6 Things YOU Can Do to Transform Your Marriage
Romans 4:17 “The God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.”
If God can raise a dead person He can raise a dead marriage. He specializes in bringing something dead to life again and bringing something that’s old and stagnant and stale and giving it new life. In a normal makeover, the secret is knowing what to do with what you’ve got. In a marriage makeover God says, “Let me take what you’ve got and make something new and fresh and exciting and fulfilling and wonderful out of it.
How do you make the most of what you’ve got? There are six steps to a marriage makeover.
1. Accept responsibility for my part.
Galatians 6:5 “For we are each responsible for our own conduct.”
You can’t control your spouse’s actions. You can’t control your spouse’s attitudes. You can’t keep your spouse in love with you. You don’t have control over that. But you do have control over your response. The way you change somebody else is realize you can’t change somebody else.
Awesome. Thank you Pastor Jerry. That doesn’t sound like great news.
But, you actually DO have more control than you think. The way you can change the marriage is by changing yourself (stay with me) and that changes the equation. Why, because when YOU are different they HAVE TO relate to you in a new way. So you start on you, not on them and you accept responsibility for your part. You choose to seek God and become more like Jesus, even if your spouse is constantly dropping the ball. You have control over you. That’s good news.
So, what does that mean? Number one it means we stop having a pity party about our marriage. We stop comparing our spouse to somebody else. That is so destructive. It never solves any problems. It only makes matters worse. It can cause a deep root of bitterness in your life. So, we stop complaining about our marriage. The truth is, nobody else can keep you happy.
It’s like with God. You are as close to God as you want to be. And, in turn, you are as happy as you want to be. You want to be happier? Get closer to God. That’s a choice. Nobody is keeping you away from God. The closer to God that you are, the happier you will be, because HE is the source of joy. So, you stop blaming your spouse for your unhappiness. You stop daydreaming. You stop fantasizing about what might have been.
The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. The grass is greener where you water and fertilize it. If we took as much time watering and fertilizing our own relationship instead of wishing and wanting and complaining, the grass would start getting greener.
2. Believe God can change my marriage.
Some of you as you look at your marriage may be feeling a sense of deep hurt about your marriage. Some of you may be feeling a sense of apathy. Some of you may be feeling a deep sense of disappointment about your marriage.
Regardless of how you feel about your marriage, let me tell you one truth. God has not given up on your marriage. God can do what we can’t do, which is bring dead things to life.
Matthew 19:26 “Humanly speaking it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
The real question is right now is, how are you looking at your marriage? From a human perspective? Or are you looking at it from God’s perspective? He can do what we cannot do. God can resurrect a dead marriage. God can resurrect a dead love life. God can resurrect dead finances. God can resurrect dead communication.
He can do what we cannot do. So it begins with you and I believing that He can do that, belief that God can change your marriage.
3. Commit to doing whatever it takes
Galatians 6:9 “Let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
If you ever see somebody who has a great marriage it didn’t come out of luck. It came because they put a lot of effort into that relationship. Great marriages don’t just happen. It is going to take real effort. It takes humility. It takes honesty. It takes unselfishness. It takes the willingness to admit that you’re wrong. It takes the willingness to change. It takes persistence. It takes faith. More than anything it takes time. Great relationships come out of all these things being applied over time.
So put the effort in, the great effort. Pray for the energy to go through the hard work. Pray for the wisdom you will need when knowing how to respond to your spouse. Seek God’s help for the strength, then DO what he says. It’s worth it. A saying I have heard a lot of couples say is, “better at 70.” or 80 or 90. But, better. Do you want your marriage to be better at 70? Do you want to look over at your spouse and think, “We did it. It was hard work, but here we are. It wasn’t painless, but we did it.”
4. Deal with unresolved hurt.
You do that two ways. By asking for forgiveness and by offering forgiveness.
James 5:16 “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
Admit that you’re wrong. Ask forgiveness.
Colossians 3:13 “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
Your marriage will not make it without forgiveness on a daily basis.
5. Enlist support from others.
Don’t face it alone. Enlist support from others. This is important because there’s a lot of places you can find a lack of support. The truth is our culture tends to work against a successful marriage. You can find plenty of places, plenty of people who will say to you, “Just get out. Take the easy road. You need to be happy.” You have got to find some people that will support the strengthening of your relationship. It may be a wise friend. It may be a church counselor. It may be a marriage mentor, a couple you find that has a great marriage that you decide to spend time with so you can learn from them. The Bible has a couple verses about the support and strength that we can find.
Proverbs 24:3 “A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense.”
Proverbs 19:20 “Get all the advice and instruction that you can.”
The point is don’t go through it alone. Enlist support from others to have a successful and great relationship.
6. Focus on trusting Jesus.
You’ve got to get Him at the center of your life and marriage. The easiest thing to do in life is to lose your focus.
Heb. 12:3 “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, who initiates and perfects our faith.”
Marriage is a three-legged stool it takes three to make a marriage work: you, your spouse and God. A two-legged stool is going to fall over. It has no stability. It takes three.
You may need some counseling. You may need to get in a small group. You may need to read some Christian books on marriage. But what you really needs is Christ at the center of your life.