Each of us as Christians is on our own faith path. Some of us feel incredibly strong in our beliefs, speak with God every day, frequently complete devotions, and are active in the church. Others, however, are still struggling on their journey. They might not be as connected to God as they want to be, or don't feel they have a strong enough relationship with Him yet.
Both scenarios have nothing wrong with them. It is true, though, that your relationship with God directly impacts your relationship with others. This is especially true when it comes to the relationship with your spouse. How you view God will affect how you lead your marriage.
Trials in Your Marriage
The Bible verse 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." Reading this passage, you learn that you are to always be praising God and give thanks no matter what you are facing. Even during the hard times, you should be thanking God for all that He has done for you.
This is something that should be applied to your marriage. Even in times of trouble, you should be thankful that you were blessed to have a wonderful spouse. The love you have for your spouse shouldn't change. When you choose to be angry and fight, it can break down the connection you two share. Romans 8:28 says "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." When you face trials in your marriage, God is calling on couples to work together to fix things and move forward in a healthy manner.
Letting God Lead Your Marriage
In Psalms, there is a passage from 73:21 that says "when my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was a senseless ignorant." The author of this passage was discussing how he felt when he chose to focus on the world and the things of the world, rather than the Lord. He later realized God was always with him and had always held him. The author moves from a place of anger and discouragement to praise and thankfulness as he refocused on God.
The same is true for us in our lives and marriages. It is why Paul writes in Colossians 3:1-4: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
The author of Psalm 73 and Paul in Colossians 3 follow an almost identical theme. When you choose to move through life without the guidance of God, you will only be led to a place of despair and emptiness. When you open yourself up to letting the Lord lead you, then you’ll be brought into God’s sanctuary. You’ll have an entirely new and hopeful perspective.
It’s easy for us to shrug off the Lord and instead dwell our focus on the things that aren’t going well in life and in our marriage. When we dwell on this negativity, we only make things worse. As the psalmist discovered, we must allow the Lord to change our perspective right back on Him and all that He promises. This brings back joy and hope in our lives and helps us see the “good” that God has for us, through all circumstances.
Marriage as a Tool For Spiritual Growth
Though your marriage can be weaker if you don't place God in the center of it, we can also use our marriage as a tool for spiritual growth. As we learn to love our partner with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, we learn what it means to love God with all that we have. And the more we love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength, the more richly we can love each other.
When we learn to anticipate and meet our partner’s relational needs in an unselfish way, we understand more about the way God tirelessly takes care of our needs. When we accept another person’s help and support, we wisely accept that we cannot do it all on our own nor were we meant to, and we experience an opportunity to develop greater humility and trust in God. When we accept Christ into our heart, we understand the importance of forgiveness and how powerful of an action that can be.
Through exercising our love with our spouse, we become more skilled at working together with God to help us have a richer, deeper, and wider experience of His love. This helps us to become more Christ-like, and share our love on an increased level with others. What you have learned in your marriage, about how to grow a meaningful relationship, can very easily be applied to your relationship with the Lord. He wants you to spend time with Him and create a more substantial and intimate connection.
You can get joy and happiness from your worldly relationships, but your relationship with God directly impacts the relationship you have with others. Marriage is incredibly important to God, and it's one of the most important relationships you will have with someone else on earth. Learn how God can help grow and nourish your marriage. It will become stronger than you ever imagined.