The Biggest Mistake We Make in Marriage... and Who Can Fix It

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It was a terrible day… and it was barely 5am.

I was exhausted. Baby was up and screaming. She wanted me but didn’t. I wanted to comfort her but didn’t know how. I’m perpetually sleep-deprived. He was at work. I called him (bad idea).

I don’t think you need all the details to imagine how things spiraled down that morning. Words were said… and yelled. Accusations were thrown. Fingers were pointed. Expectations weren’t met. Feelings were hurt.

We make marriage so hard sometimes.

He went to bed (yay nightshifts) and she and I went to church. I was tired, annoyed, angry… you know, all the things you want to feel heading to church on Sunday morning… and I thought about the ways I was  - and that thought made me stop.

Marriage doesn’t exist to make me happy. And it sure isn’t fair of me to expect him to make me happy all the time. Somewhere in the long nights, the hormones, the sleep deprivation, the overtime shifts, the social media, the expectations – I had slowly nudged Christ out of a primary role in my life and marriage and replaced Him with my husband.

My husband is truly an amazing guy. He leads our family well, is an involved dad, a loving husband, and wears all his other hats as well as he can. I really have no room to complain about him. But when I compare a sinful man to a perfect God, even the best husband will fall short.

My husband isn’t God.

And I realized that morning that I was looking for in him what I should be looking only to Jesus to fulfil for me.

I believe one of the biggest mistakes we make in marriage is looking to our husbands to be God to us.

Two Scriptures God has put in front of me to teach me this:

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2 Corinthians 1:20 “For all the promises of God find their yes in him.”

“Him” being Jesus – not my husband. And I would do well to remember that. I can’t expect an imperfect human to perfectly make or keep promises. God’s promises to me are not fulfilled by any man other than Jesus. No one can hear me when I call like Jesus can. No one can be with me 24/7 like Jesus can (although my baby comes in a close second). No one can understand exactly what I’m feeling like Jesus can. Only God can make a promise to me and keep it completely. Only God can give me strength when I’m beyond tired. Only God can give me patience when I’m about to explode. Only God can give me peace when I’m overwhelmed with worry.

But it can be really easy to forget those wonderful truths and exchange them for the lie that my husband can handle God-sized promise making and fulfillment. And believing that has the same effect as chopping a leg off a three-legged stool. The stool missing a leg can’t stand, and a marriage without Jesus can’t stand either. I won’t be satisfied in my marriage if I don’t find satisfaction first in my Savior. I’ll admit, I’m still learning what that actually means. But I think the second Scripture points us in the right direction…

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1 John 4:8 “…God is love.”

There is much more to that section of Scripture, and I encourage you to check it out for yourself. God is love. God. Notice that my name is not in that verse. Neither is my husband’s. Neither is your husband’s. We don’t always get love right, but God does. He has to, because he IS love. Everything he does and says is all in love. I can’t say the same about myself, and as great as my husband is, I can’t say the same about him either. Need proof? Try inserting your name into 1 Corinthians 13 – yes, the traditional wedding Scripture – in place of the word “love”.

____ is patient and kind; ____ does not envy or boast; ____ is not arrogant or rude. ____ does not insist on its own way; ____ is not irritable or resentful; ____ does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. ____ bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ____ never fails.

I don’t make it past the word “patient”, how about you? In an ideal world, yes, we would be all these things for our spouses, but thanks to sin we’ll never be all these things. At least not for very long, and for sure not all at the same time. But God is love. Insert “God” into that verse in place of “love”.

Perfectly. Completely. Wholly. Fully. Totally. Jesus is all the things my husband can’t be for me. Jesus is the very necessary third leg to an otherwise very tippy stool. We need Jesus to be all the things we can’t be for our spouses. We need Jesus to make us even better for each other. We need Him to forgive and pour out His grace on our marriages. And He does – all the time – because He’s in the business of keeping promises and strengthening relationships. We don’t need to look any further than the cross and an empty tomb to know that promise was kept.

I can be satisfied in my marriage when I’m satisfied in my Savior. God help me to find fulfillment in Jesus!

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