Marriage: Laying Down Your Rights

Marriage: Laying Down Your Rights

Valentine’s Day is upon us! Do you celebrate with roses and chocolates or take-out and a romantic comedy? Or maybe you don’t celebrate the “love” holiday at all. However, we can all agree that marriage is an honor, and we should treat it as such. Today on the blog, we are sharing an excerpt from The Blessed Marriage by Robert and Debbie Morris.

America is a contract society. When you get a job, you sign an employment contract. When you buy a house, you sign a mortgage. When you buy a car, you sign a loan agreement. The goal of every contract is to protect your rights and limit your responsibilities. A contract sets the boundaries that you are obligated to act within, but it also sets expectations upon the other party and provides an outlet for you if the contract specifications are not met.

As Americans, we are so used to entering contracts that we have carried the contract spirit into our marriages. While there is no legal document the husband and wife sign on their wedding day that sets specific parameters or expectations, you can be sure the contract stands firm in their hearts and minds. Most attitudes in the home go something like this: “Don’t ask too much of me. I still have the right to be my own person, and I will not give up my life. If this marriage requires more than I am willing to give, then I am out of here.”

Marriages cannot survive with a contract spirit. They will undoubtedly end in divorce. If Jesus is our example of how we are to treat our spouses, then we must come to them with the same attitude that Jesus had. Philippians 2:5-8 paints a beautiful picture of Jesus’ example:

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Jesus came in humility, with a desire to serve. His motivation did not lie in what He deserved but in what it would take to make relationship with His bride (the Church) possible. What it took was His very life. Jesus came to make a covenant with us, not to enter a contract. To rid yourself of the contract spirit, you must be willing to lay down your rights. When you were single, you looked out for yourself, you took care of yourself, and you kept everything precious and valuable to yourself. As individuals, we protect our rights to priority, ownership, and privacy. In order to become one with your spouse, you have to lay those rights down.

Marriage Lay Down Your Rights Robert and Debbie Morris
 

Copyright © 2006 by Gateway Church


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