Today's Bible Reading:

Two Words That Will Kill Your Marriage

A wise warning from Justin Davis (adapted):

There are so many things your marriage can survive. Miscommunication. Busy schedules. Conflict with your in-laws. Brokenness of the past.

But, there are two words that can absolutely shatter your marriage.

IF ONLY.

  • “If only my wife had sex with me more often.”
  • “If only my husband looked at me like my boss does.”
  • “If only we had kids.”
  • “If only we made more money.”
  • “If only we lived in a bigger house.”
  • “If only we would have dated longer.”
  • “If only she took care of herself like that girl at the gym.”
  • “If only my high school boyfriend and I would have stayed together.”
  • “If only we hadn’t had kids so young.”
  • “If only she understood me.”
  • “If only he listened to me.”
  • “If only I knew we were soul mates.”
  • “If only she cooked more/better.”
  • “If only he would do more around the house.”

“If only” causes you to focus on what isn’t rather than what is. “If only” allows your mind to fantasize about someone who isn’t your spouse. “If only” believes the lie that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. “If only” paralyzes you in the pursuit of your spouse. “If only” convinces you that a perfect marriage is completely up to the other person. “If only” destroys intimacy and leaves you in a desert of resentment. “If only” deceives you into believing that the best days of your marriage are behind and not ahead of you.

The best thing you can do for your marriage today? Remove “if only” from your marital vocabulary and address the problems of the present for what they are. You can’t change the past, but you can prevent “if only” lies from destroying your future.

Do you struggle with “if only” thoughts?

About Jason Hardin

Jason lives in southern Indiana with his wife Shelly and their three daughters. He works with the Charlestown Road church of Christ. Jason has written three books and a variety of workbooks. He's a fan of photography, baseball, mountains, wildlife, BBQ, banana pudding, and coffee. You can contact him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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The Great Commandments Apply at Home

"Which commandment is the most important of all?" Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:28-31)

If no commandment is greater than these, no environment needs them more than our homes. When God first commanded the children of Israel to love him with all their heart, soul, and might, he directly attached his expectations to everyday life at home.

"These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deut 6:6-9)

By God's design, home is "where the children are led to know Christ in his beauty who loves them so." Home, as God envisioned, is "where the altar fires burn and glow" (B. B. McKinney). Home may be "where the heart is," but nothing matters more in Christian homes than the heart of God.