I’ve been thinking a lot about marriage in recent days.
Lisa and I are a few months shy of another wedding anniversary. We’ve been “in a relationship” since before high school ended. Judging from our years together and the miles we’ve traveled, I should be a better husband than I am.
Seriously, how many years should I have to be practicing before I achieve some level of expertise as a professional? Is there such a thing as a professional husband?
You’re probably already laughing at me. That’s okay because I sometimes laugh at myself too.
The truth is that I’m a much better husband than when Lisa first said, “I do.” I think she’d agree. But, From This Moment On, I’ve made more mistakes than I can count.
Today, I’ll make some transparent confessions.
Here are five confessions from our earliest days of marriage.
1. I was selfish. I wanted my way and even demanded it at times.
2. I was mean. Specifically, I was mean with my words. I hadn’t learned to filter my words. I hurt Lisa repeatedly with my words.
3. I was ignorant. I mean that about life in general. I also didn’t know as much about my wife as I should have. As a young adult husband, I knew so little about life and love that I wasn’t even aware of how much I didn’t know.
4. I was stubborn. Call it strong-willed or hardheaded. I insisted I was right at the expense of acting wrong.
5. I was not living a committed Christian lifestyle. I was not a man of faith, and I was far from being a respected minister. I believed in God, but Lisa did not marry a genuine Christian.
What about today’s version of me as a husband?
6. I still want to fix everything Lisa discusses with me.
I don’t mean the physical hands-on stuff. I like that too, but I know my limitations as a handyman. What I mean is that I’m tempted with every little conversation to offer a solution. Recently, Lisa stopped and looked at me. She said something like, “I’m not asking you to fix anything. Just listen to me and let me talk!” I quietly rebuked my silly self. Why am I still trying to fix everything?
7. I still have the potential to be selfish, mean, ignorant, and stubborn as a husband.
Please note that I used the word potential and not propensity or proclivity. These are not my daily tendencies because of Jesus Christ.
What makes the difference between who I was when I first got married and who I am now? The grace of God saved me. I’ve been growing in the grace of Jesus Christ for a long time. His Word sanctifies me, and I seek to live a Spirit-controlled life.
Here are two solid pieces of advice for those who are married or considering holy matrimony.
- Seek first the Kingdom of God. Ideally, you and your spouse will seek God together and grow in a relationship with Jesus Christ. But even if they won’t, you should. Your marriage will improve if you follow this advice.
- Avoid homicide at all costs. Seriously. Please don’t kill them physically or with words. Please don’t do it in your mind or with your hands. Lisa probably should have in the first year or three of our marriage, but the grace of God got in the way. Keep praying because the power of God can change you and your spouse.
If you and your marriage are in need of prayer, feel free to let us know. We’ll listen confidentially and privately pray.
If you’d like to listen to all four messages in the “From This Moment On” marriage series, they been edited for that purpose and uploaded to YouTube. This link is minus the music and service openings, and has all four sermons back to back.