One of the best and most important parts of marriages can often feel like the very worst. In marriage, all our "ugly" comes out. Self-centeredness. Bitterness. Unkind words. Uncharitable attitudes. Manipulation. Anger. This list could go on and on.
Marriage, by design, is a relationship of such intimacy that our sin nature inevitably reveals itself, both to our spouses and to ourselves. "What marriage has done for me is hold up a mirror to my sin," writes Gary Thomas in Sacred Marriage. "It forces me to face myself honestly and consider my character flaws, selfishness, and anti-Christian attitudes, encouraging me to be sanctified and cleansed and to grow in godliness."
Those unhappy moments when we're forced to face our own self-centeredness and sin can actually be a gift to us as God invites us to grow and change. Thomas goes on to suggest: "View marriage as an entryway into sanctification—as a relationship that will reveal your sinful behaviors and attitudes and give you the opportunity to address them before the Lord … [Marriage is] a piercing spiritual mirror, designed for our sanctification and growth in holiness."
Look in a mirror and think about how your marriage has been a "piercing spiritual mirror" in your life during the past few days or weeks. What has your marriage revealed to you about yourself? About areas in which you need to grow in character and Christlikeness? About flaws, failings, and sins in your life that perhaps only your husband know and see?
For Further StudyDownloadable resources to go deeper
- Carolyn Custis James: What It Means to Be a Woman in MinistryeBook Format Available! Author and speaker Carolyn Custis James offers leadership insights for women.