We always say that for a marriage to thrive, then the SELF has to die. Notice that my emphasis is more on SELF than sin because it’s really a simplistic premise to assume that if a husband and wife can just put their sin to death, their marriage will thrive.
God calls us to be Holy. Marriage does have a way of sanctifying us, however, we cannot in entirety, put away sin. No wonder the walk of Faith is more about progress towards perfection, but we cannot attain an absolute perfection. Every couple deals with much deeper and complex forms of brokenness. We all bring much more baggage into our marriages than merely our sin.
For instance, lack of emotional expression or empathy is a weakness or form of brokenness that cannot be categorized as “sin,” but still hinders a great marriage. Each of you can bring in weaknesses or limitations into your marriage that are not necessarily sinful but were shaped by life experiences or upbringing.
Though sin may be the biggest problem, it is certainly not the only problem in a marriage. That said, it’s important then for couples to identify their own weakness and work towards being better, other than just being a snob or smug.
You cannot keep saying “am like that.” Yes you could be like that due to a certain experience but when exposed to something better, wisdom dictates that you embrace the latter. If it builds, then embrace it. Stop fighting what prunes you for a bountiful harvest. You cannot be a shade with limping branches.
There should be a mutual extension of grace to each other. Grace to accept each other, grace to give each other space to grow and grace to receive what your spouse gives without abusing it.
The Bible says in Ephesians 4:22 says put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
The word here is to “put off.” That means as intangible as it is, our former lives that were corrupted, our hopes realized or deferred, our longings, aversions or desires that are not in line with God’s Word, can be cast aside for a greater good. You cannot hold on to what cuts or drains your life and your marriage.
Change, however uncomfortable it feels, change always comes to challenge us to be better. So put away the SELF. It’s a deliberate thing to do.