Until recently, marriage has been seen as a bedrock of family and society; considered vital for raising healthy children and building strong communities. How can shifting our focus, help to build a strong, Christ-centered marriage?
Most often, it is small issues that build-up and lead to a broken marriage.
“It’s the day to day unmet expectations; it’s those probing things that have been left unattended for years and it creates angst. It’s Facebook and social media…it connects us to past friends, lovers, boyfriends or girlfriends, and all of the sudden it’s a perfect storm for a marriage to not succeed.”
Even though it’s normal to recognize our God-given desires, we are reminded that our life in marriage is not about us.
“I think my marriage is a more about my calling. I think my marriage is more about what God wants for me, and the legacy He wants to leave behind with me and my wife together.”
Matt mentions that so many times couples share their own selfish desires in the marriage, before considering their spouse’s desires, or asking God what He desires for them in marriage.
“What I see often is that people come into counseling saying, ‘I want to be happy. I want to be served; it’s about me and what I want.’ And there’s an element of truth to that. Certainly, I want you to be happy, but more so than you being happy and your spouse be happy, I want you to be in God’s complete perfect will. I want God’s calling to reign in your life.”
In order to build a strong foundation, we need to completely shift our focus and rearrange our priorities.
“It’s a shift in the shift of focus; it’s a shift of priority. It’s like my priority now is more of what God wants for us, than it is about what ‘I want for me.’
“The priority of staying in a marriage trickles down greatly. Every parent, every married couple’s children are going to face difficulties in their marriages. I’ll say to those parents the same thing that I thought as a child: When I went through some tough times in my marriage the first thing that I thought of is, ‘What would my dad do?’ I don’t know if we realize that’s how strong of an impact our parents have on us.
Shifting our priorities and staying in a marriage because we know it’s God’s calling on our lives as a couple can make generational impacts, far beyond our reach.
“When couples get through their dark moments, in their valleys, and they forgive and they repent; they show their children the power of forgiving and repenting, then their children are then going to learn how to do it in their futures and their lives. It has a tremendous impact on the generations, beyond just your marriage.”