Does Your Marriage Need a Dose of Repentance?
By: Amanda Idleman
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. - Acts 3:19
Repentance is a heavy concept. The word implies conviction, change, and failure. It can be a little intimidating to think about applying to our lives. Yet, it is an essential tenet of Christianity. We all have sinned and fallen short, that’s why Jesus had to come to save us. If we believe in Jesus, then we believe there are things in us that need to change.
In my life, my marriage has been one of God’s primary tools that he uses to reveal sin in my heart and choices. There is nothing like the journey towards oneness, unity, and a lifetime of cohabitation to show you how selfish, afraid, broken, and needy you are. Yet, so often we are surprised by our failures and too proud to pause and repent.
Repentance is surrendering to our Sovereign God, it’s remorse for our sin, and a change in direction toward Jesus. Repentance is hard. A lot of us learn the hard way, meaning big changes happen after big failures.
The beautiful thing is that even though it’s guilt, remorse, and failure that leads us to repentance, God promises to wipe our sins away the moment we give our sins to Him and begin to change our direction! He even promises a time of refreshing as a result of our change of heart (Acts 3:19) As soon as we take those steps toward what the Lord has for us, we can then throw off the weight of guilt, shame, and sin from our lives.
Have you felt you are stuck in a dull or lacking season in your relationship? Do you sense you are in need of refreshing? These could be signs that there is an area of your relationship that requires some repentance. Godly change brings refreshing to our lives!
Sometimes it’s even tiny changes that can make the biggest impact. Have you neglected to schedule that date night for too many weeks in a row? Has pride stopped you from sharing the load with your partner in a more stressful season of life? Has busyness become an idol that is stealing all the time that you could be using to connect with one another? Is greed making work and success more important than your family?
The sin we deal with in our lives is subtle. It can easily mask itself as a “good thing” and it’s our job as believers to continually seek God’s conviction in our lives so we have the eyes to see the areas we need to change. For me, pride has stolen from my ability to rely on my husband when I struggled with mental health issues.
Rather than humbling confessing to him and the Lord that my mind was under attack, I instead reacted in anger, defensiveness, and hid the fact I was sinking fast. As a long-time believer, I think in some ways it was harder for me to see that I needed to change. I somehow bought into the lie that other, more broken people needed help or needed to repent. I believed I should have it all together and that somehow God got a deal when He got me.
This pride made my journey to repentance a long one. It took time and a lot of failing for me to understand that I need God’s grace just as much as the rest of humanity. Thankfully, God has gently led me towards Him and our marriage feels like God has refreshed the love we share for one another.
Don’t be like me and let your pride stop you from seeing your need for Jesus. Every day, we need Jesus in order to love one another well. Pray and ask God’s gracious Holy Spirit to show you the ways He wants to help you grow and change to be more like Him.
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for the Daily Bible Devotions App, she has work published with Her View from Home, also for the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda on her blog or follow her on Instagram.
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