I’ve discovered three questions you can use to diagnose an ailing marriage. I would like to tell you I discovered these questions while completing my graduate degree in Marriage and Family Counseling, but the truth is, I discovered these questions while lying in a hospital bed.
It’s so easy to exaggerate our self-importance and take center stage in life. We can be quick to focus on our interests, elevate our contributions, and downplay our faults.
In Genesis chapter 30, Jacob and his uncle Laban are caught in a battle for center stage. Both manipulate and deceive, trying to get the best of the other while crying foul over any perceived injustice.
But in their desire for center stage, they miss two important realities…
First, they miss the fact that they are both guilty. Neither sees that their problems as connected to their own sin. Each is so focused on the other they fail to see they’re just as bad as the other.
Second, they’re so focused on pointing out the other’s fault they miss the fact that the God of all creation is doing something in their midst! They each claim God is on their side. They each use God to threaten the other and get their way. Yet they fail to see the bigger picture of what God is doing in their very midst.
What about you?
Do you tend to blame others for your problems, rather than come clean about how you’ve contributed to your problems? Do you ask God to show others how they are wrong more than you ask God to show you how you are wrong? Do you turn to God to make your situation “right,” rather than to make you “right?”
If so, you’ve taken center stage and need to…
- Ask God to make Himself greater and you lesser. (John 3:30)
- Ask God to show you your own sin and be grieved over that sin. (Ps. 51:3-4)
- Ask God to help you focus on changing yourself more than changing others. (Matt.7:5)
We all need to remove ourselves from center stage and put the spotlight back on God. When we humble ourselves before God and others, we’ll more clearly see God and His designs on our life. (James 4:6.)
Bret Legg is the Teaching and Counseling Pastor at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, GA.