Many marriages carry the difficult challenge (DC) of being unequally yoked. Religious differences can cause huge amounts of strife in the home. Even when both partners believe in the same faith, one may be more committed than the other.
For the spiritually-committed spouse, the journey towards grace is a demanding one. This spouse must consider setting aside his or her own needs in order to meet the needs of the mate. This reveals itself in being more flexible about decision-making. Who gets to decide…what is right, good and acceptable.
The flexible spouse learns to discern those times when to let the partner be in control. This means giving to one’s partner at the expense of one’s own needs. Sacrificially, this act of love is repeated for two to five years before real changes take root. Like being a passenger in a car with a wayward driver, crashes occur repeatedly and the flexible spouse learns the meaning of humility.
Small signs of grace become noticeable along the way. The partner begins to appreciate, forgive and repent as never before. The partner notices a very real and deep change in the spiritual spouse. Communication improves as the couple breaks the frustrating 3Ds cycle of Deny, Defend, Deflect.
For the flexible spouse, love changes. His or her need for traditional love goes away. Neediness goes away. Needing to be heard, understood, respected all goes away. Most importantly, the need to be right goes away. Being right gives way to being successful. The spiritual spouse seeks to need nothing. Needing nothing is the true meaning of love (1Cor 13).
The result is grace for the flexible spouse and a transformation of the marriage. The journey is not for the casual believer but the for the committed follower of Jesus. Great are the rewards – heaven on earth. Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” (Luke 17:21) The flexible spouse knows the meaning of this. It is grace.