Do you think of your marriage as a “magnificent obsession”?
Hopefully, you’re on the journey toward seeing your relationship in that light. But each of us – at different times in different ways – allows self-interest to tarnish our marriage’s potential.
Selfishness can creep into a relationship from the moment a man and a woman meet, even when they don’t mean for it to. In the initial months of dating, couples pursue a relationship because they like the way they feel when they’re together. That’s normal and to be expected.
The trouble is their expectations for marriage are often quite different from the vows they take. They commit to sacrifice for one another, but deep down newlyweds often mean, “You’re doing a great job of making me feel the way I want to feel. Let’s get hitched, and you keep it up.”
There’s nothing wrong with a relationship making us feel good, of course. But it’s easy to focus on our own well-being no matter the cost to our spouse. An enduring marriage is just the opposite, though. It’s when we’re committed to our spouse’s well-being at any cost to ourselves. True intimacy doesn’t come from taking from our partner; it comes from giving.
Of course, that kind of selflessness doesn’t come naturally; it takes Christ living in and through us. When our spouse fails us, they need us to rise above the happiness we feel we’re being denied and help them move forward. We have to take that opportunity to meet their mistakes with a response that heals.
That kind of sacrificial behavior between a man and a woman is what lifts marriage beyond its earthly bounds to something spiritual. On today and tomorrow’s broadcast, “Drawing Closer to God and Each Other,” we discuss how, when Christ lives in the center of our relationships, our marriages become an act of worship. It’s something our guest, Gary Thomas, calls a “magnificent obsession.”
It’s not that we worship our spouse or our marriage. It’s the idea that when our love for our spouse is connected to something that’s growing, alive, and bountiful – like our worship of God – then our marriage will also be growing, alive, and bountiful.
I hope you’ll join us on your local radio station or find the program online or our free, downloadable mobile phone app.