Your marriage can succeed. Regardless of how much you are struggling or how fearful you may be, you can make it in marriage.
God made marriage. God also made you for marriage, and He never makes anything to fail.
You might say, “Well, Jimmy, then why are so many people failing in their marriages?” It’s because they’re not doing it God’s way.
There are several issues at stake here, but one of the most significant is that people get married and start to depend on their spouse to meet their deepest needs. But we really need to be depending on Jesus to meet those needs.
All of us long for acceptance. We want someone who will love us regardless of how our weight fluctuates or how bright our teeth are. We want to be accepted without having to perform for it. But unfortunately, people are conditional. We worry that if they knew everything about us, they’d no longer like us.
The love of Jesus is unconditional. It has no strings attached. He says, “I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.” He accepts us without hesitation.
Another need is identity. Sometimes we rely on marriage to tell us who we are. But the Bible says Jesus stitched us together in our mother’s womb. He created us. He knows us to our very core. We discover who we truly are not from a marriage relationship, but from a relationship with Him.
A third basic need is security. We want to feel safe. We want to find someone with whom we can relax and be ourselves and find refuge. A healthy marriage relationship can and should provide this, but again, people will let us down. We’re fallen creatures. We sin. We’ll never find true security in a person.
But we can find that security in God. He can protect us from anything and anyone. His love for us is unshakeable and His salvation is eternal.
Finally, we all long for purpose. Some people live in pursuit of power or love or money or popularity. But at the core of those things is purpose—they are looking for something that will fulfill them.
In Jesus, we find an eternal purpose. When you live for Jesus Christ, you’ll always have a reason to get up the next day. Why? Because your purpose is not tied to yourself. It’s not tied to something that can be lost like money. It’s not tied to something as fleeting as popularity. It’s tied to eternity and the Kingdom of God.
In psychology, the principle of transference describes when a person redirects feelings and desires from one object to another. When we try to find acceptance, identity, security and purpose from a spouse rather than from God, that’s transference. It will always result in disappointment.
Transference ruins marriages because people fail. But God’s love never fails. Only He can meet your deepest needs. And when your find your needs met in Him—when your personal spiritual health improves—your marriage will improve, too.
Jimmy Evans // Marriage Today