Published on April 9th, 2018 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
FOCUSING ON CHRIST INSTEAD OF OURSELVES
by Taffi Dollar
Our mindset colors everything we do and how we do it. If we focus on the positive, chances are that our experience will be good, but if we focus on the negative, we’re more likely to encounter problems and setbacks. This correlation carries over to the marriage relationship. Choosing to put Christ, instead of ourselves, in the center allows Him to bless our families and make our unions happy and successful.
A marriage centered on our own efforts is more likely to have issues that strain the relationship. Lack and insufficiency can affect the quality of the relationship, but this is not God’s will for us. Jesus’ first miracle happened when He attended a wedding that lacked enough wine to go around, but lack turned into abundance when He turned water into wine (John 2:1-10). Whatever we lack in our relationships, whether it’s peace, joy, or biblical truths about marriage, will surely turn into abundance when Jesus is present.
Marriages based on anything less than Christ are at risk of conflict, strife, and spiritual forces intent on destroying the relationship. This is because most people tend to focus on the other partner in the marriage, instead of on Jesus. We all have flaws and shortcomings, and depending on someone else instead of Jesus to complete us opens us up to disappointment and distress. Jesus went to the cross and died for us to have successful marriages, and focusing on Him changes our whole perspective. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
Marriages crumble and fail because of a lack of understanding of God’s Word in this area. The world’s point of view has man dominating woman, and condones an unequal relationship between husband and wife. Most people don’t know anything else, because they’re unaware of what God says. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself” (Ephesians 5:21, 22, 25, 28). Submission is a two-way street, and relationships built on biblical equality have a much higher success rate.
God wants to breathe new life into tired, dying relationships. We may have the best of intentions while trying to force our marriage to work, but this can be like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. Even when it seems like we’ve tried everything but there’s no way to salvage the relationship, He’s always willing and able to make a way. “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19).
Families are important to God, and God wants to bless every family member. He can do so when we focus on Jesus instead of ourselves. “May the Lord richly bless both you and your children. May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 115:14, 15, NLT). Our focus can either make or break our relationship.