Daily Archives: July 4, 2016

The Freedom to Make Your Marriage Better

Today it’s Independence Day in the United States, a remembrance of the day in 1776 when Americans declared their independence — although a took a few more years to secure it. Liberty is highly prized in our nation overall and referred to as a blessing in the preamble to our Constitution.

But it’s not like we invented freedom. Not by any means.

The Freedom to Make Your Marriage Better

From the moment that God put the first husband and wife, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, He gave them free will. That meant they could choose to follow His instructions or — as happened — stray off that path. One way or another, it was their choice.

Throughout Scripture, there are numerous other references to our free will. For example:

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).

“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says. Whoever will listen let them listen, and whoever will refuse let them refuse; for they are a rebellious people’ ” (Ezekiel 3:27).

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13).

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20).

Yes, God carries out His sovereign will, but within those parameters, He allows His children a great deal of freedom to choose for themselves.

That means that each and every day, moment by moment, we are faced with choices. We have the God-given freedom to follow His path for our lives or to reject it for our own selfish purposes. We can make mistakes, of course — because of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus and God’s grace — but we’re always moving toward His will or away from it. Using our own free will.

Oh, how true this is in marriage!

No, I can’t control my spouse. Our mates have their own free will. However, I can choose how I approach my husband, our marriage, and even the sexual intimacy within. I can select attitudes, behaviors, and reactions that either comport with God’s calling for my life or stray from what He wants for my marriage.

I have the free will to make my marriage better, inasmuch as it depends on me.

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Ask anyone who had a bad marriage and ended up with a better one, and I bet they’d tell you things began to improve when they took responsibility for their own actions. Whether that was expressing their desires or explaining their concerns; becoming more vulnerable or setting boundaries; seeking outside help for depression or anxiety or simply learning to be happy.

Rather than waiting for your husband to fix everything on His end, or for God to swoop down like a genie and magically answer all your prayers, start with you. How can you use the freedom God gave you to make different choices today that will benefit your marriage and/or your marriage bed?

You don’t have to go from zero to sixty overnight. Just start moving in the right direction. Step by step, choice by choice, you can walk the path of freedom toward greater marital health. At the very least, your own heart and soul will benefit.

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