19 March 2015 ~ 1 Comment

9 Ways I Struggle to Keep God at the Center of My Marriage

HandsDo you ever struggle to keep God at the center of your marriage?

I know I do. I love God and always want to keep Him at the center of my marriage and everything I do.

But as good as my intentions are, the reality is that I often push God aside. Not intentionally, but as a result of letting other things distract me from what is really important.

And the Bible promises us that God will take care of those who put Him first. The more I make my marriage about God instead of myself, the more successful my marriage will be.

So here is a list of 9 key things I struggle with, but will be focusing on improving to keep God at the center of my marriage.

1. Being Intentional

As humans, we have the natural tendency to slip into passivity and complacency. There are many reasons for this, but I think the biggest reason is because Satan wants to keep us locked in inaction. He doesn’t want us living out God’s purpose for our lives, so he throws distractions at us to keep us off track and off balance.

Making the intentional decision to pursue God and his purpose for me is the only way to stop myself from slipping into passivity. It’s a daily decision that I have to make to live for God.

2. Reducing Distractions

One of the tools Satan uses is to surround us with distractions. One of my biggest distractors is my smartphone. I see an email so I open it. Or I get a text message, or see a notification on Facebook. But mostly, I like to play games on my phone which become a huge time-suck.

Even good things can be a distraction. Work, church, ministry, spending time with my family, and the day to day busyness of life can all distract me from pursuing God. If I’m not careful, the whole day can slip before I know it.

3. Pursuing My Purpose

We were all saved for a purpose. Part of that purpose is to glorify God and to point others to Christ. There is more to it than that, but that is part of the purpose for every Christian on this planet.

As a husband and father, this means helping my wife and children embrace their purpose as well. It is my responsibility to disciple and train my children, to point them to Christ and help them know their purpose.

The best way for me to do that is to model it for them. To let God and the Bible become a normal part of my life and conversation.

4. Reading the Bible

Reading the Bible shouldn’t be so hard. After all, God created the human heart. He know’s what’s best for me, and lays out His plan in the Bible. Living by the words in this Book are the key to living a successful Christian life. And to live by it, I have to read it.

But I often let other things take priority over reading the Bible. So I will be focusing on getting better at this.

5. Praying Together

Prayer is a simple way to keep God at the center of our marriage, while also building deeper intimacy between me and my wife. Praying together can be awkward and uncomfortable, but it’s amazing how much we can grow through it.

But sometimes the awkwardness of it keeps me from pursuing prayer with my wife. I mean, pouring my heart out to God with my wife listening? Talk about vulnerability!

And of course, vulnerability is one of the keys to intimacy in marriage. So I guess I need to man up and open up a bit more.

6. Worship Together

It’s been awhile since we’ve done this, but one thing we’ve done is to  pull up some worship music on a phone and sing or listen silently together. It’s a great way to connect with God and each other. We used to do this in bed before going to sleep, but now we have a baby in the room that we don’t want to wake up. And it can be a little awkward, like prayer. So it’s slipped out of our practice.

I’d like to start doing this again. Maybe a change of location is in order.

7. Get involved in Church Together

My wife and I make church attendance a priority. The Bible talks about the importance of being in relationship with other believers for strength, encouragement, and fellowship. We also go to a weekly small group meeting, which helps us develop deeper friendships with the members of the group. Our church is big, so developing relationships just by going on Sundays would be difficult if not impossible.

The part I struggle with is building friendships with the other men in the small group. I’m shy and don’t like putting myself out there too much, especially since we’re fairly new to the group. But I know that isolating myself from other believers will hold me back, so I try to overcome my shyness.

8. Serving Together

Another powerful way to keep God at the center of your marriage is to serve together. Sometimes this can be as simple as making a meal for a sick friend, or inviting people into your home to build deeper friendships. Or it can be more complex like serving meals at a homeless shelter or going on a missionary trip.

We haven’t done much serving together. Mostly because of busyness and distractions, and having a young family. But often these are just excuses. Active, compassionate love is one of the characteristics of the Christian life, so I will be making an effort to improve in this area.

This is also a great way to model the Christian life for our children.

9. Serving My Spouse Generously

As important as serving others is, I have to remember to serve my wife as well. Some people get so caught up in serving others that they neglect the needs of their spouse. The area I struggle with is serving my wife by leading her in prayer and Bible study, so I will be working on that.

So there you have it. Even as a Christian marriage blogger, I still struggle with keeping God at the center of my marriage. And that’s OK. God doesn’t expect perfection. As long as I do my best to align my life with His purpose and grow in these areas, we’ll be OK. I want to be happy with where I am without being complacent.

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One Response to “9 Ways I Struggle to Keep God at the Center of My Marriage”

  1. anna 18 June 2015 at 12:32 pm Permalink

    Great article. I like your honesty but I honestly most men no longer strive to be better husbands, they become so complacent.

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