Marriage is hard. It’s not impossible, and it’s definitely worthy of fighting for, but marriage really is a fight. It’s a fight against our own will, against our spouse’s idiosyncrasies, and against what society expects of us.
The hardest part of marriage is that you realize that your Prince Charming, or your Queen, is a human. A human who burps, says the wrong thing sometimes, and leaves his socks on the floor (in all seriousness, I left my socks on the floor yesterday!). A human who talks too much, nags sometimes, and leaves her hair ties everywhere.
We need to pray for eyes to see our spouses the way that God sees them.
God made man and woman in His image (Genesis 1:27). When God created us and put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He called His creation “very good” (v. 31). In light of that knowledge, doesn’t that make our spouse a little more valuable in our eyes? But instead of focusing on that, we tend to focus on their flaws, slip-ups, and imperfections.
Since the Fall of man, it is true that we are not perfect. We have been stained by sin, and the image of God has been distorted in us. But by the grace of Jesus, and what He did for us on the cross 2,000 years ago, we now wear the righteousness of Christ when we accept Jesus as our Master. Now, when God looks at us, He looks at us with grace. We are no longer marred with sin in His eyes; instead, we are His precious, beloved children.
Are you viewing your spouse with grace, or with judgment? Are you nitpicking his every mistake, or are you choosing to look past his imperfections? Choose today to pray for eyes to see your spouse the way that God sees him.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some Biblical tips to help you pray:
Search your own heart. In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus tells us to remove the plank in our own eyes before we judge the speck in our brother’s eye. Before you say a word about the faults in your spouse, think about your own faults. As I mentioned before, God looks at you with grace. Forgive your spouse as the Lord has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32). When you realize how much God loves you and how much He has forgiven you, it makes it easier to overlook your spouse’s shortcomings.
Make a list of what you love about your spouse. Sometimes, all it takes is a shift in perspective. Your spouse may seem like a loser, but that’s only because you’re focusing on his flaws. Focus on what makes him a winner. Write down a list of things you love about your spouse. Think especially back to why you first married him. Thank God for this person that He has given you, the one who will be doing life with you from now until the day you die.
Surrender your idiosyncrasies to God. Admittedly, I’m a control freak, and I often want to fix everything about my spouse (truthfully, there isn’t much to fix!). But I’ve realized in the twenty-six months we’ve been married that I can’t fix him, nor can I control him. What I can control is how I respond to his shortcomings. If I find some flaws more difficult to overlook than others, I need to let them go and surrender them to God. You can tell God how you feel about your spouse, but ultimately, you need to get to a place where you put the issue in God’s hands.
Choose grace for your spouse. Grace is a choice, and it’s a choice more easily made when the God of grace is with you. In light of all that we have discussed, choose to have grace-colored glasses when you look at your spouse. You’ll find that whatever bothered you about him is no longer as apparent.