I love writing for StartMarriageRight.com. The tagline for SMR, as you know, is “Enjoy the Wedding; Love the Marriage!” We realize at SMR that far too many men and women see marriage as the goal, but only prepare for the wedding itself or perhaps the first year or so of marriage. They cover topics like who will take out the trash when they live together, will they buy a house or rent, when will they begin trying to have children (if at all). But most of the time, brides-to-be especially focus the majority of their time, energy, and resources on the Big Day. This is such a huge and unfortunate mistake to make.
To be a Christ-Centered person means to recognize that Jesus was never meant to simply be a part of my life; Jesus means to be my life. (See Colossians 3:4) Allowing Christ to be the focus and filter by which we live our lives, learning more and more what it looks like to allow HIM to live His life through us, positions us to experience victory in life regardless of what the circumstances of life may present to us. It frees us to dream big without holding onto any self-generated agenda for our lives. It frees us to follow Christ with our whole hearts.
We make terrible gods. Other people, regardless of how wonderful they may be, also make terrible gods. I will always, always, always fail at what I was not created or designed to do—and so will a spouse—and so will you.
When someone chooses a source and chooses wrongly, you can always tell because they will eventually stop enjoying it.
I don’t want you to stop enjoying your life or your future (or present) marriage. I don’t want you to fix your source on the wrong thing. Take a look at what Scripture says about these wrong sources:
My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
Jeremiah 2:13 NIV
Notice that God wasn’t correcting His people for being thirsty (having needs or desires) but for turning away from Him to meet those needs by creating their own ways to meet them…ways that didn’t even work well!
- How have you tried to meet God-given needs or desires in your own ways? What was the result?
Giving our Heavenly Father access to all the parts of our lives may very well reveal that we have built our life foundation using the wrong materials; that we may have allowed ourselves to worship the idea of marriage rather than the God who designed it; and that we may be going to the wrong source to have our deepest needs met. This may be a bit uncomfortable to do. But I can promise you this: if you’ll take the honest look, and if you’ll allow God access and freedom to work in your life, you will never, ever regret it! Your life and your marriage will be stronger than you can even begin to imagine right now!
I tell Stephen often, “I never knew it could be this way.” I had never experienced or even observed a marriage like the one I get to enjoy with my best friend. I want this for you—and even more than I want it for you, your Heavenly Father wants it for you!
- Have you realized you have been Christ-Centered in life or that you’ve been wedding-focused? Somewhere in between, perhaps?
- What changes do you sense you need to make to allow Christ to not only be a part of your life, but to be your life?
Excerpt from Marry Smart!—a book Shelley is working on to help women, in particular, prepare and plan for a great marriage.
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