Ever find yourself frustrated or even embarrassed by your mate’s devotion to God?
Or maybe it’s your own spiritual fervor that your mate feels bothered and/or intimidated by.
Maybe you both feel like your marriage is faltering, even though you’ve focused intense energy on each other and your family. So it just doesn’t add up as to why you’re not in a better place in your marriage.
Spiritually related issues are some of the most common problems I see in the marriages of those I mentor, counsel and coach. And this “unfair reality and task” in marriage is arguably the most important of them all! (See the other 9 in this series here.)
So what exactly is this unfair task?
It’s the task of putting God as your priority over your spouse and family.
Maybe it seems foolish or even wrong to not make your marriage your number one priority over every other pursuit. You might even feel the pressure from your mate to make him/her your number one priority as well.
Nevertheless, we must keep in mind …
Some things in life are good, while others are definitely better and worthy of being our first priority.
- Sunsets from my window are good, while sunsets gleaming over the pounding waves of the ocean are better!
- Trips to Target or the mall are good, while trips to the Caribbean are better! 😉
- A walk around the block is good, while regular, vigorous exercise is even better!
- Reading a book is good, while reading and studying the “good book” is so much better!
[bctt tweet=”Our focus of God should be higher than all else in life—trumping every other good pursuit we might seek. #Godfirst” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
I recall one such account from the Bible that talks about this issue. One spouse gave 100% of his focus to the Lord, while the other failed miserably to see God as worthy of worship.
Who am I talking about?
King David and his wife Michal.
David had just brought the ark of the Lord into Jerusalem, and was one happy camper about it! But his wife? … Not-so-much!
As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart. —2 Sam. 6:16
Michal “despised” David for worshipping God!
And the poor guy was clueless about this until he walked in the door …
When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!” David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” —2 Sam. 6:20-22
Wow! Michal really blasted David, didn’t she?
Maybe she felt like his “undignified” and exuberant dancing was something her dear old daddy, King Saul, would never have done. More likely, she was not devoted to God—at least not near to the degree that David was.
Then in verse 23, we discover that God dealt very severely with Michals’ lousy attitude.
“And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.” —2 Sam. 6:23
You might not see that as much of a curse. But to the average Jewish woman, this was a fate worse than death! Barrenness carried a huge and horrible stigma, not to mention, creating a barrier in her marriage.
So what do you and I need to do when facing this unfair task and pressure in marriage?
1. Accept that sometimes your devotion to God will divide your marriage.
If you and your spouse are not both pursuing God to the same degree, then you’ve probably experienced this divide. It can be nothing short of frustrating—going far enough to devastate you each and everyday.
However, if you learn to accept this harsh and unfair reality, it will readjust your expectations. Realistic expectations can then help to protect you from growing weary and discouraged in marriage and life.
2. Don’t take it personally when your mate feels jealous of your devotion to God.
Along the same line as number one, it’s important to realize this is your mate’s problem and not yours. Even though it hurts to know your mate is unhappy with your devotion to God, it should not be your job to fix the problem. And it also should not be something you spend a minute feeling guilty about either.
3. Don’t retaliate against your spouse’s divisive stance.
You will surely be tempted to retaliate, if not in actions, in words—just like David seems to have done here. He threw his wife a sarcastic barb right after being on a spiritual high with God. Satan was probably laughing with delight at David’s weakness in this moment of pressure.
[bctt tweet=”David offered a glowing example of devotion to God—all except for this one fatal flaw. #devotedtoGod #messymoments” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
4. Trust God to deal with your mate’s bad attitude.
We need to remember that it is not our job to convict or convince our mates of their wrong choices—period! Sure, we can respectfully discuss our concerns after we’ve bathed the issue in prayer. But the important point is to remember that God is still in control of your mate—no matter how it feels in the moment.
[bctt tweet=”God will bring consequences where they are needed in order to draw your mate to His side. #trustGod #resistfixing” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
Trust this to be true, all the while you …
5. Continue to make God your priority, no matter how fierce the tension is in your marriage.
This one is probably the hardest to strike in the day-to-day. If your mate pressures you to pull away from God, you will surely feel tempted to give up and go with the flow.
Instead, reup your commitment to God through daily quiet times, continual prayer and weekly worship.
You need more of God in your life as you navigate the minefield of temptation—never less!
Finally, keep this over-arching truth and principle in mind, as well as in action …
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. —Col. 3:1-3
Click here to go to Dropbox, where you can download the prayer at the “…” in the upper right corner.
What has gotten in the way of your devotion to God either in the past or currently?
How has this negatively impacted your marriage?
I hope you’ll stop by Crystal Twaddell’s blog where I’m guest posting today on 5 Steps to Bravely Embrace God’s View of Success. In that post, I share openly about my struggles to keep the results of my blogging journey in perspective. Maybe you can relate, and if so, I’d love it if you’d let me know!
Here are some lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me Monday, Literary Musing Mondays, Tea and Word Tuesday, Purposeful Faith, Tell His Story, Recharge Wednesday, Porch Stories Linkup, Break Through Homeschooling Linkup, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Destination Inspiration, Grace Moments Linkup, Tune in Thursday, Heart Encouragement, Moments of Hope, Grace and Truth, Faith and Friends, Blogger Voices Network, Faith on Fire Friday, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday
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