“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” — Isaiah 64:6
I can see your face now; yes, I’m only a few months into the marriage, so I don’t have much history to grab from and no prolonged periods to draw stories from either. In simple terms, these are fewer suggestions and more considerations for your heart. I’ve recently revisited many of the long-running Christian songs that you hear consistently on the radio. I stopped listening to them for a long time because they just felt overplayed. In my revisiting, I’ve attempted to have fresh eyes for these songs of praise.
The result was admiration and appreciation. I’m considering what they’re saying instead of thinking “this sounds familiar.” I think, for a lot of people when you’re twenty years into a marriage, you may have tuned out some stuff you should be considering. We can never stop learning and finding new ways to serve our spouses.
I’m Too Selfish
You and I share something in common. We’re both selfish people. Not easy to hear, and even harder to fix. Most people downplay their pride and selfishness. They pass it off as part of their MO; except instead of calling it selfishness, they call it confidence. Unholy confidence is an epidemic. Yes, you can be confident as a Christian, but your confidence comes from Jesus, not yourself. You can only be confident in what He does. Most of our confidence doesn’t come from this, however. It’s straight-up pride.
When we’re prideful, we think we’re essential. We deserve things. We earned it. We have the right to it. And one of the most important things I’ve learned in my first few months of marriage is that it’s not about me, and honestly, it’s not even about my wife. It’s about Jesus. My strength to love and serve my wife will never come from my inbound efforts; if they do, it’ll come out poorly. I need Jesus to help me sacrifice. I need Jesus to help me from being selfish when I get home and want to do what I want. Instead, because of what Jesus did for me, and how he served His people, I can sacrifice watching the show I want. I can give up an hour to cook dinner for my spouse. I can give my up evening to clean the house.
I’m Too Lazy
There’s a video circulating the internet in Christian circles of Matt Chandler speaking about how men should be tired at the end of the day. Before marriage, this impacted me, but now I feel the message even stronger. I don’t want to be the guy bursting with energy at the end of the day because I slacked off at work, or didn’t help in the house. That’s not what Jesus called me to be. He called me to serve my wife like how Jesus served the church. Jesus DIED for the church.
How often do we get home and think; finally, it’s a relaxing time? She can handle dinner, home, and children. Doesn’t she know how hard I worked all day? I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to face God one day and see that I gave my complete efforts in all facets of my life. Not just work, not only my home; but all of it. It includes how you serve in the church. All of this hard work doesn’t earn my salvation; thankfully, because I’d fall short often. Instead, it’s the fruit of my salvation. God made me for this. He made me serve well and accomplish these good works.
I’m Too Distracted | Marriage Lessons
I’m way too distracted by the internet and all of the entertainment that comes along with it. It’s overwhelming and never-ending. Whether it’s scrolling the social news feeds, binging Netflix, or watching the latest news/videos on YouTube, it’s all far too distracting. For me, it’s harmful. It detracts from my time with God. When I wake up, the first thing I do is go online. When I go to sleep, the last thing I do is go online. Repeat, repeat, repeat. I think not to demonize the technology itself, Christians have adopted it too quickly. Your iPhone isn’t inherently evil, it’s true, but if it detracts from your time with God, there’s an issue here.
I’ve learned I’m distracted, but this one seems the hardest to break personally. I know I shouldn’t be on social media or Netflix this much, but it’s easy. They’ve made it so easy for us. I should be waking up 30 minutes early to pray and read my Bible, and then pray and read my Bible before I go to bed. I should be studying with my wife during/after dinner before we start binging Netflix. God made a covenant with me, and I too often trade it for convenience on my smartphone. We need to put the phones down and study God’s Word.