This last Sunday, I taught out of the book of Kings and Chronicles. The entire sermon was based on one principle: When Israel’s kings obeyed God, they were blessed by God. When they walked in disobedience to God, their tenures were plagued with treachery and trouble.
The application to our families was simple: though there are many possible steps and approaches to solving our issues, ultimately, we are to obey our way through our problems.
The Calculating Spouse
When we find ourselves playing a game of chess of sorts in our marriages and relationships, we are typically walking down a dead end path. Couples and spouses that participate in such games are typically doing one or more of the following:
Begging, pleading, and doing everything they can to woo their spouse back
Acting as nice as they can with an expectation that the other person will love them back with the same level of intensity
Putting up a cold front in order to almost punish the other person for their mistakes in the past
Using guilt and/or anger to persuade or force the other to make certain choices
Using money, physical intimacy, or religion as a form of control
Giving the other person the silent treatment
The Better Approach
I find it less conflicting and far less confusing when spouses focus on obedience to God rather than securing a specific result in their relationships. Honestly, this approach has a way of decluttering their minds and bringing a sense of peace in their hearts. It also has a way of giving them a very clear and succinct goal in the problem solving process.
I often define faith as believing God and leaving all of the consequences to Him.
If you think about it, the calculating spouse is trying to control consequences and determine destiny. In short, they are playing God over their lives and marriage.
The obedient spouse is letting God be God. They are doing their part and leaving the rest in the hands of a faithful God that has promised to cover their back. (Psalm 121:3 and Ephesians 5:8)
Obey Your Way Through
This year, how will you handle your marriage problems? How will you fight for your marriage? I would greatly encourage you to simplify your problem solving process by obeying your way through your problems. You will experience less tension and exhaustion as you face the issues at hand.
Rather than thinking, “How can I get my spouse to change?”, ask, “What would the Holy Spirit have me to do today?” Instead of thinking, “It’s been a bad day. My marriage is over.”, it is better to embrace thoughts such as, “If I have obeyed God today, then my future is bright no matter what my spouse does or does not do.”
For further help along these lines, be sure to read chapter 6 of our marriage book. In that chapter, I go into detail as to how to change your motivation as well as your overall focus when fighting for your marriage.