Do you ever notice young couples on a date? Not only are they often overly affectionate, they are also quite chatty. They might be talking about…
No marriage is perfect. At least none that I’ve heard of. Actually, I’m quite confident no marriage has ever been perfect because there’s never been 2 sinless people. And sin, as you know, invites any number of marital issues.
But when it comes to your marriage, do you ever think, “I wish we didn’t have this issue in our marriage”? Or “Boy would it be easier if we saw eye to eye on more things”? Or, “If only our struggles were more like that marriage — they seem to have an easier time with their relationship”?
Well, I’m here to tell you that their marriage is not that much different from yours. I guess in one sense it might be totally different— they have different lives, different personalities, different trials, different sin issues. But in another sense, we all have the same big issue that effects our marriages to one degree or another — the same “marital kryptonite” if you will.
Kryptonite, you might recall, is the powerful weakener in superman stories. Regardless of how strong Superman was, the presence of this crystal-like substance would sap his strength.
And its my conjecture that the kryptonite that weakens every marriage is selfishness.
There may be other issues that come into play, but selfishness has got to be the #1 marriage weakener.
Even if the 2 godliest people are married, they are going to have different preferences, and unless they are both 100% selfless with their preferences, even they will have issues to work through.
So the fact that you and your husband (and me and mine) have issues, shouldn’t be all that surprising. We are not the most godly people that ever existed; nor are we 100% selfless. Therefore, we should expect to have struggles, difficulties, and disagreements because we are not yet immune to our kryptonite.
But There’s Hope
I know what you’re thinking… “Great, we know we are weak, what good will that do?!”
Well, I think it might help.
First, admitting our common weakness should keep us from becoming discouraged or discontent with marital problems. Because the reality is, every marriage is bound to have them. Even if you were married to someone else, you’d still have problems because your selfishness would simply manifest itself in different ways.
Second, recognizing our selfishness helps us narrow down how to become a better wife. Though marriage conflicts seem so complicated, we often have a simple choice: we can be selfish or we can put our spouse first. This clarity may help us stop making excuses for our wrong choices.
Third, when we know our weakness, we can catch ourselves before responding wrongly. We’ll stop being blindsided by our own selfishness. In other words, being aware of our tendency to put ourself first will help us reconsider our actions before running headlong into sin.We should stop being blindsided by our own selfishness. Click To Tweet
Trading Weakness for Strength
The best part of admitting that we, like superman, have weakness, is we can more quickly reach for the strength God makes available.
We read of this strength in 2 Corinthians 12. The Apostle Paul has a weakness that he begs God to remove! Granted, Paul’s weakness wasn’t sin like our selfishness is (likely it was some physical ailment). Nevertheless, the principle of God’s available strength is applicable.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:8–10.
Unlike Paul, we can’t gladly boast in our sinful weakness (like he can of his physical weakness), but we can boast in the power of Christ that helps us overcome sin. The realization that we are so selfish should make us sprint to God to get the strength we need. When we admit it’s hard to love our husbands sacrificially, we remember that we should ask God for help. And help he will.
That’s when our marital kryptonite can lose it’s power–When we stop letting selfishness win, and we ask God to help us be selfless and sacrificial. It’s a simple choice –it’s not easy–but with God’s strength it’s doable. And what a difference it will make in our marriages!