When you choose to get married, you make a commitment to lay your life down and be joined together with another person and become one as a new life. You join together your desires, your dreams, all that you own, everything – it is no longer “I” but it is “we”. The day you get married, you die and become alive with another person joined by God. Everything you do, not just affects you, but also your spouse. Laying down your life has so many meanings to it, but here is something to really think about.
When you lay your life down, you are no longer concerned about your comfort or needs, but being all you can be for the other person. Sometimes this means sacrificing and suffering silently during a struggle that your spouse is having. Sometimes this means letting go of something you want to get something that your spouse wants. Sometimes laying down your life is to spend hours in your prayer closet for your spouse. Sometimes laying down your life is to forgive when it is the last thing that they would expect. You should be willing to die for your spouse to protect them.
That is what Jesus did for us. He laid down His life for us to protect us from an eternal life in hell. Are you willing to lay down your life or do you value your own wants and desires too much?
Many people do not understand the depth of this and they enter into the covenant of marriage as a fairytale dream or based upon an emotion instead of true commitment. This is one of the many reasons why marriages do not last.
When you choose to get married, you are no longer looking to do things for yourself. Every decision you make should be based on what is best for the both of you as one.
Before a person gets married, the two as a couple should sit down and really discuss what each of them are looking for and expecting from the other person. Talk about the good and the bad. Think about your worst habit and let them know. After all this is someone you are promising to spend the rest of your life with. They are going to find out. Being transparent leaves all deception out of the picture and you go into the marriage with your eyes wide open to what you are committing to. Sometimes laying down your life is dealing with those habits.
As you make decisions it should be done through the discernment of strengths of the individual and what is best for you two as a whole. Your lives are to become intertwined. Think of it as a team effort. For a team to work properly, you have to know what is a person’s strength and weakness so that the team can be successful. It is no different than a marriage.
For an example I am really good with managing financial things and am very frugal, but I had a bad habit of losing things, such as my license and purse. When I got married to my husband, he had what I called SLB mindset…. I See it, I Like it, I Buy it. But he is very responsible for keeping a hold of things. So as a result, it was best decided that my husband holds onto the money in his wallet along with my license and cards, but I have a say in where the money is going and the usage of the money, etc. We discuss together what we would like or need, and we work it out together. Because of this we have not had any arguments or disagreements about money because we make the decisions together.
There are no feelings of ‘one has more control over the money than the other’ because a balance and unity was set in place (which we talked about prior to marriage.) It brings a trust as you work together as one. Because of how society is now, so many people are hungry for control and are in constant survival mode, or “I will get you before you get me” syndrome; or the “I will keep you at arms length” wall. With this type of mindset it keeps the couple as an individual and not joined together. If you expect a successful marriage you cannot have this kind of thinking.
Marriage is not about who has control or the upper hand. Laying down your life is giving up that control. Marriage is about working together because you have been joined together as one. Selfishness should not be an issue. When you get married you are making promises to them, not requirements that they have to perform for you. It is discouraging how so many people say their vows but they do not live them out.
The Word of God teaches us that Jesus Christ laid His life down so that we could return to Him and become His Bride. He was crucified, beaten, mocked, rejected, did not have a place to lay his head, or the stability of a home, family, or finances. Even though he did not have these things he was always taken care of and He did all this knowing everything that we would do wrong and did it anyway. Jesus continued to go through His commitment to the Father God for us because He loves us. He walked the actions spoken in 1 Corinthians 13.
Jesus knew what it was to lay down His life and the Word of God says we too are to do the same. Do not think about what your spouse should do for you, think about what can you do for them. Think about ways you can make their day better instead of your own. You will be surprised how much you can enjoy doing this for them.
Sometimes marriages are not full of good times, full of love, or one of the spouses are really messed up. Sometimes it is a sacrifice to wake up every morning and deal with a spouse who has made wrong decisions, bound by the enemy, acts out of frustration or anger, or may just not speak to you or want you in their lives for a season. This is the place where you have to choose to love them anyway.
If you are suffering persecution because of your spouse, endure it. Are you suffering betrayal, hurt, pain, and being drained? Jesus went through the same things for us. If you surrender it to God He will carry it for you and turn it around no matter how long it has gone on. And if you seek God’s face, He will tell you what to do for each situation. Be obedient to what He says. If you question it ask for confirmation.
When you take your focus off of self and what you want and put your focus and action on the other person, you will begin to see that what you wanted really was not as important as becoming one with your spouse and bringing peace and a true oneness in your home. You will not exist anymore as an individual but as unified in your spouse that will bring you wholeness. Your spouse’s soul could very well rely on how much you laid down your life to love them.