The power of what you believe will change the course of your life. So, you’d better make sure you believe the truth because lies have just as much power to affect every aspect of your life as does the truth.
Lies matter. If we believe them long enough, they become our Truth, regardless of what is actually true or false. We like to think that we believe only the truth, but do we? Is any aspect of your thought process about your marriage (for instance) based on lies?
And yet, millions of Christians have told themselves that they need to divorce or separate because they are “incompatible”. Do you know someone like that?
We started out great, but then we discovered we’re incompatible. Nobody’s right or wrong here, we just don’t “work” any more.
Is “incompatibility” in marriage real?
I didn’t ask if it feels real to the millions of spouses who know the proper way to squeeze the toothpaste tube, or those married to someone who refuses to learn how to correctly put the toilet paper roll on the roller. And, more seriously, I didn’t ask if it feels real to the millions of marriages where conversations dissolve into arguing on a regular basis, or to those struggling back from any form of infidelity.
To all these people, it definitely feels real but, is it . . . really? Are they truly incompatible? Remember, we can convince ourselves of anything. When personal truth is the only consultant, all beliefs, decisions, and actions are valid, by definition.
In courthouses across America, incompatibility is grounds for divorce. That proves it, right there, doesn’t it? Incompatibility is a thing! After all, it’s inhumane to make two people who are incompatible remain married, right?
Have you entertained this thinking regarding your own marriage?
Maybe the basis of our (relational, sexual, emotional, financial) problems is that we’re . . . incompatible . . . that explains it!
There are legitimate medical conditions that create physical and emotional problems in marriage, which need to, and for those willing, can be, addressed. For the vast majority of people in difficult marriages, however, incompatibility isn’t the problem.
So, what is . . . ?
Ready for a hard truth?
You’re not incompatible. You’re just sinful.
The problems you are experiencing are not based on some condition you call “incompatibility”. They’re the result of not letting go of your selfishness and sin.
Many of you may be chaffing at this, right now, convinced that the real problems in your marriage are because of your spouse. Maybe, but the Word of God encourages you to do an eye exam before you put all the blame on your spouse.
In Matthew 7:3-5 (mljv), Jesus asks, “Why are you focusing on the tiny speck in your brother’s (spouse’s!) eye and not on the log in your own? . . . You hypocrite, first remove the log from your own eye and then you will be able to see clearly to remove the speck in your brother’s (spouse’s) eye.”
Someone once put it this way: What severe judges we are of our own crimes in other people.
When we come face-to-face with our own sin and truly repent of it (remove it from our thinking and life) we remove one of the reasons we were struggling in marriage.
In the marriage journey, healing follows where humility and true repentance have been.
Yes, it takes two and many spouses are unwilling to move forward – and certainly, the Bible sanctions divorce in specific circumstances – but for most, marriage problems are not about incompatibility. They’re about being willing to grow and mature as a person.
Reject the language of relational demise. You’re not incompatible. Mistakes may have been made but your marriage is not a mistake. God doesn’t make mistakes.
And take heart. Today’s failure doesn’t have to define and destroy tomorrow’s promise.
The Truth will set your marriage free . . . IF you walk in it.
Matt Jacobson is the founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).