Obligation and Responsibility? No Thanks!
It seems our society lacks the desire to accept responsibility and sees obligation as burdensome. This has all kinds of negative results, including devastating marriages.
In part, I think we have these problems because we have become too interested in “freedom”. We think we were born with a right to be free (this is especially prevalent in the States). Freedom is our God given birthright, and we should oppose anyone or anything limiting our freedom.
Thing is, the Bible doesn’t echo this belief. The Jews at the time of Christ were not free; they were a conquered people with almost no rights. Many expected the Messiah to set them free by overthrowing the Romans. This expectation caused them to miss the truth of who Jesus was. Jesus was concerned with hearts and minds, not politics. Jesus said the truth set people free – but He was talking about an internal freedom. Paul talked about being a bondservant, a slave by choice to the Lord. The Bible doesn’t tell us to seek freedom, it tells us to seek and serve the Lord.
Serving the Lord comes with responsibilities and obligations, including to our spouse and marriage. Most of what we’re supposed to do with/for our wife has nothing to do with how she acts or what she does. God, not our feelings or her choices, obligates us.
I realise this can be a bitter truth, especially for those in difficult marriages. The world elevates happiness to a right and tells us we owe it to ourselves to leave a bad marriage. God’s Word neither promotes nor allows for these ideas.
There are some “side benefits” to doing it God’s way:
- When you remove thoughts of getting out, it’s easier to find peace.
- Committing to stay causes you to see your marriage differently.
- You will be more motivated to work on your marriage, even when it’s difficult and painful.
- In time, your wife may respond positively to your change in attitude and actions.
Upgrading your marriage should not be about what you can get out of it. God has placed requirements on you as a husband. Doing what He desires is not optional if you’re following Jesus!
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