A counselor once said to me, “Ewan, in marriage you can either be right or you can be happy. You can’t be both and you have to choose one!”
I probably laughed a little at that. I knew it was true! But as someone who likes/needs to be right (or acknowledged as being right) too much, it also weighed on me.
That conversation came to mind as this Sunday, and next week in our Daily Worship Devotions, our text is all about marriage. In the past weeks, we’ve considered how God’s Word addresses and changes our relationships with the government and our employers. Now, in 1 Peter 2:21-3:7, God turns his attention towards marriage. While this text does speak to situations where one spouse has converted to Christianity and the other has not, it also speaks in deep and profound ways to all marriages. 1 Peter 2:21-3:7 especially speaks to people who are experiencing difficulty, loneliness, tension, and conflict in their marriage.
How does Christianity impact the marriage relationship? Or how should Christianity impact marriage? When we consider what God has to say about marriage in 1st Peter, the key issue is “Who wins in marriage?” Marriage, like all relationships, involves conflict. Conflict is not bad, it’s just a reality. Conflict can lead to good things or it can lead to bad things. It’s all about how you do it and where you get to!
So, “Who wins in marriage?” If you feel like you are losing in your marriage, that’s a lonely and difficult place to be. However, with regard to the question, the stark truth is: If you think you are winning in your marriage, not only are you losing, you are not experiencing or enjoying what it means to be loved. That is lonely and difficult too.
So take some time to reflect on God’s Word in 1st Peter this week. Start with the specific instructions about marriage in 1 Peter 3:1-7. After reflecting on that, go back and read it in it’s proper context: 1 Peter 2:21-3:7. How does the context of the verses at the end of chapter 2 impact how we understand marriage and the exhortations in 1 Peter 3:1-7?
I look forward to walking together with you in 2020 and I am excited to see what God will do among us.
Yours in Christ,