4 Ways to Get a Clean Slate in Life and Marriage

Clean Slate - This post provides 4 ways to clean the slate in your life and marriage by centering your marriage on Christ. Click to read more! #marriagematters #messymarriage #springcleanyourmarriage #cleanslate #forgiveness #gospelcenteredlife #salvation #marriageprayer #prayer

I don’t know about you, but I’m a workaholic. And that applies to my marriage as well—always finding some way to clean up or spruce up what needs attention. That can be good. But today I want to talk about how doing too much in our own strength can derail us.

Clean Slate - This post provides 4 ways to clean the slate in your life and marriage by centering your marriage on Christ. Click to read more! #marriagematters #messymarriage #springcleanyourmarriage #cleanslate #forgiveness #gospelcenteredlife #salvation #marriageprayer #prayer

After all, spring-cleaning our marriages (my latest series) comes from a very task-oriented place. That’s why it’s important to balance the work we try to do in marriage with “rest.” And the rest I’m talking about doesn’t mean taking it easy and coasting in our marriages.

It’s about finding our way in marriage with Christ at the center.

[bctt tweet=”Only Christ can provide the necessary cleaning and rest that our souls need, which allows us to start over with a clean slate in life and marriage! Yay, God! #messymarriage #startover #cleanslate” username=”BethSteffaniak””]

In order to put Christ at the center, we need to, first of all, receive and rest in His salvation—allowing Him to clean our hearts, then our marriages.

If you’re a believer, please read on! Because this post is for you, especially if you sometimes try to “clean up” your marriage/heart in your own strength. I know this an ongoing challenge for me! Eek!

But this post is also for those of you who’ve never received Christ’s salvation, or aren’t sure if you have.

Before running ahead, I want to clarify what exactly “salvation” means. Especially since, in our culture, it’s easy to assume that you’re a Christian simply because you believe in God.

But let’s look at what James 2:19 says …

“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”

This means we need more than just belief in God in order to be saved.

People sometimes go on to say, “Well, I’m a Christian because my good works outweigh all the bad stuff I’ve done.” I think we can view it this way because in every realm of life, we are evaluated by our performance. All except for in God’s economy …

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”  —Ephesians 2:8-9

There may be those of you who feel as if you are fine without God. If so, then I would ask you, is your marriage fine? You probably wouldn’t be reading here, if you weren’t hitting some messy moments in life and marriage! Right?

Besides, there’s just so much that Christ’s salvation provides for us. And I don’t want you to miss out on a single blessing! So let’s look at …

4 Works that Christ (Alone) Does in the Christ-follower’s Life

1. Christ Provides Cleansing, Rebirth and Renewal

“He [Jesus] saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,”  —Titus 3:5 (clarification mine)

With Jesus as your Savior, you can find the mercy that perhaps your spouse or others are withholding from you—giving you that elusive “clean slate!”

If you’re a believer, lean into that! But if you’re not a believer, lean into that! 😉

The freedom and acceptance I experience in Christ are what encourage me in every confinement and rejection of life and marriage. It will do the same for you!

Salvation also provides the cleansing and renewal that no spring-cleaning self-effort could ever do or provide.

How exactly does Christ’s salvation wash our hearts?

He did this with His perfect, sinless sacrifice on the cross—shedding His blood to purify our sin-stained hearts (hover here: 1 Jn. 1:7, Hebrews 9:14).

  • If you’re a believer, thank God for this costly cleansing.
  • But if you’re not, consider how easy it is to receive this cleansing! *

2. Jesus Forgives Us of Our Sin

When we place our faith in Christ, He forgives us immediately of every sin we will ever commit.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”  —Ephesians 1:7

This is called “positional forgiveness.” Christ-followers truly are rich in spiritual and eternal ways because of this gift and grace from God.

However, every time you and I sin, we also need to seek Christ’s “relational forgiveness.” Even though 1 John 1:9 applies to positional forgiveness, it also represents relational forgiveness …

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

We need this forgiveness because our bond and receptivity to God and others like our mates—are hindered by our sins … At least, until we confess these sins and receive God’s forgiveness.

  • If you’re a Christ-follower, confess your sins and receive God’s purifying forgiveness. There’s nothing like a “clean slate” to refresh and reposition your attitude toward your mate!
  • If you’re not a Christ-follower, Jesus’ forgiveness is just a prayer away! *

3. Jesus’ Sacrifice Paid the Debt and “Death Sentence” of Our Sin

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  —Romans 6:23

This is yet another example of how trying to work for our salvation will never … “work!” That’s because our debt is too great for one, sinful human to pay. But not too costly for one perfect, sinless God-man to redeem!

  • If you’re a believer, thank God for paying and redeeming what you never could afford.
  • But if you’re not a believer, place your faith in Christ’s work on the cross, rather than relying on your own measly efforts.

4. Jesus’ Salvation Provides Rest and Guidance

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” —Matthew 11:28-30

When Jesus said this, He had in mind how two oxen pull a plow—illustrating how He comes alongside the redeemed. So when we receive His salvation, we join forces with Him, as well as learning from Him all along the way. And even though we need to be yoked together with Christ, He’s the one doing the heavy lifting and “plowing.” That is, if we will let Him!

Do you really want to deep clean your heart? Christ is the only One who can do that job!

Are you in desperate need of Christ’s healing of your marriage? Then don’t fall for the lie that you can do this on your own!

Want to connect with your mate in a deeper and more satisfying way? Then let Christ do His work in and through you.

If you’re not a believer, I hope you’ll come to Him for His work of salvation!

Then, we all, as believers, can watch and experience Him saving our marriages every single day moving forward!

[bctt tweet=”Find out how to save your marriage this day and every day moving forward! #cleanslate #marriagematters #SpringCleanYourMarriage ” username=”BethSteffaniak””]

Click on the link for a full-size printable of this Salvation Prayer.” *

Salvation Prayer - This post gives 4 ways to receive Christ's salvation, along with this prayer printable available as a pdf at this link. Click to download yours! #salvation #salvationprayer #gospelcenteredlife #Jesussaves #placefaithinChrist #spiritualrebirth #spiritualcleansing

Click on the link for a full-size printable of Prayer for a Clean Slate in Marriage.”

Prayer for Clean Slate - This post contains a pdf printable for this prayer. Head over at the link to download it for free! #marriageprayer #marriagematters #messymarriage #springcleanyourmarriage #prayer #gospelcenteredmarriage

 


 

What is one way Christ has helped to give you a “clean slate” in your marriage/life?

 

How can I pray for you and your marriage today?

 

If you’ve received Christ because of this post, please let me know about it either in the comments or via my email: messymarriage@gmail.com! I will commit to praying for you and supporting you in any way I can!


I hope you’ve enjoyed my “Spring Clean Your Marriage” series! Click the link to read more posts from a variety of wise and talented bloggers!

 

I also hope you check out my first published Bible study! Click the image below to go directly to Amazon to find out more about it!Ephesians Bible Study - Click the link to head to Amazon to find out more about this powerful Bible study on Ephesians. #Biblestudy #Bible #Bibleverses #Scripture #quiettime #devotional #Godsword #studyscripture

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25 responses to “4 Ways to Get a Clean Slate in Life and Marriage”

  1. I fought the wars in s***hole lands,
    and saw what never should be faced.
    I figure when Jesus takes my hands
    even He’ll feel some distaste.
    I can’t atone, for human eyes,
    the past and all its deeds,
    but evil’s out there, and one tries
    to shatter all its seeds.
    No regrets, for some yet live
    who would otherwise be dead.
    in ways that no saint could forgive,
    of which no more should be said
    In death I won’t hang with Heaven’s vaunted;
    I’ll be with the dogs that no-one wanted.

    Like

    1. This sounds especially dark and discouraging, Andrew! And I don’t agree that if you are saying you’ll be with the dogs no one wanted rather than with Heaven’s vaunted. I think you will be alongside me and every other believer who has placed our faith in Christ–standing with Him in eternity! Perhaps that’s not what you meant by that line. But if it is, I hope you take courage in the fact that Jesus loves you in spite of all of your (and my) distasteful sins. Thank you for pushing through the pain to join me and wax poetic once again! Praying for you, my friend!

      Like

  2. Beth,
    What a beautiful invitation to salvation. Too often, as Christian writers, we assume our audience is believers. How great that you took time to visit the greatest gospel of “cleaning the slate”. I read and prayed your clean slate prayer for marriage. Ii pray that any grudges I hold would be wiped away and replaced with gratitude for what God has blessed me with in my spouse! Since my slate has been wiped clean, can I not do that for my spouse as well?! Great thought provoking post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    Like

    1. Yes, I’ve done this before–talked about this issue and need–Bev. But it’s been a long time ago. And I want to make sure everyone who stops by here hears this message and grapples with it, especially if they are trying to earn God’s favor in their own efforts. There are too many “good people” who have not been challenged with this truth.

      I’m so glad you prayed the second prayer. It’s one I will be praying over my marriage as well. Just today in my quiet time, I was challenged to think about all the ways prayer has helped my marriage–helped save my marriage. There are so many ways God has responded and rewarded my prayers for my marriage. I need to pay more attention to them and thank Him every single day for each gift! Hugs to you, my friend! Wish you lived closer, but at least you live near a place I will visit a LOT! 😉

      Like

  3. We forget (at our own peril) that everything in life is a “spiritual” matter, and comes under the jurisdiction of Christ–who is far better equipped to deal with things anyway!
    Pinned and grateful for your insight!

    Like

    1. So true, Michele! Everything is a spiritual matter. In my quiet time today, Jesus was talking about the invitation God constantly holds out to everyone who will respond. When we don’t respond to this, our entire life remains in peril. Thanks for pinning and commenting, dear friend! Have a great week!

      Like

  4. Thank you for sharing in this post the message everyone hears. You have done your part that we are called to do and shared this special invitation. For those that do not take it, they really do not understand how long eternity lasts. For those who do, well they will have a happier life on earth and live with the future hope Heaven gives. Marriage is hard even for Christians. Keeping God at the center of marriage changes it to something wonderful each day.

    Like

    1. Yes, sometimes it’s not very plain or clear to the good, religious people in our culture and world, Michelle. Agreed about how God enriches our lives and marriages. And a big “Amen!” to marriage being hard for Christians. It often can be harder, since Satan wants to destroy our marriages and testimonies. He doesn’t have to work very hard on those who are lost. 😉 And a final–“YES!” Having God at the center changes everything for the better in our lives and marriages! Thanks for coming by, my newfound friend!

      Like

  5. What a beautiful gospel message!! With marriage being designed by God as a representation of our union with Him, then it absolutely means that it’s so important to keep a clean slate in both our relationship with God and in our marriages! It is all possible in Christ!! Pinned 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you, April! I would never have made it this long in my marriage without the Spirit of God guiding, convicting and helping me. It absolutely has given me that clean slate I’ve needed over and over again! Hugs to you, my friend!

      Like

  6. Love this, Beth. Especially how Christ cleaned us, renewal and rebirth. My husband preached about clean slates yesterday and fresh starts. There’s no better way to start fresh with a clean slate than with Christ. He takes an eraser and wipes the spiritual board in our life completely clean. And this kind of newness and forgiveness we can have in our marriage when Christ is in the center. I pray readers are led here who need the rebirth that only God provides. And it helps all of our marriages! Thank you!

    Like

    1. How cool is that? You know what they say about “great minds!” Lol! And there really is no better way to find a fresh start in our lives, as well as our marriages, Karen. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers! I’m certain they will make a huge difference. Thanks for coming by and encouraging me!

      Like

  7. I had never considered that getting a clean slate with Christ could help me in my marriage. A clean slate with Him can definitely give me a fresh perspective towards my spouse. This will allow me to ensure God is working within me and my husband.

    Like

    1. Oh yes, indeed, Brittany! That’s exactly what–or who–took my messy marriage to a miraculous and marvelous marriage! Without His Spirit working in me because of my salvation, I would likely be divorced. Well, maybe divorcing several men along the way! 😉 I hope you do let Christ do the cleaning of your marriage! He makes all the difference!

      Like

  8. Amen! We do have a clean slate through Jesus salvation & God’s forgiveness in all things in life when we come to Him.
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

    Like

    1. Glad you feel the same way, Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by to encourage me!

      Like

  9. Gosh you are a beautiful writer Beth! Thank you for posting this. Your #1 and #4 have had the biggest impact on me. Since becoming a believer (just a few years ago) I have learnt not to “require” attention and care from my wife, not to be “keep score” and be resentful if I decide I’m giving more than I receive. I look to Christ for renewal and spiritual refreshment. That means I can love my wife better — more attentively and more selflessly. Making contact with the Lord — either through prayer or noticing and thanking Him for His presence in the world around me — helps me find love and refuels me for more challenging times.

    Like

    1. Thank you, David! You bless me with such a claim! Those are exactly the kinds of works I see Jesus doing in and through my life and marriage as well, my friend! He really brings that clean slate we all want. And sometimes we need it over and over in our marriages, if you know what I mean! I’m always so glad to hear how Christ is making a difference in your life, my friend! You’ve really encouraged me! Hugs and prayers!

      Like

  10. A clean slate in life and marriage. Erasing the “score” and even the mistakes.

    This is something I’m learning in to God for hwlp with. Because as much as I want to, I can’t. Not on my own. I try, and it works for a while. Until I get a reminder about that thing. Or that one. (or a glimpse of my own self….)

    But my God is greater
    My God is stronger than any other!

    Like

    1. Yes, Aryn, we so often need to remind ourselves of this very fact. We cannot do it on our own–in life or marriage. Thanks for coming by and joining the discussion! You’ve encouraged me, my friend!

      Like

  11. Beth, how wonderful that Jesus helps us in every area including our relationships. Knowing and walking with Jesus changes everything.

    Like

    1. Hey Debbie! So glad to see you here in my space! And yes, it is so wonderful! I need Him every hour! Hugs to you and so glad to see you hosting every now and then at Patricia’s place!

      Like

  12. Aren’t we blessed! “Do you really want to deep clean your heart? Christ is the only One who can do that job!” I’m so grateful that he can do all the things that we can’t! Thanks, Beth.

    Like

    1. We sure are, Lisa! How cool is it that Jesus can cleanse our hearts as well as our marriages?! Thank you for stopping by and encouraging me, my friend!

      Like

  13. What a beautiful post! My own marriage recently went through a crisis — to the point that we separated — and the Holy Spirit used that time to convict me of my *own* sin rather than focusing on my spouse’s. I was so sure my hubby and his attitudes were the source of all of our issues. I’m amazed and humbled and grateful that the Lord used that time — and redeemed it — by pointing out the planks in my own eyes. Both my marriage and my relationship with the Lord are better than ever.

    And how cool to see salvation explained for unbelievers who find their way here.

    Like

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