Every day in marriage presents at least one opportunity to overcome incompatibility. That’s because each day, you wake up as separate individuals with independent desires, wills, and ideas. You must learn to work together for the common good of your relationship. It doesn’t come automatically.
What’s more important is that you explicitly AGREE to work together for the common good of your relationship ahead of time. This means having a conversation about why your marriage is important, why love is sacrificial at its core, and how you can express that kind of love to each other. That’s where Jesus enters the picture.
Understanding and applying sacrificial love is impossible without Christ. Without Jesus, who is to say what love is? Without God’s love made flesh, how can we say who’s version of love is right, pure, and without contamination?
Paul writes, “God SHOWS his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, emphasis added). Think about that. God showed his love to us when Christ died for us, sinners. It wasn’t just for our past sins and with a guarantee of a blameless future, it was WHILE we were still sinners. While we were rejecting God, he showed his love. That is our standard of love; anything else falls short.
Back to compatibility. It’s essentially another word for getting along or learning to live in peace. Homes without Christ’s brand of selfless love eventually descend into chaos. Selfishness reigns as personal agendas cause discord. Couples exchange favors and acts of love almost like currency. That’s not covenant compatibility, that’s a mutually beneficial contract. “I’ll give you what you want as long as I get what I want.” That’s not love.
Instead, learn to be compatible, selfless, and loving individuals as you grow closer to Christ. Let his generous love transform your heart and flood your home. As it does, you will experience the deep joy that only comes from loving sacrificially and being loved the same way—first by Christ, then (ideally, hopefully) by your spouse.
Ryan & Selena