Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday's Quote: What Sin Does to Our Marriages

I've been reading What Did You Expect? by Paul David Tripp, and I find that it cuts to the center of things without wasting time on the periphery.  In this quote, which is admittedly a little long, Tripp writes about sin and how it hurts our marriages by making us think only of ourselves.
The apostle Paul summarizes here [2 Corinthians 5:14-15] what sin does to all of us.  Sin turns us in on ourselves.  Sin makes us shrink our lives to the narrow confines of our little self-defined world.  Sin causes us to shrink our focus, motivation, and concern to the size of our own wants, needs, and feelings.  Sin causes us to be offended most by offenses against us and to be concerned most for what concerns us.  Sin causes us to dream selfish dreams and to plan self-oriented plans.  Because of sin, we really do love us, and we have a wonderful plan for our own lives! 
What all this means is that sin is essentially antisocial.  We don't really have time to love our spouse, in the purest sense of what that means, because we are too busy loving ourselves.  What we actually want is for our spouse to love us as much as we love ourselves, and if our spouse is willing to do that, we will have  a wonderful relationship.  So we try to co-opt our spouse into a willing submission to the plans and purposes of our claustrophobic kingdom of one. 
But there is more.  Because sin is antisocial, it tends to dehumanize the people in our lives.  No longer are they objects of our willing affection.  No, they quit being the people we find joy in loving.  Rather, they get reduced to one of two things.  They are either  vehicles to help us get what we want or obstacles in the way of what we want.  When your wife is meeting the demands of your wants, needs, and feelings, you are quite excited about her, and you treat her with affection.  But when she becomes an obstacle in the way of your wants, needs, and feelings, you have a hard time hiding your disappointment, impatience, and irritation.  (page 47)
Without the saving power of Jesus Christ, we are stuck living a selfish, sin-filled life which will ruin our marriages.  We need the Holy Spirit living inside of us to make our marriages be what God intends them to be.

What do you think?  Have you seen the selfishness of sin crop up in your marriage?  I know I have!  Mine!

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