5. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously.” --James 1:5
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When faced with a practical challenge in our marriage, it is tempting to turn to friends or do a google search for advice before we turn to God himself. Yet God invites us to go straight to him when he have a “what should I do now?” question.
So much of marriage is not typically about what’s right and what’s wrong (or who is right and who is wrong), but about learning what’s best in a particular situation.
Unlike a recipe or instruction book, there is no appendix in Scripture with a page reference for every frustration you might experience (although wouldn’t be handy to be able to look up “Dishwashing, arguments about”, right after “Diapers, who should change them”?)
But God gives us something much better to navigate the daily questions of life than a detailed set of instructions: he gives us himself. He has promised that if any of us lacks wisdom, we can ask him, and He himself will be our counselor.
Knowing he has heard our prayer, we can use the guiding principles found in scripture, the God-given gifts of reason and intuition, and make our way forward together.
This same passage in James reminds us that we must believe and not doubt that if we’ve asked for wisdom, God has given it. One of the gifts we can give our spouses is reminding one another of such promises.
When my husband and I moved to the US years ago, so many things went wrong that it was tempting to second guess whether we’d made the right decision, and even to blame one another for our various roles in deciding as we had.
But James 1:5 reminded us of a truth: we had asked God for wisdom as we’d tried to discern our options, and together we could encourage one another to believe that He had heard that prayer and granted it--even if we couldn’t quite see how it was all going to work out yet.
Those whom God joins together in marriage, he helps grow together. We are not alone in figuring out how to be a better wife or husband in any given situation. He has given us his Word, his wisdom, and his company along the way.
Marriage is not governed by a separate set of relational rules and principles, reflected only in the famous marriage passages of scripture. The breadth and depth of instructions Scripture give us for living in community and loving our Christian siblings and neighbors apply to marriage in every way.
We are brothers and sisters. We are children. We are friends. We are ministry partners. We are neighbors. And in all this--we are made better husbands and wives.
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