Marriage is God’s ultimate training ground for Christ-like servanthood.  Most couples are not prepared for the shocking experience of meeting such selfishness in the early months and years of their marriage.  Assuming that such selfishness is in their mate, and not in themselves, they set out with a vengeance to change their mate, usually to no avail.  That’s when the agony sets in.  But we can only recapture the romance when we begin to realize that we need to be changed, not our mates.  You see, God uses marriage to work out our selfishness and to work in His servanthood.  This is often a slow and painful process.  But God is faithful “who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Eph. 3:20). 

The key principle for success in a Christian marriage is to move the relationship from performance--what you think your mate should do for you--to faith--what God has promised to do in your life and your spouse’s life if you focus on Him and His plan for your marriage.

 Do you want to transform your marital agony into marital ecstasy?  Then take the following steps:

  • Reaffirm your marital covenant relationship by committing your marriage to God and to each other in prayer and before another couple who are also living in a committed marital covenant relationship.

  • Confess to God that you have been trying to change your mate and that it has been a miserable failure.  Also ask your mate to forgive you for trying to play God in your marriage.  Ask the Lord to transform you into a Christ-like servant in your marriage, no matter what it takes.  Move your relationship from performance to faith.

  • Finally, share your prayer requests with another couple who will not only pray for you, but who will also encourage and hold you accountable to these new commitments.


© 2003 Christian Family Life

2becoming1 is a ministry of Christian Family Life.  Christian Family Life was incorporated by Don Meredith and Barry Leventhal on October 1, 1971.  In 1972, Don and his bride of five years, Sally, began to give marriage seminars in many churches around the country.  In 1975, Campus Crusade for Christ asked Don and Sally, along with others, to help start a ministry for engaged and married staff members. FamilyLife conferences continue today and have impacted literally thousands of couples over the past twenty years since its inception.

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