Do You Use Reasons or Excuses in Marriage?
By: Rebecca Barlow Jordan
We learned from the best: Moses, Gideon, Elijah, Esther, Jeremiah, Martha, Peter—all used handcrafted excuses to deny their godly callings. From exhaustive pleas to trembling knees, busy-ness to unbelief, quivering lips to outright rebellion, these spiritual followers in the Bible failed to place their trust in the One who was completely trustworthy—at least in the beginning. Most of them eventually found the right reason to overcome their excuses and experienced God’s blessing as a result.
What about us as couples? Do we ever let excuses keep us from God’s best in marriage? When God calls us to step up in obedience to Him and heed His instructions, how do we respond?
In Finances: God is able to make it up to you by giving you everything you need and more so that there will not only be enough for your own needs but plenty left over to give joyfully to others (2 Corinthians 9:8 TLB).
Excuse: “We don’t make enough to give yet. Maybe when one of us gets a raise.”
In Our Relationship: For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her (Ephesians 5:25 NLT).
Excuse: “Of course I love my wife. I married her, didn’t I?”
However, each man among you [without exception] is to love his wife as his very own self [with behavior worthy of respect and esteem, always seeking the best for her with an attitude of lovingkindness] (Ephesians 5:33a AMP).
Excuse: “She’s not exactly the easiest person to love.”
You wives must submit to your husbands’ leadership in the same way you submit to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22 TLB).
Excuse: “But he doesn’t really lead.”
…and the wife [must see to it] that she respects and delights in her husband [that she notices him and prefers him and treats him with loving concern, treasuring him, honoring him, and holding him dear] (Ephesians 5:33b AMP).
Excuse: “He hasn’t exactly earned respect.”
Honor Christ by submitting to each other (Ephesians 5:21 TLB).
Excuse: “But what if I’m the one that’s right?”
On Parenting: Those who love their children care enough to discipline them (Proverbs 13:24 NLT).
Excuse: “If we discipline them, we’re afraid our children may reject us and not like us.”
On Forgiving Each Other: Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (Colossians 3:13 TLB).
It [love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV).
Excuse: “There are some things that just can’t be forgiven.”
On Anger: If you live without restraint and are unable to control your temper, you’re as helpless as a city with broken-down defenses, open to attack (Proverbs 25:28 TPT).
Excuse: “It’s all the things at work. My boss just doesn’t know what he’s doing, and that makes me angry all the time.”
On Spending Time Together: There is a right time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1 TLB).
Excuse: “We barely have time to sleep. Life is just full right now. And we’re both so tired.”
On Prayer and Praying Together: Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV).
Excuse: “We do pray together at least two or three times a week before meals when we get to eat together. That’s all we have time for right now.”
All of us as couples—probably without exception—will offer excuses such as these at one time or another, whether together in response to God, or individually to a request or need from our spouse. We’re good at excuses. It points the blame away from us to someone or something else.
But God doesn’t want our excuses. The One who designed marriage in the first place desires for our marriage to reach its full potential. That’s why He speaks to us so clearly in His Word and through His Spirit. And in our hearts, we want that too. Every sacrifice we make for each other and for God to make our marriages all He wants them to be is worth the time and effort.
May our gratitude and love for the Lord and for each other continue to be our reason for a joyful marriage relationship. Not perfect, but perfected daily as we look to God, our Maker.
Rebecca Barlow Jordan is a bestselling inspirational author and day-voted follower of Jesus who loves to paint encouragement on the hearts of others. After five decades of marriage, she and her husband are more passionate about marriage and family than ever. Rebecca has authored and contributed to over 20 books and has written over 2000 other articles, devotions, greeting cards, and other inspirational pieces. She is a regular Crosswalk contributor whose daily devotional Daily in Your Presence is also available for delivery through Crosswalk.com. You can sign up for Rebecca’s free ebook and find out more about her and her encouraging blog at www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com.
Related Resource: Listen to our new, FREE podcast on marriage: Team Us. The best marriages have a teamwork mentality. Find practical, realistic ideas for strengthening your marriage. Listen to all of our episodes for free on LifeAudio.com or in your favorite podcast app!