Today my guest and newfound friend Kevin Taylor exposes a faulty focus related to worship that keeps God from being on the throne of a husband’s heart. Our lives and marriages—for both husbands and wives—will continue to fail, without making this essential shift! Find out more about Kevin below, including checking out his blog.
When Adam sinned, a massive coup took place inside of him. That sacred throne of man’s heart which was once rightly occupied by the majestic glory of God, now had a new inhabitant; a flawed fallen man; namely oneself.
Self-interest replaced Creator-interest.
Oh, yes, he continued to be a worshipper! But his worship was/is now misplaced. And he was already a husband, which naturally stained his marriage with competition and fault-finding.
When called on account of his rebellious deed, Adam’s self-loving heart poured out vitriolic contempt for both His Creator, and his wife . . .
“The woman that Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” —Gen. 3:12 (KJV)
As men and, therefore, sons of Adam, we were also hard-wired for worship, and we do it incessantly—with that ancient coup which is current in our hearts today.
We have set up ourselves as the false deity to which we pay constant homage. Me, myself, and I, are that unholy trinity, that evil quasi-deity that we faithfully exalt as número uno.
We are on a constant quest to serve self. The default setting is “ME FIRST”, and we drag that into our marriages. This poses a huge problem, because a good spouse is essentially generous.
I do this in my sleep, literally. I can’t count how many times that I have been half-awake/half-asleep and realize that, “I am cold. I need to be covered. Me first.”
Now never mind that my wife sleeps under the same blanket and is probably cold just like me. Without even thinking of what I am doing (due to my comatose state), I yank back those blankets over myself and even roll over, depriving my poor sweetheart of the blanket.
The truth is that we are fallen sons of Adam wedded to fallen daughters of Eve, and even the best of marriages are a glory-war.
I’d like to believe that Hannah and I have a happy marriage. But never in these seven years together has my wife said to me as we lay in bed at night, “Babe, you have been way too self-giving today. You just need to stop.” 😉
The best of us husbands and wives jockey for pole position, and it causes great conflicts.
[bctt tweet=”The best of us husbands and wives jockey for pole position, and it causes great conflicts. @counselingKevin | Find out what to do about it at MM! #fallen | #conflict ” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
- One spouse is cold all the time, and the other wants the fan on in January.
- She wants to watch ice-skating, and he wants to watch an NFL playoff game.
- He’s dead-set on eating Chinese. She wants Italian.
- He’s in the dark basement all alone again. The only light on is the screen as he plays Grand Theft Auto against some guys in New Zealand. So, she’s emotionally connecting with an old boyfriend on Facebook to get back at him.
- A fifth text from work interrupts their anniversary dinner, but he has to get ahead on his quest for that glorious upper-management position.
- She flings the words his way, “Leave me alone. I need me some ‘me’ time.”
- He wants to get in the extra hours to pay for his new bass boat which to her only represents more time with the guys and away from his marriage.
- “We always visit your parents and never see mine.”
There’s another proof that we exalt ourselves. It comes that moment when our spouse might test our self-described holiness by suggesting that we have erred, or that some character flaw in us has come to the surface.
In milliseconds, the uber self-righteous, self-defense mechanism kicks in full throttle. Before you know it, we are pointing out some minute failure of our spouse/accuser that they did a decade ago, and offering a drop-down list of totally awesome things we have done.
Paul Tripp calls this our “inner lawyer.” Solomon says, “all the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes” (Prov. 16:2, KJV).
Simply put, the selfishness that causes so much conflict in marriage, and the resulting call-to-arms, are situations and words purported by misplaced worship.
The truth is that you and I don’t have bad marriages. We are a bad (sinful) people who happen to be married. We are innately self-enamored, with terrible consequences for anyone who dares to demand/need our time, attention, compliments, and challenges us when we do not offer them.
That person is our spouse, our first neighbor, whom God calls us to love as ourselves.
Notice that the greatest commandment in Scripture that God gives to us, with regard toward our fellowman, is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” We must be commanded to sacrifice for others.
What God did not say was: “Love yourself, as you do for others. You are so self-abdicating, and rarely find a moment to please yourself with entertainment, rest, or your favorite meal. So, love yourself as much as you love your spouse.”
What is implicit is that we love ourselves too much, not too little!
There is good news, though. The cure for misplaced worship (idolatry) is properly placed worship.
The Son of God is worthy of worship.
Read Genesis 1-2 and see His glorious creative acts. Then read Revelation 4-5, and get a glimpse of the eternal praise offered justly unto Him in Heaven. You’re welcome in Christ to join that choir! Bow prostrate before Him as you read through the Psalms and give Him glory for His direction (Psalm 23), His protection (Psalm 121), His undying mercies (Psalm 136).
From the fountain of a grateful heart of worship springs the ability to bless and serve your spouse.
This savoring of God’s glory allows you to do well unto that little portion of His creation that he has entrusted you to serve; your husband, your wife.
If you belong to Christ, don’t work on your marriage. The institution isn’t the problem. You’re the problem. Work on you. Work on denying yourself, and following Him, with your spouse as the litmus test of your level of discipleship.
[bctt tweet=”Find out why biblical counselor Kevin says: If you belong to Christ, don’t work on your marriage. @counselingKevin #marriagetroubles” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
If you do not belong to Christ, today would be a wonderful day to lay down your arms, cease your glory-battle against the Lord, and believe on Christ.
His grace can save you from sin, and deliver you to love others, namely your spouse, by the power of His Spirit.
“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” —2 Cor. 5:15 (KJV)
Kevin Taylor is a husband, father to four, missionary in Puebla, Mexico, biblical counselor and blogger at kevintaylorcounseling.com. You can also connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.
Kevin is also offering a free webinar on Covenant Marriage on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 at 7 p.m. (CST) that I’m honored to be a small part of. I’ll be sharing more details about this exciting event as the time draws closer. So stay tuned!
What is one faulty focus you’ve “worshipped” or made primary over God?
What do you need to work on in yourself in order to regain your footing with your spouse and with God?
Here are some other lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me Monday, Kingdom Bloggers, Literary Musing Mondays, Tea and Word Tuesday, Purposeful Faith, Tell His Story, InstaEncouragements Linkup, Recharge Wednesday, Porch Stories Linkup, Welcome Heart, Worth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Destination Inspiration, Tune in Thursday, Heart Encouragement, Grace and Truth, Faith and Friends, Faith on Fire Friday, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday
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