Do you have a Christian marriage? Have questions such as, “What is a Christian marriage?” Let’s take a look at what really makes a Christian marriage.
A Little Test
A few years ago, if I were to give a test to see how Christian a Christian marriage is, I may ask a number of questions. But, honestly, I am learning to simplify matters the longer I teach the scriptures. This is because major truth is always simple. It is man that finds a way to complicate a matter in order to justify his education (Romans 1:22) or appear a little smarter than he is. (II Corinthians 1:12)
My little test will only have one question. Other questions, such as, do you go to church, believe in God, or have a Christian background will be bypassed. Though we could include these as part of the Christian walk, they are really only causes to a greater effect. That is, ultimately, if we are not able to correctly answer the one question I have, then something is off-kilter in our Christian marriage, and we have what I would call an unchristian Christian marriage.
Here is the question: when we have a disagreement with our spouse, how do we respond?
Why this is an applicable question?
Some might rather I ask, “When things are going well, how do you and your spouse get along?” or “For the most part, how is your relationship with your spouse?”
The only problem with these questions is that Jesus stated that we show our ability to love in a Christlike manner in difficult times rather than good times. He also stated that our Christian love is not exhibited toward those that are in agreement with us as much as those that are being disagreeable.
In Matthew 5:44-48, Jesus taught:
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
The difference between worldly love and Christian love is namely this: the world loves those that love them, however, the Christian loves those that either disagree with them or have unlovable tendencies.
I once heard Adrian Rogers say that you know what a Christian is full of once he or she is bumped. I believe this to be true in that it is easy to appear to have the fruit of the Spirit when unity is in the air. However, according to Matthew 5, a Christian displays how full of the Spirit he is when he is rubbed the wrong way.
Some may wonder, “Is this over-simplification?”
To that, I would say, “Yes.” And, it’s about time someone oversimplified the matter.
How do you respond when your spouse irritates you? Do you respond with the fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23 or do you respond with anger, malice, and unkindness? Honestly, as I stated in chapter 3 of my marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another, this answer determines the true master, guide, and even god of your marriage.
That which controls us is our master and our god according to Romans 6:16 and Philippians 3:19. And, though we may attend church, intellectually believe, and ascribe to a certain religious dogma, if we do not respond with the Holy Spirit during the more difficult times with our spouse, then we need to check up on how Christian our Christian marriage is.
Food for thought . . . Dr. Raymond Force