If Your Marriage is Struggling…

Here are three challenging and encouraging Scriptures to reflect upon and to pray through! At Second, we believe that the gospel creates a new community where love and acceptance rule every relationship (John 13:34-35). Also, we believe that only the gospel effectively mobilizes us to resolve our conflict with others (Matthew 5:23-24; 18:15-20).

If your marriage is struggling, I would encourage you to meditate on the three Scriptures below and pray mainly for the Lord to change you so that your life reflects their message. Rather than nagging your spouse, why not use these as a grid to pray for them and ask the Lord to work in them what is pleasing to Him.

Philippians 2: The Message:  1 If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion.

Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness (bitter resentment) and wrath (fierce indignation that boils up and soon subsides again) and anger (agitation of the soul, impulse, desire, any violent emotion, but especially anger) and clamor (verbal brawling) and slander (speech injurious to another’s good name) be put away from you, along with all malice (a vicious disposition of hate, ill-will, desire to injure, wickedness that is not ashamed to break laws). 32 Be kind (chrestos – vulnerability out of a deep security) to one another, tender-hearted (having strong bowels… 🙂 that’s the literal translation in Greek.), forgiving each other (give grace, cancel a debt), just as God in Christ also has forgiven you (canceled your debt of sin through his death on the cross).

Colossians 3:12-14 – So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint (quarrel) against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

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