BILLY GRAHAM

With Christ at its center, your marriage can thrive

Updated: 2013-10-05T12:33:32Z

By BILLY GRAHAM

Tribune Media Services

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I don’t know why my wife and I ever got married because we’re so different. All we do is pull and tug at each other, trying to get the other person to change. But I know now that it’s not going to happen. Is there any hope for our marriage? — D.G.

DEAR D.G.: Yes, there is hope for your marriage — and not just for its survival, but for its happiness and joy. And with God’s help it can happen. God’s original reason for marriage is still valid: “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18).

Your marriage probably won’t survive, however, if it remains a constant tug of war, with each of you spending all your energy trying to get your spouse to change. The harder you try to make that happen, the less likely it becomes, because it only gets the other person upset and more determined to get you to change. The Bible wisely says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

But what if you spent the same amount of energy trying to please your spouse? What if you gave up trying to make her conform to your will, and learned instead to compromise? That’s the way of true love — love that seeks what is best for the other person, instead of seeking to gain an advantage over them. The Bible says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not proud. It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:4 — 5).

Is this possible? Yes, when you make Christ the center of your marriage and your life. Together ask him to come into your lives, and then ask him to fill you with his love.

© Tribune Media Services 10/4

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