Ed Stetzer on 20 Truths From ‘Enter the Ring: Fighting Together for a Gospel-Saturated Marriage’

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1. Married Christians are often distracted by the fight going on around them. They’re allowing self-oriented priorities to dictate their marriage instead of the gospel. They’re choosing the world’s priorities instead of God’s. The world is going to keep fighting against our marriages. We need to choose to fight back—by choosing to live out the gospel with our spouses.

2. Having a gospel-saturated marriage allows Christians to impact the culture without compromising the convictions of the Christian faith. Our efforts can become less about engaging in a war of words on social media and more about living in marriages on mission for God’s glory When we live out the implications of a gospel-saturated marriage, the biblical definition of marriage becomes clear and has greater potential to impact a watching world.

3. Pride is the great assassin of marriages. And prayer is the ultimate antidote for pride. Coming together in prayer creates the humility to confess wrongs and extend forgiveness. Words of affirmation and thanksgiving become a regular rhythm in the relationship. Togetherness in prayer is a key aspect of a gospel-saturated marriage.

4. If God loved us at our lowest, we have no excuse not to do the same for our spouse. No matter our spouse’s sin, arrogant stubbornness in an argument, or reluctance to engage fully in the spiritual journey alongside us, we should never stop showing unfailing love.

5. Meeting the needs of others naturally produces togetherness. When we live out this reality in our marriages, by seeking to holistically meet the needs of our spouses, we, as a couple, will have a posture and sensitivity then to meet the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of those in our local church.

6. The greatest apologetic for God’s definition of marriage is a gospel-saturated marriage: a marriage in which both the husband and wife believe the content of the gospel, place their trust in Christ to save them by grace through faith, and work to apply the gospel toward every area of their life together as one.

7. Differences can very easily turn into conflict, and differences in family backgrounds can be a source of struggle in marriage. If not dealt with through healthy communication and a willingness to stand together as one, families of origin can—often unwittingly—undermine the husband and wife’s relationship. However, all barriers can be turned into opportunities for oneness, if the couple works together to grow and love each other in the hard situations.

8. Communication, or the lack thereof, can either make or break a marriage. Being a Christian does not exempt a person from being a poor communicator; we all must be diligent to communicate with our spouse in such a way that we’re understanding each other more than fighting to be understood.

9. Assumptions lead to more assumptions, and communication leads to more communication. It’s never healthy to assume that the person you are trying to communicate with understands your heart unless you have shared your heart.

10. Technology is both a blessing and a curse—a blessing because it allows us to communicate while we are away from each other, and a curse because it is fighting to be the Lord over our attention. Gospel-saturated marriages seek to leverage technology for the benefit of togetherness in the household.

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Source: Christianity Today