When couples say their wedding vows, they will frequently include the statement “for better or for worse. What does this statement mean?
In the modern marriage, there is an expectation that everything will be done ‘my way’. So what the statement is saying is for ‘my way’ or for ‘your way’. As long as you do things my way, the marriage will get better. But if you do things ‘your way’ the marriage will get worse.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:1-3(NIV)
Could ‘for better or for worse’ refer to a decision? Suppose that your spouse does something that seems offensive to you or perhaps they have a habit or an addiction that is offensive. When that offensive condition takes place, we will continue to look for actions that will support our belief that our spouse has a ‘problem’. As we seek information to support our beliefs against our spouse, the marriage relation becomes worse. We often start looking for additional offensive actions just to prove our point.
On the other hand, when our spouse does something offensive, we can pray that God will forgive our spouse of the offense and help our spouse to change in a way that will bring glory to God. Rather than looking for more examples to show support your belief, look for examples of how God is changing your spouse. Look for the way that your spouse is glorifying God.
Too often, we pray that God will change our spouse then turn around and continue to look for ways to support the idea that God cannot change our spouse. When we pray we must also believe that we will receive what we pray for.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:13-18(NIV)
To have a better marriage, chose ‘the wisdom that comes from heaven’ Stopping looking for situations where you spouse may be offending you. Start praying for Godly wisdom for you and your spouse. Look for the wisdom from heaven, not to the wisdom of this world.
NOTE: scriptures used in this blog were downloaded from www.biblegateway.com