Over the years, I have met a number of people that name the name of Christ yet tell me that they feel they have an unhappy Christian marriage. Let me offer a few possibilities as to why this may occur from time to time.
Half-hearted Christianity Can Sometimes be More of a Curse than a Blessing
If couples are not sold out and living the Christ-life, then Christianity can be more of a curse than a blessing in some respects. That is, it can turn into another part-time job of sorts or a mere duty if Christ is not doing the doing. (Philippians 1:6 and I Thessalonians 5:23-24)
A double-minded Christian can become more frustrated than an unbeliever because he or she knows God’s standard yet they lack the supernatural power to achieve that standard. (James 1:8)
Honestly, unless the sap of the Holy Spirit is flowing from the Vine and through the branches (John 15:1-5), Christians will always find it difficult to bear the fruit that makes a great marriage.
Half-hearted Christians will typically experience these hangups:
A lack of power to live up to their wedding vows
Guilt over not reaching a biblical standard
A general feeling of emptiness within
Perpetual cycles of anger, remorse, and unfulfilled promises
A lack of joy to persevere through the difficult times
A Couple May have What I Call an Unchristian Christian Marriage
In our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another, I talk about how a couple can call themselves Christians yet still be ruled by their feelings of anger, fear, apathy, et cetera. When this occurs, the god of their marriage is not God as much as their belly. Paul mentioned this in Philippians 3:19 when he taught:
“Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.“
A Couple ‘s Difficulties May be a Short Leg of a Long Journey
Seasoned Christians do not appear overnight. Frankly, it takes time to grow in Christ.
Of course, I know that some would rather walk down an aisle and have instantaneous success, but I find that God works through processes more than events. This is mainly because the heart is stubborn, and it often takes a number of trials before it lets go of its own deceptive practices.
This may be why Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:3:
“Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.”
If I was to hold a gathering to watch an oak tree grow, I would have few attendees. This is because an oak tree may be terribly strong once it has grown, but it takes years of growth to get to that point. The Christian life and marriage are often the same, and, to be honest, fewer and fewer seem to be willing to wait and see what the Lord will do in their lives as they patiently follow Him.
You may be in what I call an unhappy Christian marriage, but, could it be that this is all a part of the process? Could this just be a leg of the journey that God is allowing you to take with your spouse? Is it possible that God is using the fire of affliction to melt your hearts together with an inseparable bond?
Think about this: if what has happened in the past has yet to separate the two of you, what else it out there that can hurt your marriage?