I recently started a fantastic new book titled You Are What You Love. It’s not a book about marriage exactly, but it’s definitely worth checking out.
There’s a powerful story the author shares about a ship captain in 1914 whose boat collided with another vessel. During the trial, the prosecutor uncovered the captain was using a compass that deviated from true north by two degrees. Initially, a deviation of two degrees wasn’t much, but over enough distance the boat steered out of its set path, into another boat, and ultimately killed 41 people.
- – tell a small lie to avoid embarrassment
- – hold on to a slight resentment
- – get distracted by busyness and not give someone the quality time they need
In your average friendship this might not be a big deal, but these small deviations from “true north” in a marriage can turn into disasters. A “harmless” flirtation can turn into an affair. A minor resentment can turn into a relational rift. A small lie can turn into a pattern of dishonesty. A lack of quality time can turn an intimate relationship into cohabiting strangers.
Because marriages are “’til death do us part” we have to be laser focused on God’s “true north.” Fortunately God has given us the Bible as a recalibration tool (and so much more!). Below are a few verses God gives us to help recalibrate our marriage. Set a time to read over these with your spouse. Pray together for God to give you insight, humility and grace for each other, and then discuss these passages.
Sure, this could be an awkward or exhausting conversation to have, but how much better would it be to make a small recalibration now, to avoid a shipwreck down the road?
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (Philippians 4:6)
Q. What is one source of worry in your marriage? Do you bring it to God together?
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
Q. This passage says both sides of a marriage should submit to each other: what does this mean in your marriage? Does your marriage have a spirit of mutual submission?
“Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
Q. Is there any lingering lack of forgiveness in your marriage? Any bitterness? What do you need to forgive?
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)
Q. Are there any areas in your marriage where instead of becoming “one flesh”
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure (Hebrews 13:4)
Q. How is the sexual purity of your relationship? Are you working at improving your sexual attraction and intimacy with each other?
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Q. Is money a source of tension in your marriage? How well are you doing at together asking God to give guidance and provide?