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Not your marriage, but His.

Some of the biggest struggles I’ve had as a husband center on my desire to be in control: to ensure we’re growing spiritually as a family. to provide financially. to keep our various commitments to church and family, to make time for romance, fun, friendships. Often I’m so focused on keeping all the plates spinning that life becomes a massive feat of coordination and my wife becomes just another “demand” to schedule.

Instead of listening to her, I find myself multitasking. Instead of asking questions about she’s doing or how she thinks I am doing as a husband, I am secretly relieved when I can scrape through the week without another thing to think about. Worst of all, if there’s anything messy about her life or mine, the first instinct is to sweep it under the rug or demand that we get those feelings under control as quickly as possible so we can get back to the “real business” of life. You could say I never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. That’s why I have to keep reminding myself it’s not my marriage or even our marriage. It’s His marriage.

Our marriages aren’t a means to an end as Christ followers. They are the end. Our marriages, with all their struggles, complications, demands, are God’s perfectly designed methods to teach us, his beloved children, how to love, have faith, and hope in Christ. The desire for control robs us of the glorious mess, the “profound mystery” in Ephesians 5:32, our perfect opportunity to grow and love Jesus through our flaws—and turns marriage into a performance and ultimately a lie.

What Christ wants is surrender. He wants our marriages to show us more and more of our brokenness so that we yield more and more to His wisdom, His grace and His plan and His purpose. So go ahead. Take a deep breath. Admit it: “I don’t have control. But Christ DOES.” (1 Peter 5:5) That’s the first step toward a marriage in which you can experience the joy and abundant life in Jesus.

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