Have you hit some obstacles in your marriage?
A healthy marriage isn’t always going to be a smooth marriage. In fact, there will be many bumps—obstacles—along the way. These obstacles are always in our presence; they continually strive to divide and conquer, which could lead to personal and relational destruction. While you may not see any obstacles in your marriage right now, it is always beneficial to be aware of and be able to identify them.
One of the most common obstacles in marriage is the sinful heart. Driven by self-gratification, the sinful heart is fed through any means, at any cost, through compromise, contempt, or disregard for the interests, concerns, and well being of others.
Often feeding into self-gratification are the following characteristics:
- Selfishness—living exclusively without the concern or interest for others.
- Pride—an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority.
- Envy—an ill will or discontent over the prosperity or success of others.
How are you doing?
Read the following statements. Do any of these apply to you?
- I have a strong desire to do my will more than God’s will.
- I frequently believe that my ideas and opinions are better than others.
- I am more concerned about controlling others than developing self-control.
- I find it difficult to admit that I was wrong.
- I have a tendency to be more of a people-pleaser than a God-pleaser.
- I am highly concerned with getting the credit I deserve.
- I am driven toward receiving recognition that comes from degrees, titles, and positions.
Which of the three characteristics (selfishness, pride, envy) do you seem to struggle with? How do you see them affecting your life and relationships? What can you do to make things better?