The Bible makes it clear that God loves and wants to bless the family. After all, the family is the order that God established for humanity. Yet, from its very inception in the Garden of Eden, Satan has tried to destroy it.
Obsession with self
One way Satan has tried to wreck God’s family ideal is through our selfish desires. This is especially evident in our world today. We are encouraged to abandon our commitments and responsibilities in order to find ourselves.
We are told to give to a certain cause so that we can feel good about ourselves. We are taught that we need to have a healthy self-esteem. Concepts like sacrifice, selflessness, and keeping one’s commitment are rarely heard of today. Not surprisingly, Paul lists radical self-centeredness and self-indulgence first among the traits of people living in the Last Days in 2 Timothy 3:2.
We often carry this me-first mentality into our marriages. We say things like, “I will marry this person for what they will do for me.” Or we go into marriage thinking that it will make us happy and bring us fulfillment.
A good marriage is not based so much on finding the right person as it is on being the right person.
A different standard
As Christians, we must abandon this worldly and destructive type of thinking. God has called us to a different standard—a higher level of living. He has called us to a new way of thinking and behaving.
We cannot think as this world thinks or act as it acts.
“Live a life worthy of the calling you have received. . .and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and truth” (Ephesians 4:1, 24 NIV).
“Come out from among them and be separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17).
“Do not be conformed to this world” (Romans 12:1).
If we want our marriages to not only survive, but flourish, we must get back to God’s original design for marriage.
We must put obedience to God and the needs of our spouse above our own.
“[Be] like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Philippians 2:2–3).
If every married couple did that alone, our homes would be transformed overnight! Obviously, there are certain obstacles or problems we must face in the marriage relationship if we are to reach that point. The main problem goes clear back to the Garden of Eden.