The Marriage You Deserve

Wes  —  September 12, 2012 — 4 Comments
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I had the absolute pleasure, earlier this week, to sit with a couple who have been married for 56 years. She told me she still has the ticket stub from the first movie they saw together. In fact, she even kept the Hershey’s wrapper from the candy bar he bought for her at the movie. During our visit, this wonderful Christian couple taught me a very profound truth.

It didn’t take long to realize this man believed, with every fiber of his being, that he was extremely blessed to be married to his wife. He felt he didn’t deserve such a wonderful woman. And I’m sure she probably feels the same about him. That’s the kind of mentality it takes to stay in love for 56 years!

Unfortunately, there are too many marriages where the spouses each feel they deserve better than what they have. They think they deserve to be married to someone who takes better care of his/her physical appearance, someone who is more understanding, or simply someone with whom they would be more “compatible.” In short, they feel they got a raw deal.

Although marriages fall apart for many reasons, many unravel simply because one, or both, spouses feel they deserve better than what they have. The complaints build up over time, “I deserve better than a spouse who does this.” Or, “I could have married so and so and then I wouldn’t have to put up with that.” And before long, there is resentment, where there used to be love.

The secret is this, none of us deserve a better marriage; and until we develop humility, we will never have a better marriage. Put this biblical principle to work in your marriage and see what happens, ”Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count [your spouse] more significant than [yourself]” (Philippians 2:3).

Remember, if you’re a Christian, you’re nothing more than a forgiven sinner (Romans 3:23). You deserve death, torment, and punishment (Romans 6:23). When we think we deserve better than what we have, it is because we are not thinking with sober judgement. Remember the words of Scripture, “I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment” (Romans 12:3).

If you have a spouse, you have it better than you deserve. Even if you don’t have a spouse, you have it better than you deserve. If you are alive and forgiven, your circumstances are infinitely better than you deserve.

As married couples, we have got to stop being so concerned about getting what we think we deserve and start trying to “outdo” our spouses in showing honor, love, respect, kindness, etc. (Romans 12:10).

I love you and God loves you,

Wes McAdams

  • Izzy

    Hello brother, I first want to say thank you for the words of encouragement and time that you put into the study, preaching and spreading of God’s word.
    I can appreciate the thoughts of your article above, but the one thing that caught my attention was the thought that if I’m a christian that I am “nothing more than a forgiven sinner”. I once had a new believer approach me and ask the question, am I a forgiven sinner or a saint who sins? To be called a sinner, in any form, can one conclude that to be a sinner would mean to live in a state of sin. In turn, am I only a christian when I “christianize” for lack of a better term. In Revelation 14:12, the inspired word calls those who keep his commandments and have faith are “saints.” Having put on Christ in baptism and he now lives within us, can we be called “sinner.” Are we both? I ask for understanding in using the phrase a “forgiven sinner.” is it just a mindset? I do want to say that I understand the point you are making in the article and what you are attempting to get the reader to understand, but the concern is in the preparation of an answer when I am confronted with this question again, which by the way I was unable to answer, shamefully. Again, brother, I thank you for the work you are doing for the kingdom and God Bless you and your loved ones.
    In gentleness and meekness,
    Your brother in Christ

    • Wes McAdams


      Thanks so much for your comment. You bring up a subject about which I have often pondered. I, like you, dislike when we think of ourselves as sinners, instead of saints. After all, in Christ, there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1); and in Christ, I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). However, with that being said, we must also remember that Paul wrote, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15, ESV). We have all sinned in the past, we even continue to sin despite our efforts to the contrary, but we are forgiven (1 John 1:7). Thus, we are forgiven sinners. Not that we are sinners in the sense that we continue in sin (Romans 6:1-2), but that we are guilty of sin. Although, our guilt has been washed away. Hope that makes sense.

      In Him,

  • GodsChild

    I think it’s great not to desire someone else’s spouse or take him or her for granted, but sometimes, we really do deserve better. Emotional abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, a controlling spouse…these things are not healthy. I think God desires healthy marriages. I think teaching good methods of communication and what healthy relationships consist of and healthy boundaries would be better than just married or not married. Yes, that’s acknowledging God has blessed me every day of my life, when I was in an unhealthy marriage and when he blessed me with my divorce.

  • toni

    “The same principle applies in the marriage relationship. There was a
    very popular book a few years back that was made into a big movie, and
    it was called LOVE STORY. The favorite line that came out of that book
    was ‘Love means never having to say you’re sorry.’ That has a nice,
    sentimental sound to it, doesn’t it? But what a lie! Nothing could be
    further from the truth. The whole essence of marital love is saying ‘I’m
    sorry. Please forgive me. Let’s start over.’”
    “I believe this so
    strongly that I’ll go so far as to say “ANY MARITAL PROBLEM CAN BE
    that statement around to make sure you understand and it sinks in: I’m
    saying that a lack of forgiveness is THE ONLY THING that will ultimately
    separate a husband and a wife and destroy a marriage. If, on the other
    hand, the ones who feel wronged can find it in their hearts – or in the
    strength of the Lord, if the feelings aren’t there – to forgive, any
    marriage can be saved and then made stronger than ever. I’ve known any
    number of marriages, for example, where one spouse was unfaithful, and
    because the other spouse was willing to forgive, those marriages
    survived and grew even closer than before.”
    “One time a young man
    came up to me during a seminar I was giving and said, ‘Boy, I’m really
    having trouble with this forgiveness you’re talking about. You wouldn’t
    believe some of the things my ex-wife has done to me.”
    said to him, ‘You know why I think it’s difficult for you to forgive
    her? You think that if you forgive her, it’s going to make her right.’
    “‘That’s right,’ he said.”
    I answered, ‘Don’t you understand that forgiveness has nothing to do
    with rightness and wrongness? If she hadn’t done anything wrong, you
    wouldn’t need to forgive her in the first place.’ We like to think that
    be refusing to forgive, we somehow make the other person pay, but it’s
    we who pay when we refuse to forgive and allow the cancer of bitterness
    to grow instead.”

    Just wanted to share this from my reading this morning. I believe in hanging in there even when it’s unpleasant…even if I have to BE someplace else for a time.

    God bless you all with His knowledge and understanding.