Your Hope Is Not in Yourself
I think there is no more precious thing for a marriage than our Lord's statement, “I will be with you always.” My hope in marriage is not that I will be so righteous as I'll never have a marriage problem or that we'll create this system where we work with one another and it will just be paradise. It's just not going to happen. Although the power of sin has been broken, the presence of sin still remains in us and it's going to rear its ugly head in our marriage.
What's a biblical view of marriage? It's a flawed person married to a flawed person in a fallen world—are you encouraged yet?—but with a faithful God. So, it's the third person in marriage that gives me hope. I don't think we talk enough about the presence and promises and power and grace of this ever-near, ever-active redeemer.
My Lord and his presence is working on my marriage, even when I don't care to. That's a beautiful thing! So I want to lift up the theology of God's presence with his people as being the central hope in marriage. It'll never be found in yourself. It'll never be found in your spouse because we will always fail one another, but Jesus never will fail.
Paul David Tripp is the author of Marriage: 6 Gospel Commitments Every Couple Needs to Make.
Your marriage's biggest problem is not the imperfection of your spouse. No, it is what lurks in the recesses of your heart. Your biggest struggle is with your own selfishness.
In marriage preparation, we need to get at the deeper heart issues, the deeper effect of sin on the way that we function, and begin to expose how sin reveals itself.
Every day in a good marriage is just a series of sacrifices that you joyfully make and that you then enjoy the fruit of that spirit of sacrifice.
Paul Tripp discusses how the gospel comes to bear on the day-to-day realities of marriage and why that's more than just a platitude.