What Are the Biggest Obstacles Christians Face in Marriage?

This week, we kick off a brand new series on marriage, family, and relationships. First up, we’ll look at the first part of Pastor J.D.’s answer to the question: “What Are the Biggest Obstacles Christians Face in Marriage?”

Show Notes:

When I got married, our mentor looked at us and said: To be happy in marriage, J.D., you guys need to remember one thing: Women are a lot like cats; and men are a lot like dogs…Surely there’s more to it than that. And there was. 

Now, as we launch into a series on marriage and family, I want to make clear that I’m not a marriage expert or a parenting expert. 

But, I do want to cover 4  big “myths” of marriage that Veronica and I have encountered, and that I see all the time as a pastor. We’ll cover two this week and two on next week’s podcast.

Myth 1: I married the wrong person 

Our dating was fantastic. We thought we’d found the perfect person. We were like, “We have the same perspective on everything. We never fight, we never argue!”

We more than made up for that the first three years of our marriage.

The truth, of course: is that you always marry the wrong person. 

First of all, you always marry a sinner, and sinners always disappoint. 

One of God’s other purposes in marriage is to teach you to love like he loves—and your love is most Christlike when the person you love is the least worthy.

One other truth, which Tim Keller has pointed out, is that we are actually married to several different people in our lives! So, even if you did marry the perfect person, they change, and so do you! 

The root of this lie comes from the weight on marriage in this culture. 

Maybe you went into marriage thinking that this person would make you happy and complete—to feel important and loved and worthwhile—the one person you could always depend on, who would always understand you, who would always affirm you, and the truth is you’ve been looking for something in somebody that can only be found in God.

The truth is that if you are looking to your spouse to fulfill the role that only God can fill, they will always be the wrong person.

  • Now, I think we should give a few caveats:
    • Do Veronica make each other happy? Yes, of course, but only when we don’t depend on each other for happiness. 
    • Good selection is important.

Myth 2: It’s never going to get better.

The truth is God is doing something in your marriage. You and your spouse are both being sanctified. Looking back, I realize that even though I wouldn’t have said it, I didn’t actually think I needed to be sanctified, nor did I want it.

This is why 1 Corinthians says that love always hopes. You have a reason to! The Holy Spirit is leading, guiding and working in believers. You can hope even when the devil whispers lies.

In the meantime, marriage is a kind of crucible where you learn to wait on God — where you obey God because that’s all you can do and trust him with the results. 

I want you to know, for those of you frustrated in marriage, God is doing something good in you. 

  • Gen 50:20
  • Ps 84:11

If it’s any encouragement, the Psalms are written by people disappointed in relationships, waiting—but they were confident that if they remained in a posture of obedience, waiting on God, they would eventually see God’s goodness in the land of the living (Ps. 27:13).

Want to ask J.D. a question? Head to our Ask Me Anything hub to submit your question.

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