Communication techniques can help you get along with your spouse.
 
Conflict resolution tips can help you to fight fair.
 
And, understanding how you and your spouse are designed differently is critical to helping you pursue oneness with your spouse instead of sameness.
 
All these things and more can legitimately help your marriage. But at the end of the day, your marriage needs more than a set of principles to go the distance. Your marriage needs a person, and that person is Jesus.
 
I’m not trying to be super spiritual, but rather profoundly practical.
 
Jesus offers so much more than a trip to a perfect place at the end of your life. What he offers can actually help you here, and help you now…in your life, and in your marriage.
 
I want to suggest the story of Easter (Jesus life, death, resurrection, and ascension) provides the MODEL, the MUSCLE, and the MOTIVATION for you and your spouse to not just go the distance, but THRIVE in your marriage.
 

Easter Provides The Model For Marriage

Jesus lived a perfect life on this earth in relationship with everyone he ever interacted with. His life provides a perfect model for how we should relate to each other in all our relationships, but especially marriage.

Jesus Loved When He Wasn’t Being Loved – Loving a spouse who loves you is easy. Loving a spouse who doesn’t, isn’t. Jesus demonstrated his love to the very people that would eventually be responsible for his murder. When God asks us to demonstrate love to our spouse, even though they may be less than deserving, we should be willing to love like Jesus 1st loved us (Romans 5:8).

Jesus Served When He Deserved to Be Served – Christ had a right to be served, a right to be worshipped, a right to all the wealth, the finest home, the finest food, and an ultimate life of comfort. Yet, he chose to set aside those rights and focus on his responsibility given to him by God, “The son of man did not come to be served, but to serve.” In the same way, we should purpose to set aside what we think we deserve from our spouse, and purpose to focus on our responsibility to serve them (Mark 10:45, Philippians 2:6-8).

Jesus Loved The Way God Wanted Him To Even When He Wanted A Different Way  – When Jesus was in the garden before going to the cross, He cried out to God and asked if there was any other way for him to express his love outside of being crucified. But in the end, Christ submitted and said, “…not my will, but yours be done.” When God asks us to demonstrate love to our spouse in a certain way, even when we don’t feel like it and even when it requires sacrifice, we should submit to God (Luke 22:42).

Jesus Persevered When He Deserved To Rest – Christ was falsely accused, wrongfully and brutally beaten, and went through excruciating pain carrying his own means of death (the cross) through the streets of Jerusalem and up the hill to Golgotha. Christ persevered in the most difficult of conditions because he valued what he would accomplish (offer of forgiveness, salvation for all men, and ultimately God’s glory) more than his personal comfort. He allowed this joy to motivate him to endure his difficult circumstances (Hebrews 12:2). When you’re tired of loving your spouse, remember what your love will accomplish (God’s glory – 1 Corinthians 10:31) and allow that to fill your heart with joy knowing that your love towards your spouse is giving God’s heart pleasure.

Your sacrificial love towards your spouse is giving God's heart pleasure. Click To Tweet

Jesus Offered Forgiveness To People Who Didn’t Deserve it – At the most intense point of his suffering on the cross, and moments before his death, Christ initiated forgiveness towards the people that put him there. In the same way, as we are enduring suffering in our marriage, we should be willing to initiate forgiveness towards our spouse (Luke 23:34).

Easter Provides The Muscle For Marriage

I know Christ’s model of love is a high bar. I also know the last thing you need in your marriage is an impossible to-do list. If marriage was as easy as having a list of do’s and don’ts, everyone would have a great marriage.

As I’m sure you’ve already experienced, marriage takes more than a to-do list. It takes more than a list of how to’s. It takes more than looking at Jesus and doing as he did. It also takes muscle.

Here’s the sobering truth. You don’t have what it takes to have the marriage you want and that God desires you to have. You need muscle you weren’t created with. The muscle you need is the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead: the ALL-powerful Spirit of God. Easter had to happen in order for this muscle to be made available to live inside of us and be our ever present and all powerful help in our time of need (John 16:7).

Let your inadequacy and failures to love your spouse be a reminder of your need for the All-Powerful Spirit of God to help you (1 Corinthians 12:9).

Ask Him for help in your marriage (John 15:5).

Easter Provides The Motivation For Marriage

You have a model, you have the muscle, so what else does the story of Easter offer you in your marriage?

Motivation.

I believe most people understand what to do in marriage (model). I also believe that most Bible believing people understand their need for the All-Powerful Spirit to help them in marriage (muscle). But, I believe where most people fall short in marriage is in motivation. They know what they should do but just don’t do it. Their “ought to” doesn’t match their “want to“. Again, the story of Easter, actually the main character of Easter, doesn’t disappoint in providing a solution.

The story of Easter is not only a distant, academic, story of a man who did some good things for some people, died on a cross, and then miraculously came back to life**. The story of Easter is as personal and heartfelt a story as you’ve ever heard. It’s a story of a Creator coming to the rescue of his creation. It’s a story of Someone who gave up everything so that He could give you everything. It’s the most relevant, practical, and inspiring story that’s ever existed. The story of Easter is the climax of every other story ever told, including your own.

Jesus created you. He loved you, but you didn’t love Him and you lived against him. You were God’s enemy, but Jesus continued to love you and pursue you by opening your eyes to your need for Him. He met you right where you were and moved you to believe in Him, live for Him, and represent Him in everything you do. Then, Jesus gave you an all powerful helper in this life and started preparing a perfect place to spend your life in eternity.

As you consider who Jesus is, what He’s done for you, and what He’s promised you, there should be a certain level of motivation to do what he says. Not out of obligation or duty, but out of gratefulness.

Marriage will be difficult at times. More accurately put, your SPOUSE will be difficult to love at times. It’s in those times where you need more than a model and some muscle to continue loving them. You need motivation, and your greatest motivation to love your spouse when the going gets tough is found in the main character of the story of Easter. Jesus.

In short, don’t love your spouse as they deserve, but love them as Christ deserves.

The greatest motivation to love your spouse when the going gets tough is found in the main character of the story of Easter. Jesus.

The greatest motivation to love your spouse when the going gets tough is found in the main character of the story of Easter. Jesus. Click To Tweet

Easter gives us the model, the muscle and the motivation to love our spouse in the most difficult of circumstances. I hope you celebrate who Christ is, what’s he’s done for you, and what he offers you this Easter like never before. I also pray that the realities Easter brings to your marriage would transform the way you interact with your spouse in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

**If the story of Easter has only been a distant intellectual fact to you, I want to personally invite you to make it your heartfelt reality by clicking HERE. Your life, and your marriage, will never be the same.