A: I want to assure you that God doesn’t want your marriage to be like this — and it doesn’t need to be, if you’ll turn it — and your lives — over to Him. God gave marriage to us, and He wants to help us follow His design for marriage.
Have you ever asked yourself why you and your husband can’t ever agree, even on things that don’t really matter? I suspect the real reason is that you both want to be in control, and you can’t stand giving in to the other person, even if they are right. In other words, the real problem isn’t just with your spouse; the real problem is within you (as well as within him). And until you change, you can’t expect him to change either.
How can you change? First, be honest about your pride and your unwillingness to give up your desire to have your own way. That won’t be easy; admitting our pride and our stubbornness seldom is. But always insisting on our own way is an almost-certain path to conflict. The Bible says, “Love is patient, love is kind.... it is not self-seeking” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).
Then turn your life — including your marriage — over to Jesus Christ. He wants to come into your lives and take away your self-centeredness, and then give you a new love for each other. And He will, as you submit to Him every day. Don’t give up, but open your heart to Jesus Christ today.
Q: Christmas was horrible for me this year because I’m in prison and no one in my family even sent me a Christmas card. I knew they’d said they were washing their hands of me, but this really hurt. You’ll probably say I need God, and maybe I do, but right now I can’t see what difference it would make. — J.T.
A: Thank you for your letter, and I’m truly sorry Christmas was such a depressing time for you. Christmas shouldn’t be this way; it should be a time of joy and peace. But because we are sinners, it often isn’t.
The most important truth I can tell you is that although you feel alone and unloved, in reality you aren’t — because God loves you, and He is with you. So far in life, you haven’t thought about Him very much; you even might have been angry at Him or not wanted anything to do with Him. But God created you and loves you, and you are of great value to Him.
In fact, if you had been the only person on earth who needed to be saved, God still would have sent His Son into the world to die for you. Jesus Christ is the final proof of God’s love for you — and that’s why I urge you to turn to Him in repentance and faith, and welcome Him into your life. The Bible says, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
You can’t change your family — at least not now. But you yourself can be changed, by allowing Jesus Christ to have control of your heart and mind. Remember: we are never alone when we know Christ.
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.