I want to show you two lists of words that both come from Galatians 5 and, as you read these words, I want you to pick which list describes your marriage behind closed doors. I’m not talking about what you project when you go to church or are out with your family, but what really happens at home. Here’s the first list of words:
Sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of rage, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, and drunkenness.
Here’s the second list of words:
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control.
If you’re honest with yourself, you might say there are a few words in that first list that do happen in your house. And if you’re being really honest, you might say, “Boy, if my spouse could just get it together and be like that second list, then we’d have something to work with!”
The truth is, getting your marriage to be more like that second list isn’t as difficult as you might think. But one of the most common reasons so many marriages are broken today comes from the lie that you and your spouse “complete each other.” Just think about how self-centered this way of thinking is. It’s essentially saying, “I’ve got a few little weaknesses, and someone is going to marry me and make sure all those weaknesses are fixed.”
As you continue down this line of false thinking, you set yourself up over and over again to experience disappointment with your spouse. It’s an ugly cycle of your spouse messing up, you trying to fix it, and then your spouse messing up again. And if you don’t change your thinking, you’ll spend your entire marriage disappointed with each other.
Yet, God didn’t design your spouse to complete you because that job belongs only to Him. Take a look at 1 Thessalonians 5:23:
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It’s God’s job to fix broken people. Not yours. And not your spouse’s. So instead of looking at your spouse as a project and yourself as a construction worker meant to fix them, think of each other as intimate consultants. You are intimate because you know your spouse better than anyone else. And you are a consultant because you point your spouse in the right direction when asked.
Doesn’t that take the pressure off?! You don’t have to fix anyone. It’s not your job. In fact, you don’t even have the ability to do it if you wanted to, so there’s no point in even trying!Conflict with your spouse is going to happen. And when it does, you can either react by trying to fix your spouse, or you can be Spirit-led and respond biblically by loving one another with the love of Christ and looking to Him to fulfill your every need.