Recently, Cailey and I had the privilege of serving on an amazing marriage retreat team. This was our second experience with this retreat at our church. The theme and general concept are a wonderful illustration of what it really means for the man to leave his parents and unite as one with his wife. ‘The Land of Us” takes a concentrated look at a common misconception that many married couples face…that we can simply continue to live our lives the same way we did prior to marriage. For example…
Many of us enter into marriage assuming we are merely bringing our new spouse into our way of life. The problem with this should be obvious….our spouse is thinking the same thing! Thinking we can continue to live the ‘single life’ with a wedding ring on is the biggest lie the enemy can throw at us. Before marriage, we really should be taking an honest look at these four bullet points listed above and ask ourselves, “How do these change when I is replaced with we?”
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. Luke 9:23-24 (NLT)
If we can all agree that following Jesus well is central to a Christian marriage, please allow me to give a personal paraphrase of verse 24 as it pertains to the topic.
If you try to do everything in marriage your own way, your marriage will suffer. But if you are willing to make personal sacrifices for the benefit of your spouse, your marriage will grow strong.
What areas of your marriage really need help? And what might it look like to set your own desires aside in a particular area and ask your spouse their needs? On a very personal level, I will confess this is not easy. Its one thing to have this conversation. But its an entirely different commitment to put it into practice. The blessings, however, are limitless!