I had the absolute pleasure, earlier this week, to sit with a couple who have been married for 56 years. She told me she still has the ticket stub from the first movie they saw together. In fact, she even kept the Hershey’s wrapper from the candy bar he bought for her at the movie. During our visit, this wonderful Christian couple taught me a very profound truth.

It didn’t take long to realize this man believed, with every fiber of his being, that he was extremely blessed to be married to his wife. He felt he didn’t deserve such a wonderful woman. And I’m sure she probably feels the same about him. That’s the kind of mentality it takes to stay in love for 56 years!

Unfortunately, there are too many marriages where the spouses each feel they deserve better than what they have. They think they deserve to be married to someone who takes better care of his/her physical appearance, someone who is more understanding, or simply someone with whom they would be more “compatible.” In short, they feel they got a raw deal.

Although marriages fall apart for many reasons, many unravel simply because one, or both, spouses feel they deserve better than what they have. The complaints build up over time, “I deserve better than a spouse who does this.” Or, “I could have married so and so and then I wouldn’t have to put up with that.” And before long, there is resentment, where there used to be love.

The secret is this, none of us deserve a better marriage; and until we develop humility, we will never have a better marriage. Put this biblical principle to work in your marriage and see what happens, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count [your spouse] more significant than [yourself]” (Philippians 2:3).

Remember, if you’re a Christian, you’re nothing more than a forgiven sinner (Romans 3:23). You deserve death, torment, and punishment (Romans 6:23). When we think we deserve better than what we have, it is because we are not thinking with sober judgement. Remember the words of Scripture, “I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment” (Romans 12:3).

If you have a spouse, you have it better than you deserve. Even if you don’t have a spouse, you have it better than you deserve. If you are alive and forgiven, your circumstances are infinitely better than you deserve.

As married couples, we have got to stop being so concerned about getting what we think we deserve and start trying to “outdo” our spouses in showing honor, love, respect, kindness, etc. (Romans 12:10).

I love you and God loves you,

Wes McAdams

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