Why Self-Effort Makes Having a Happy Marriage More Difficult


Looking over my journals for the last 20+ years, I can clearly see how much time I’ve spent whining and begging God to do something for me that He’s already done. I’ve pleaded with Him to be with me, to take care of me, and to bless what I’m trying to do.

In short, I’ve looked at my life from a place of need. Trying to talk God into making my life better, even as I tell Him what it should look like. I’ve determined what the outcome should be, rather than asking Him to show me what He has planned and to teach me how to partner with Him. But that is changing. Quickly.

Taking through self-effort

Many of us use a “Bottom-Up” model that is totally inside outside upside down!

  1. Tell your mate how you feel and what you want.
    Unspoken assumption: I should get what I ask for.
  2. Plead with God (whine & complain) until He listens to you.
    Unspoken assumption: I need to work hard at getting close to God.
  3. Beg God to do something about your spouse and bless your marriage.
    Unspoken assumption: God must fix your mate before you can be happy.

This approach is not only self-focused, it emphasizes all that is wrong.

  • It is past-present focused.
  • And you can’t look behind as you walk
  • because you’ll surely stumble and fall.

Learn a better way in my next post!

DrDebiSmith

Dr. Debi is passionate about helping Christian couples & single adults learn more effective ways to apply Biblical principles & the findings of psychological research to everyday life. She is an author & former professor, as well as a California Licensed Psychologist (21711) & a Texas Licensed Psychologist with Provisional Status (38600). She earned her Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD) at Rosemead School of Psychology-Biola University, and has taught psychology courses at MidAmerica Nazarene University, Azusa Pacific University, & Biola University.

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