The foundation upon which you build your marriage relationship is a mutually agreeable and mutually binding plan. That’s what makes marriage successful. It’s not a “tingle”; it’s a life-time commitment. It’s not competition; it’s cooperation.
Is your partnership built on this foundation? You can measure the strength of your marriage by Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthian 1:10 where he says,
“I beseech you brethren, by the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
Just as teammates have to go into a game with the same plan, you and your partner must approach your marriage, not with the attitude of ‘me verses you,’ but with the attitude of being fully committed to the same plan.
“That sounds good,” you say, “but what happens when something happens and I find myself confronted by a stalemate, me on one side and my partner on the other?”
If you’re preoccupied with your partner’s choices because you feel your serenity, your peace, your joy, and your love, are determined by those choices, you will struggle in the midst of a stalemate. You will find yourself exhibiting a selfish, antagonistic, competitive spirit.
However, if you access the Spirit of God, letting Him fill your heart with love, no matter what your partner does, you will exude a loving spirit. Your attitude will be cooperative, instead of competitive, because you have accessed the love of God.
When you are faced with difficulties in your marriage, you’ll be able to submit yourself to God’s will, which, according to Ephesians 5:22-23 teaches.
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body” (KJV).
The husband’s relationship to his wife must be the same as Jesus’ relationship to the church. His first responsibility is the well-being of his wife – to help her become the finest, loveliest, best woman she could possibly be. When a husband leads the partnership in this way, with both partners’ attitudes established by the Spirit of God, the marriage will be satisfying for both individuals and they will be content and happy in the marriage.
Read 1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 5:22-23
TAKE A STEP
You don’t have to have issues that go on and on. Are you willing to come to grips with the fact that you need to eliminate your spirit of selfishness and approach your relationship in a spirit of cooperation? Confess to God your need for his leadership in your life. Find one opportunity today to express to your spouse your new desire to have an attitude of cooperation.
by Dr. Henry Brandt
Author, Teacher, Christian Counselor, Consulting Psychologist
The following is a suggested prayer inviting the Holy Spirit to direct and empower you and your spouse to be on the same page. Through the enablement of the Holy Spirit in us, we are able to meet the challenges that face us every day.
We are filled with the Holy Spirit by faith alone. However, true prayer is one way of expressing your faith. The following is a suggested prayer:
“Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have been directing my own life and that, as a result, I have sinned against You. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit.”
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If so, bow in prayer and trust God to fill you with the Holy Spirit right now.
This summary is from Dr. Brandt’s message Restoring Harmony in Marriage.
For over five decades, Dr. Henry Brandt— international consultant, educator, counselor, author, and conference speaker—has impacted the lives of scores of thousands of people. The legacy of his ministry is written in the hearts and lives of generations of men, women, and children around the world.
Used with Permission: http://www.henrybrandtfoundation.org
Dr. Henry Brandt, died November 24, 2008 of complications related to Parkinson’s disease. He was 92.