Joyce Meyer: Don’t Allow These Selfish Ideals to Sabotage Your Marriage

by | Feb 6, 2020 | Blogs, Straight Talk

My husband, Dave, and I have been married over 50 years, and I can honestly say we have a great marriage. But it didn’t start out that way.

Like many people, I learned that it takes effort and a willingness to let God change us if we’re going to have a healthy marriage. One of the most important things we can do is examine our expectations.

Having unrealistic expectations can sabotage a marriage before it ever begins. So many people enter marriage expecting their spouse to be something they are not. Or they have the unrealistic expectation that he or she will be able to keep them happy all of the time.

For starters, I think it’s important to realize that the way you feel when you’re dating is different than how you’ll feel after you’ve been married for a while. In the beginning, everything is new and exciting, and emotions are running high. But a day will come when all of those emotions won’t necessarily be there, and that’s OK.

For instance, just because I don’t melt into the carpet every time Dave walks into the room doesn’t mean I love him any less than before. In fact, I love him more. Our love is deeper because it’s based on years of experience and getting to know each other. We have a quality of relationship now that is so much greater than when we first met.

The key to building a healthy marriage to Dave has been a serious commitment to be as close to God as I can possibly be. Maturing spiritually in Christ has changed me in wonderful ways that have healed and restored my soul and filled me with His love.

In Ephesians 3:17 (AMP), the apostle Paul prayed for the church in Ephesus, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through your faith” and that they would be “[deeply] rooted and [securely] grounded in love.” Being changed by the love of God has given me the ability to love Dave the way I should love him, rather than expecting him to be everything I think he should be.

It’s become a long-standing joke—especially for women—that we look at the person we’re going to marry and think, I can change them. Sadly, this is the way I viewed my husband during the early years of our marriage.

Dave and I have completely opposite personalities. He’s naturally laid-back and easygoing, always looking at the bright side of things. I’m more of your typical Type A personality. I’m highly motivated but can also be too harsh and insensitive.

Well, for years, I tried to get Dave to be more aggressive like me, especially when it came to stepping out into new things. He would inevitably say, “Joyce, you’re always out ahead of God.” And I would reply, “And you’re always 10 miles behind Him!”

On one occasion, after I continued to criticize his behavior, Dave finally said, “Joyce, you’d better be glad I’m this way. Because if I weren’t, you wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing.” And he’s right!

The Lord used this experience to show me the dangers of nit-picking Dave about things I perceive as weaknesses. Even if Dave does need to change in an area, God is the only one who can change him—my pestering will only make things worse and drive a wedge between us.

I used to just pray for God to change Dave. Now, I pray more like this:

“God, I would really like for Dave to change in this area, but maybe he’s not the problem—maybe it’s my attitude. So, first, I ask You to change anything in me that needs to be changed. If there’s something Dave needs to change, I pray that You will work in that area of his life. In the meantime, please help me to focus on all of the great things about my husband.”

If you’re constantly trying to change your spouse, you end up focusing on all of their weaknesses and things you don’t like. And you’ll overlook their strengths and good qualities.

Dave is a great husband, and I honestly have no complaints. But if I just focused on the things that annoy me from time to time, I would eventually see nothing else and make myself miserable.

But when I focus on the good things and everything I really like about him, it produces feelings of gratitude, love and joy … and the “bad stuff” suddenly seems less important.

Take a moment right now and pray for your spouse. Commit your relationship to the Lord and ask Him to help you focus on everything you like about them. No one is perfect, but when you choose to love your spouse for who they are, you open the door for God to bless your marriage in amazing ways.

Joyce Meyer is a New York Times’ bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored more than 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Your Battles Belong to the Lord (FaithWords). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is coming back to rapture His believers,...

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

I believe that other than the gospel regarding salvation through faith in Christ, learning to walk in love is the most important lesson in God’s Word. Jesus says that love is the most important commandment (Mark 12:28–31). The apostle Paul writes that love is the...

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

RECENT ARTICLES

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose,...
Activating Introverts in Evangelism

Activating Introverts in Evangelism

 Many believers mistakenly think that evangelism is only for charismatic, extroverted personality types. If they aren’t called to be evangelists, they shrink back from sharing the gospel with the lost entirely. The scriptural reality is that fivefold ministers, and...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]