February 9, 2021

How Marriage Helps Us Grow

Written by Shana Schutte

“Where there is no true vulnerability, there is no true growth.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 9, 2021

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:15

Years before I married, I went to a counselor to talk with her about my dating life. I wanted to marry, but I was starting to feel that some unhealthy dating patterns were holding me back from tying the knot. 

During one session together, something she said struck me: “Shana, a husband will have the ability like no one else in your life to wound your heart. To love means taking the risk to be vulnerable.” 

When she said this, I knew she didn’t mean my husband would hurt me because he would be an unkind or cruel man, but simply that he would hurt me because that’s what happens when two people live with one another: they share the deepest parts of their hearts, and they also know one another’s biggest flaws . . . a combination that can create both joy and pain. Therefore, true love requires great courage, great humility, and great forgiveness. 

There are times when I have hurt my husband without intention. There are times when he has also hurt me without meaning to. These rare moments have not been easy. But these have also been purifying moments, moments when the Lord has used my husband to speak a word I needed to hear. . .a word to help me grow to become more of who God wants me to be. 

I tend to be sensitive to criticism—even if it’s constructive. The prideful and fearful parts of me would prefer that no one notices my faults (even though I have a lot of them.) Because if no one notices, I feel that perhaps I am safe in unconditional love. But this is faulty thinking. 

Real love doesn’t ignore imperfections in one’s beloved. Real love means we know one another well—even our weaknesses and sins—and will still accept one another while spurring one another on to become more like Christ. Where there is no true vulnerability, there is no true growth. A good marriage is purifying. 

If you are married, the Lord can use your mate to help you become more of who He wants you to be. If you are unmarried, choosing someone with a compassionate, forgiving, and patient heart is a wise choice indeed. It will help you through the times when love meets with challenges and when you need to love one another through personal imperfections. 

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a glorious church, without stain or wrinkle or any such blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27).

Prayer

Lord, please help me to bear with my mate’s imperfections and to love well. Help me to pray for my mate and to help them become all you have created them to be. Amen.


Application

Are you practicing patience as you live with your mate? Do you practice compassion and patient listening during difficult conversations? Do you have your mate’s best interest in mind? Talk with the Lord about helping you become the mate your mate needs.


Related Reading

Colossians 3:12-13; 2 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 4:32

Start the new year with Boyd’s newest 365 day devotional book: Seeking God’s Heart


Worship Resource

John Waller – 


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