The view from your house can add tremendous personal and financial value. Therefore, it may be necessary to add a window or glass doors to accentuate the view of a lake, lawn, or even a wooded area. Also, you may need to add landscaping or a water feature in order to create that view. The idea for this lesson came from our recent family vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains where we enjoyed an amazing view from our cabin.
It is also important to create a view in your marriage. This may require you to make some changes to improve the view or add some features that enhance that view. Today, we will look at how you can enjoy the view in your marriage.
As a disclaimer, it goes without saying that I take the side of the Bible in the modern so called marriage debate, that is the principle that is repeated throughout the Bible, that marriage is meant to be between one man and one woman for life.
1. Understand that All Things Are a Matter of Perspective
Our cabin was high up and on a steep grade, so when you looked down, the road and the cars looked like tiny matchbox cars. There were even some heavy equipment nearby that from our view, looked tiny. Also, there was a fairly large hotel in the distance that looked unbelievably minuscule.
Life and marriage are similar to this in that there are different ways of looking at things. You can discover different perspectives on what you are going through. This can help you better understand what you are experiencing.
Imagine your life from God’s perspective
The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.Psalm 33:13
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:Isaiah 46: 9-10
God looks down at our lives and sees things from an eternal perspective. He sees the end from the beginning (see Isaiah 46: 9-10). From His perspective He can see not only what has happened, but what will happen. At our rented cabin, one of my daughters would stand out on the balcony, waiting for the moment when her grandparents were turning into the entrance road. Even though her grandparents could only see what was right in front of them, she was able to see where the were going from her perspective.
God can see what we cannot see. Therefore, you can trust Him to direct your life because He knows what is going on! Today, we are bombarded with influences, but He is the best influence for you and your marriage.
Having a deeper love and relationship with Him will deepen the love that you have for your spouse, because He becomes a constant in your relationship. When all the blame is passed around, when all the the finger pointing is done, there is the stark, jolting truth that your relationship with God is the real problem in your marriage.
This week’s challenge is to pray with or for your spouse everyday this week. That is seven prayers with your spouse in seven days. You may find this challenge particularly hard, because God is oftentimes left out of the marriage relationship.
The following is a suggested pattern for praying together as a couple, or alone if your spouse is not available or unwilling to participate. These are based on the principles of love from I Corinthians 13: 4-7:
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.I Corinthians 13: 4-7
- Day 1- Pray for longsuffering
- Day 2- Pray for kindness
- Day 3- Pray for generosity
- Day 4- Pray for humility
- Day 5- Pray for selflessness
- Day 6- Pray for calmness
- Day 7- Pray for honesty
Look out the windows of your marriage and enjoy the view from God’s perspective.
See Your marriage from Your Spouse’s perspective
There are two sides to every coin, and loving each other is all about seeing both sides. Think about how you feel about your marriage, then stop and think about how your spouse may be feeling about your marriage. To think that your spouse may be unhappy about something in your marriage, can be a life-changing event.
Sometimes you can get so wrapped up in your own self-pity and loathing, that you completely forget that marriage is ultimately an amazing partnership. Two lives becoming one, means that the one life becomes lost in the other’s. Real love means that you become so engrossed in meeting the needs of another that you lose sight of your own.
What makes a marriage successful?
With all the negative statistics, we have a tendency to think that just staying together is the criteria, but that is not really the right measurement. The successful marriage is composed of two people who remain so passionately in love, that only death can separate them.
The modern woman leaves a man because she does not need him, she can have her own career and ambitions without the nuisance of a needy man.
The modern man leaves a woman because he has a right to be happy, life is too short to not get what you want out of it.
The godly couple stays together because they have made themselves completely vulnerable and dependent on each other- to experience a love that gives instead of gets.
Create some new views in your marriage by putting up a large window to see life from your spouse’s point of view.
2. Accept that Marriage Is a Journey through Life
Building a great marriage requires you to constantly add things to the landscaping- to change and adapt to changes in your life and in your marriage. You are not the same person that you were on your wedding day. If you doubt this, take a long look at your wedding pictures and then take long look in the mirror. Chances are you are not the same size, weight, and shape that you were then. This is just an obvious of example of how we all change over time, and this change requires you to adapt to those changes in your marriage.
Being married is not just an event or a state of being, but a life’s journey filled with twists, turns, and abrupt changes. Simply put, marriage is a journey through life’s seasons. It is through these seasons that love is tested and strengthened.
Love should be the constant
The one thing that can be constant through the changes in the journey of your marriage, is the love that you have for each other. In loving, and seeking to please one another in the changes of life, you build a love that weather the storms of life.
There is irony in the fact that hardships in marriage cause them to fall apart. For instance, if your finances are failing, your marriage should not, it often does. Remember your honeymoon, when you could have lived on love. As long as you had each other, nothing else mattered. Somehow, you lose sight of that and when external things fall apart, so does your marriage.
It is therefore, important to remember just how valuable your love is. If everything in your life falls apart, you have the most important thing- each other. It was the reason you tied the knot in the beginning, because that knot meant that you would be with the person that you could love through better or worse.
Your commitment is what makes the marriage covenant unique
What makes marriage so special is that you have this incredible commitment to one another. When you stood before each other and God, held hands, and said your vows it was the start of a commitment to love each other through all the ups and downs of life (there are plenty of them by the way).
This is the part of marriage that so vividly identifies with the story of the Gospel. To have a love that stays faithful when your spouse does not is to show the faithfulness of the love Christ even when it is not appreciated or accepted by mankind. This means that you stay together and love even when it is not convenient for you to do so.
Throughout the journey of marriage and all its changes, to stay faithful in your commitment to love draws an unmistakable picture of His love and commitment in redemption. Everyday of your marriage, you make the choice to love your spouse, and it is in this choice that the power of real love is revealed. When you love your wife when she loses her Barbie figure, and when you love your husband when he forgets how to be romantic, you find the joy of loving in selfless way.
Believe in each other
One of the most amazing things about being a christian is experiencing the faith that Jesus has in you. He believes in me so much that holds an unshakable commitment to me. In one of the most powerful verses in the Bible, God illustrates this:
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?Romans 8: 31
You read that right, God is for YOU. He is unwavering in His commitment in YOU. It is not some abstract thought of God, but a specific personal belief in your value as person. God is for YOU. He believes in you. He is set on His commitment to your benefit. This is a powerful and life changing principle, that the Gospel that was planned before the worlds were shaped, is meant for the tiny insignificant spec that is your life.
Moreover, you can change your marriage by believing in your spouse despite of all their faults and failures. In fact, marriage also asks of your spouse to believe in your despite of all your faults and failures. There is an incredible power in believing in your spouse, sometimes, it just takes someone believing in you to prompt you to be more and do more. Step out on limb, make yourself completely vulnerable to your spouse and believe in them!
3. Recognize the Power of Decisions
When fixing up a house adding those windows, or that glass door, or even changing the landscape to improve the view takes decisions on your part. Also, by making decisions to change the views from your marriage requires you to take make choices. They may be small choices every day, or larger life changing ones.
Enjoy the moment
Make the decision to live each day with your spouse in the moments of marriage. Live in the moment that your are in right now, because it will soon be gone and you can’t get it back. When you rob yourself of moments by arguing, sulking, or neglecting, that moment is lost forever.
Stop and think about the fact that you are, in this moment, with the one person in this world that you love and that has made the commitment to love you for life. It is in these moments, just like this one, that memories are carved into your brain that can build into an entire lifetime of love.
The words that you say, the tones that you use, and the choices that you make in the little moments that your have together are what makes your marriage special. When you are driving down the road, and you hold and a glance at each other, it is in that moment that you can live in. When you are sitting on the love seat and are just together, it is a moment that you chose to create. Make the little decisions to live in the moments, and the big picture of your marriage will come into focus.
It is not about the problems or the things that you can’t see or experience right now, it is about the love that God has given you to enjoy right now, in this moment. It those few minutes or even seconds when you have the chance to connect, block out everything else, put life on hold, hit the pause button, and set your life on slow motion. You can’t get those seconds back, the clock keeps turning around.
Live in the light of eternity
This life will be over soon. It ends for everyone, and all those choices that you had to make, are gone. It is what you do in this life, that will measure the joy and reward in the next. In marriage, God has given you the opportunity to give yourself away and earn rewards in Heaven. It is the marriage covenant that gives you a person to love and practice the principles of Scripture everyday. It is the ultimate in the joy in the moments, with the reward of the joys of eternity.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.Matthew 6: 19-21
Live in the moments in the light of eternity
How you can enjoy the view from your marriage
- Understand that all Things are a Matter of Perspective
- Accept that Marriage is a Journey through Life
- Recognize the Power of Decisions