not view her or treat her like the blessing she is 100% of the time?
Because I am a sinner!
It’s true. I do lose patience quickly. Negative and bitter thoughts can flood my mind in moments of frustration, and I am soaked in self-righteousness. In the moment, I think I actually deserve better.
Two Things God Has Taught Me Through A Surrendered Marriage Challenge
1) Even if I am wronged and sinned against, it is so much less than the way I have sinned against Christ.
I can have hope for change. I can freely forgive and know that God is faithful. He does love me and desires good things for my life and my marriage.
I can accept the reality that my wife is not perfect… just as I am not perfect. When these imperfections show through and my self-righteous frustrations arise, I can surrender to God in prayer. I can let go of the bitter thoughts and lies of the evil one and trust in the promises of God. My thoughts that my wife is never going to change are as false as saying God doesn’t exist.
Let me be clear… this is not about Leigh Ann and her faults, but my sinful response when she is not perfect. I have to combat these thoughts and fight to return my mind to reality!
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. -Ephesians 6:12
I am not in a battle against my wife, but on the contrary, I need her to complete me and be the ONE that God designed us to be together and so win this battle against evil!
2) God has been challenging my process of surrendering.
Even when I do turn to God in prayer in moments of frustration, I have come to realize that I am often praying for change in Leigh Ann to increase my comfort, and not praying for change in order to bring God glory.
God has been convicting me that I am more concerned with myself, and my comfort, than I am with my wife’s soul. God is using every detail of my marriage to accomplish His purpose, and right now I think one of those purposes is for me to die to myself.
“Only love for Christ has the power to incapacitate the sturdy love for self that is the bane of every sinner, and only the grace of Christ has the power to produce that love.”
― Paul Tripp
So I will leave you with this video also from Paul Tripp and my favorite excerpt from it.
Love is willing self sacrifice for the good of another that doesn’t demand reciprocation, or that the person being loved is deserving.
My prayer for my marriage is that we will both start living this definition out, and so be a true light of God’s love. I pray that I would surrender my comfort and trust in His goodness to accomplish all things for our good.
How are you doing at showing the TRUE Love of Christ to your spouse?
Mark is an ordinary guy with extraordinary dreams and has a passion for all things leadership. He is a disciple of Christ, a blessed husband & father, a medical device innovator, an outdoor enthusiast, and is all around passionate about life! Mark loves helping people discover their potential, and then, inspire them to chase leadership right where they are in order to impact the world around them. Find him blogging at MarktDutton.com, on twitter @marktdutton, or on Facebook.