Be Less Religious! The majority of my counseling practice is with Christian couples who, generally speaking, are well-meaning and sincere in their faith. But many times problems arise when their commitment to faith and biblical knowledge is used against their spouse. When we are convinced of the truth of our opinion, there is a danger of falling into one of several traps. The first is to state of imply, “I am better than you.” Many times spouses see that their lives are better balanced or more spiritually centered than their spouse. But it is wrong to assume that indicates superiority in comparison to your husband or wife. The antidote is embracing the fact that we are all equal in the sight of God. Another trap is the conviction that, “I am right and you are wrong.” The decided reality here is that only God is right 100% of the time. Saying or implying that I have the final word in truth is a dangerous place to be, both personally and relationally. A final and most fatal pitfall is the assumption that, “You need to change.” If I could sum up the root of marital conflict it is in this opinion that unless my spouse changes, the marriage will not get better. Nothing is more antithetical to the Christian faith as this belief. We are both challenged and compelled by Scripture to not base our own actions on the successes or failures of with whom we have relationship. The command is to first take the log out of our own eye, and then we can help our spouse with the speck in his or her eye. So, instead of expecting my spouse to change, I need to change first. Be less religious is your marriage and you will not only have a better marriage, you’ll be a better person.
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