THE CLEANSING OF MARRIAGE: How Marriage Exposes Our Sin

“One of the best wedding gifts God gave you was a full-length mirror called your spouse.  Had there been a card attached, it would have said, “Here’s to helping you discover what you’re really like!”    — Gary and Betsy Ricucci


What a gift, huh?  We have all been on the receiving end of our spouse pointing something out to us that we weren’t really excited about hearing.  No doubt… we have all been on the giving side of such “wonderful news” as well.   And if I were to guess, rarely have those occasions been award winning experiences for either party!   Funny thing — hardly a one of us would say “we are totally put together” and yet equally as true, we don’t like it when someone makes us aware of what’s still undone.

The reality is we all have blind spots.  Jeremiah 17: 9 NLT says:   “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.  Who really knows how bad it is?”   And in most cases, it is these blind spots – things we don’t see about ourselves – that cause problems in our marriages.   What is God’s remedy for blindness?

Gary Thomas in Sacred Marriage writes:  “What marriage has done for me is hold up a mirror to my sin.  It forces me to face myself honestly and consider my character flaws, selfishness, and anti-Christian attitudes, encouraging me to be sanctified and cleansed and to grow in godliness.”

As we made our covenantal vows before God, each other, and our witnesses – we committed to each other for life.  With that becomes the inevitable reality that we will see and know our spouse and be seen and known by them thru and thru, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  When this happens we have two choices:  decide we don’t like what we see and find another partner OR view the experience as an opportunity for growth.   The former is the world’s way and leads to death.  Proverbs 16: 25 KJV says:  “There is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof is the way of death.”

Choosing to stay and grow is the way of the cross.  Each spouse must first humble themselves before the Lord like David prayed in Psalm 139: 23,23 KJV  “Search me O God and know my heart:  try me, and know my thoughts…and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  In addition to facing ways in which they may have wronged their spouse, they must also make room for the work of God in themselves to give grace, patience in forgiveness to their spouse as well!

Choosing to follow Christ in the face of great frustration and disappointment is never easy…but it is the right thing!  And as Thomas concludes:  “The times that I am happiest and most fulfilled in my marriage are the times when I am intent on drawing meaning and fulfillment from becoming a better husband rather than from  demanding a ‘better’ wife.”

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