Married couples should routinely evaluate how they are doing. And for a couple to know how they are doing, it is important to know how each individual is doing.
The quality of my marriage is proportional to my investment in it.
Where do you start for a good marriage evaluation? I would suggest 1 Corinthians 13. People love to use this chapter in a wedding ceremony. While it is a great text for marriage, it is ultimately in the context of how the Church is supposed to interact with one another. Don’t let that de-sentimentalize the chapter. If you are part of the Body of Christ, this truth means much more for your marriage than taking something away from it.
In fact, your marriage would improve greatly if you started looking at it with Kingdom eyes.
So, what does Scripture say about marriage? What can 1 Corinthians 13 teach you? This chapter teaches about true love.
A great marriage evaluation is to substitute the word “love” for your name and evaluate the accuracy of each phrase.
I am not changing Scripture. I am not asking you to alter what it means. For an experiment’s sake, see if your name could equal love regarding how you relate to your spouse.
It may sound weird, but it is a very telling experiment.
“Travis is patient and kind. Travis does not envy or boast. Travis is not arrogant or rude.” And so on and so on. In addition to it allowing you to speak in third person, it gets very specific in evaluating your relationship to your spouse. You can use the entire chapter or just isolate the 2nd paragraph.
So, try it out:
- __________ is patient and kind.
- __________ does not envy or boast.
- __________ is not arrogant or rude.
- __________ does not insist on his/her own way.
- __________ is not irritable or resentful.
- __________ does not rejoice at wrongdoing.
- __________ rejoices with the truth.
- __________ bears all things.
- __________ believes all things.
- __________ hopes all things.
- __________ endures all things.
How well did those 11 statements sound as they came out? Plausible? Laughable? I encourage you to take this chapter and evaluate your marriage.
You can determine out how well your marriage is doing by finding out how well you are doing.
1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.