Karen and I don't have a perfect marriage. We've been through a lot of trials together. But a long time ago—when God healed us as individuals and then began to heal the fractures in our relationship—we decided our marriage would be centered on God. He became our purpose.
More than anything else, that purpose is what has kept us together. We do the right thing because of our commitment to Jesus Christ. That means we bring the problems of our marriage to Him. We rely on Him to keep our marriage alive and working. Our marriage exists for one reason, and that's to pursue God's purpose. We have become one together in God's will.
But if you know Karen and me, you know that we are still very different people. We don't have the same personality. When we first married, I was surprised to discover how stubborn she could be. She was surprised to see how dominant I could be.
Our marriage wasn't that different from most marriages, which are often made up of two people butting heads. We almost divorced as a result.
How do two very different, strongly opinionated people ever come into agreement? How do two individuals ever come together in God's will?
The answer is that, instead of two people butting heads, a marriage should become two individuals submitting to one Head: The Lord Jesus Christ. Karen and I never talk about who the boss of our marriage is because we determined early on to make Him the Boss of our marriage.
Ephesians 5:21 says, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." Paul is giving instructions for marriage. Earlier in this passage, he talks about how wives submit to husbands, and also about how husbands should sacrifice for their wives. But here, he says "submit to one another."
Early in our marriage, when it was at its worst, I didn't know this verse. In fact, I didn't really know any Scripture except the verse earlier in Ephesians about wives submitting to their husbands. I quoted that verse to Karen on a regular basis because she didn't seem to understand it very well.
I finally learned that it wasn't my job to be the boss of our marriage. Karen wasn't the boss of our marriage either. We were supposed to submit to each other. Then, together, we were to submit our marriage to God.
As a result, today there's not one decision in our marriage on which we don't come to complete agreement. Why? Because for many years, we've followed the same process when it comes to decision-making. We talk about it. We pray about it. We seek God's will.
When we discover His will, we don't have to convince each other of anything. We don't dominate or bully each other to get our way. There's no stubborn refusal to give in. We just follow the direction God is leading us.
God's will is perfect. It will guide you into your promised land a hundred percent of the time. Humans have limited wisdom and limited perspective, but God has literally been around forever. He knows exactly the right decisions for us to make, and if we'll trust Him, we'll always make the perfect decision.
When you seek God's will together, the husband doesn't lose. The wife doesn't lose. Both of you gain because when you find God's will, you also find His blessing and His peace.
Who's the boss of your marriage? Making Him the Head of your marriage is an essential step toward becoming one heart.
Founder & CEO of Marriage Today
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