It’s not something I’m proud of, or something I talk about often. As a Christian woman it’s downright embarrassing, because I know better.
Going into my marriage I knew it was the most important thing to keep sacred. We even put it in our wedding vows.
Most articles about cheating are about extramarital affairs, suggesting that your gut instincts are right to check his phone or monitor email. I’m talking about cheating your marriage out of something, and it hurts more marriages today than we’d like to admit.
Are you cheating your marriage out of the presence of Jesus?
Jared and I chose to write our own vows and we now have them framed and sitting on our night stands as daily reminders of our commitment to each other:
“I vow to you that I will love the Lord and seek Him as I know my relationship with Him directly affects my relationship with you.”
“I will live daily as a testimony of God’s grace and I will love you in increasing measure as I am transformed into the likeness of Christ.”
There. It. Is.
The time I spend with Jesus, the way I seek Him and am changed by His presence determines how much I include the Lord in my marriage. And we all can tell when I’m cheating.
When my tone is harsh and I’m quick to judge instead of quick to listen.
When by the end of the day I’m zapped of strength, not to mention grace.
When I rely on my husband for my happiness or when our communication seems forced and haltingly difficult. These are typically signs that one—or both—of us is cheating our marriage out of the presence of Jesus.
We may be faithful to each other, but are we faithful to build our relationship like we promised? Does a lack of Jesus limit us to simply tolerate one another in this moment, or are growing more in love? And are we faithful to Him? To the one who brought us together … the only way we can live in perfect unity as imperfect people.
“Jesus said, ‘Moses wrote this command only as a concession to your hardhearted ways. In the original creation, God made male and female to be together. Because of this, a man leaves father and mother, and in marriage he becomes one flesh with a woman—no longer two individuals, but forming a new unity. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.‘” Mark 10:9 MSG
I’m not talking about stepping out or divorcing my husband. But what’s the quality of our connection? It’s so hard to feel connected, unified with Jared, when I’m not strengthening the connection I have with the Lord first. Our marriage is masterfully created and I chip away at its composition by forgetting who forged it.
Here are a few verses I find basically impossible to live out in my marriage when I’m not drawing near to Jesus:
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3 NIV
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 NIV
“We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.” 1 Corinthians 8:1b NIV
(um, like when I know I’m right, totally right, and we have to be stuck here until he knows I’m right.)
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 NIV, or how it says in the MSG “Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame.”
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” Proverbs 31:10 ESV
Becoming Proverbs 31 wife, a modern day Cinderella, without Jesus? Not. Gonna. Happen.
“The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.” 1 Peter 3:1-4 MSG
The #1 sign that I’m cheating my marriage out of something it
needs wants deserves is when I’m robbing myself of my time with God. This isn’t a get-your-act-together post. It’s a call to come to Jesus. So many wounds, insecurities, shortcomings, and sinkholes are overcome when I draw near to my King. He makes all things new.
Not sure how to draw near to Jesus or how to bring Him into your marriage? Contact me, I’d love to help.
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