The shortest distance between two places is a straight line. The problem usually lies in the fact that many of us will not take the straight line. We get in our own way in making our life and marriage better. We wonder from place to place or person to person seeking our perfect marriage. We listen to too many voices and do not listen to God's voice (The Holy Spirit) when He speaks to us.
The children of Israel went around the same mountain range for 40 years before getting to the Promise Land. If they had traveled in a straight line it would have been an 11 day journey. An entire generation had to die off before they could go in. So what went wrong? Their lack of faith, then continuing to murmur and complaining kept them from achieving what God had for their lives. They were not far from Egypt when they cried out to Moses to take them back so they would not starve. The Israelites believed it was better to remain slaves in Egypt with adequate food than be on a tough journey to the place God set aside for them. They murmured and complained about the lack of food and then complained about the food itself. Their faith was not there when they gathered up more than one days supply of food - the bread worms came and at the excess food.
So, what is the more excellent way for your marriage? Love. The kind of love that God has for us and the same love we are to have for our bride. In 1 Corinthians 12:31, Paul says, "But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way." Paul has just described the Spiritual Gift from the Holy Spirit and then how it takes each of us to do the entire work God has laid out. It is no coincidence that the Love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, is sandwiched between two chapters where Paul gives introduction and instruction on the Spiritual Gifts. We must use them in our marriage every day. "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8. It is impossible for us to meet the conditions of the day, to "walk in the light as He is in the light" 1 John 1:7, to subdue kingdoms and work righteousness and bind the power of Satan, unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit.
Your marriage is a journey to God’s Promise Land. Your marriage is to be a reflection of Jesus’ love for us. We must love our spouse even during the most difficult days of our marriage. Remember, love is an active choice, an action. A conjunction junction if you will. (Yes, from the old Saturday morning cartoons) It connects us to our spouse in the way God designed. Yes, there will be days, or maybe several in a row, when our spouse is "unlovable". Our spouses loving or unloving actions do not give us the right to stop loving them. That is when we are to love them even more. Put more actions in effect during these trying times.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 tells us what love is. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." We need to remember that God is love. You can read these scriptures aloud and say God instead of love and you still have the truth. There have been times in my marriage when I was not one or more of these towards my bride. I asked her to forgive me and I asked God to forgive me and help me not do them again. It will work for you too. With His power upon you there can be no failure. God desires that His Word will be established in our hearts; and, as we believe His Word, we will see that "all thing are possible" Matthew 19:26.
Many marriages are in the midst of a great river of life but are dying of thirst because they do not dip down and take it. It's time to jump into the deep end of the river and have faith in God to restore and renew your marriage.