Preaching & Teaching

How to Avoid Marital Failure

Our contemporary world often suggests that matrimony is an institution that humans dreamed up. But the original plan of marriage was God’s creation—a covenant relationship of divine origin.

In his book Lasting Love: How to Avoid Marital Failure, Alistair Begg explores the importance and implications of adhering to God’s instructions for marriage:

If we are going to be at all successful in avoiding marital failure, it is imperative that we exercise our minds in the truths of Scripture and yield our wills in submission to God’s clear directives.

Our submission to God’s design must be total and wholehearted—whether we can see the pragmatic benefits or not. It is in becoming obedient to His Word and His will that we discover true freedom.

Consider the benefits:

Making a lifelong commitment focuses our attention on “staying the course” rather than on short bursts of enthusiasm.

The freedom of marriage “in the Lord” is similarly rewarding. To be able to share with one another at the deepest levels of spiritual understanding is a great joy.

Rejecting divorce as an option allows for great security in marriage. It means that when problems arise—no matter how great those problems may be—the couple will learn to return to the instruction manual of God’s Word and rely upon the help of God’s Spirit.

As husband and wife learn to put each other first, they discover the pleasures that come only when they get past living for themselves. Wives are challenged to “submit to your husbands” (Ephesians 5:22, paraphrased) and husbands are told to “love your wives, just as Christ loved the church” (Ephesians 5:25, NIV). If these intense obligations are defined in purely negative terms, they may seem deplorable. But seen from God’s perspective, these commands provide order and joy in a relationship.

Attempting to continually put oneself first never works. But learning to put a spouse first can become a lifelong pleasure for those with hearts for God’s Word.

By Alistair Begg

Alistair Begg is the Senior Pastor of Cleveland's Parkside Church (located in Bainbridge, Geauga County, Ohio), a position he has had since 1983. He is the...

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