Growing marriages are made up of growing people! When your marriage isn’t how you want it to be and there are things you know you need to change, consider that you, as 50% of the marriage, have a good chance to make change happen. You can’t control your spouse if they’re not changing… so consider the opposite… changing you! The best that can happen is that through your change 50% of the marriage gets better, then often the other 50 starts to take notice and will want to grow with you. In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus directed that we live in a way where we influence others with our godly characters – to shine our light. A big part of this will be your ability to show more grace and desire to love or respect more, even when it’s undeserved – because that’s what’s been done by God to us! We’re called to be lights that draw and attract people because of our behaviour, people will see us, then they will glorify God!
In the book Rescue Your Love Life, one of the authors explains how a wife who felt her marriage was stalled and in a discussion with her life group, realised she needed to be the first to change. She started sharing more of herself with her husband and then she admitted: ‘I realised that I was asking him to do something that he had no clue how to do, when I kept telling him that I wanted more intimacy, he didn’t know what I meant, so instead I started being more intimate and vulnerable with him, taking risks… I poured out my feelings, without insisting that he would do the same. Then I gradually started asking him how he felt about things.’ She shifted her attitude from you’ve got to change, to I’ve got to change, so she began to change and was growing, then in the process, her husband started to open up and realise that he could share in the same way enhancing their marriage greatly. Life is about growing closer to God and growing closer to others. Andy Stanley, a pastor in America has a great line: ‘Are you the person, the person you’re looking for is looking for?’ Are we even the kind of person who would attract the kind of person that I’d want to be with? We need to work on us and make sure we’re the kind of people that a great person would be looking for and that goes for so many areas of life.
Matthew 6:33 tells us to look to God first, seek Him and everything else will fall into place that’s how we are to prioritise and how we are designed to live. Work on yourself first, get right with God then work on your relationships second. When you’re with someone else, you’re just throwing a whole other set of problems along with your problems and that comes together and it’s hard to fix. We are Jesus’ disciples and we need to work out what prioritising Him actually means. We need to grow spiritually if we’re ever going to be able to encourage our partners to grow spiritually, you can’t give what you don’t have, so putting God first helps other areas of your marriage. Often people make a mistake and allow their kids to take second place after God which is a disastrous decision! You’ve got to put your spouse above your kids, because the strength of your relationship will give them stability. When your relationship is healthy, then the children grow in confidence and are healthy.
In the 90’s movie Jerry McGuire, the famous line was ‘you complete me’ but this is total rubbish, because the opposite to this is; without you, I’m incomplete! I’m only half of a person or I’m not enough by myself. This could be the person who seems to jump from one relationship to the next or who always has to have someone by their side or they feel alone. This drains the life out of the other person because it’s impossible for someone else to complete the failings in your character or any of your flaws. Be a complete person who knows who they are, who can then contribute 100% to a relationship in a healthy way and you’ll be incredibly attractive when the right person comes along. Also whenever you’re thinking that you’re incomplete without a partner, then you’re saying that God’s not enough for you in your life and you need someone else to come along and be your saviour. The only one who can ever complete or save us, is the same one who created us, because only He knows us enough to change us in the right way, we need to put him first. Look to him if you feel incomplete, because he can heal all our wounds, forgive us for our mistakes and help us to see that we are the person he designed us to be, we’re not a mistake, we are worth so much!
Find the full sermon here: Love Sex Marriage: Fixing You First