Who or what is the center of your home?
Center means a point, area, person, or thing that is most important or pivotal.
Our homes revolve around something. When we were first married, our home revolved around Dave and me. Just the two of us. Young, new love. The thrill of being married and starting a life together. Everything felt exciting, bursting with possibility and promise.
Once the children came along, our home revolved around baby schedules, feedings, diaper changes, and adjusting to parenthood. Farther along this journey, we discovered we could maintain our individuality, our identity as a couple, and parent our children to the best of our abilities.
The focus shifted once again from kid-centric to a healthier lifestyle approach. Dave and I didn’t want to get to the empty nest stage and not know each other. We heeded the advice from older couples to invest in our relationship first.
And it was a good thing because, as empty-nesters, we faced a giant marriage crisis. Dave confessed a lifelong addiction to pornography. Exposed as a young child, it seemed to stalk him throughout life. Then when the internet came into our lives, so did easy porn access. His confession shoved me into a pit of despair.
The focus on a happy future shifted. Life tilted away from our preferred future toward an ugly, scary outcome. To survive this, we needed to redirect our center.
But how do you do that?
Paul the Apostle writes about this “new center” ideal focus or imitation in 1 Corinthians 10:31- 11:1
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.
And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.
The center of our marriage? Our goal?
Bring glory to God.
Serve others well.
Point people to Jesus’ saving grace.
Jesus becomes your marriage center.
Paul encourages us to follow him (Paul) as he follows Christ Jesus. Then, Paul directs our imitation, our center, to Christ by encouraging us to follow his example.
How do you make Christ the center of your marriage and home?
Develop your relationship with God.
Ephesians 5 tells us to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. We build our relationship with God first. He becomes our cornerstone and foundation pillars. How do you do that? Read the Bible from cover to cover regularly. Dave and I do this every year. If you are new to daily Bible reading, start with the Gospel of John, the Psalms, or Proverbs. You cannot imitate Christ or reflect Him to others if you don’t know Him personally.
Listening to podcasts, sermons, and worship music provides helpful resources. But, you learn who God is by reading the Bible. He tells us everything we need to know of Him there. When someone quotes a passage or saying from the Bible, how will you know the quote’s accuracy if you aren’t familiar with the Bible? You won’t. How do you know if something is sinful or not if you don’t know what the Bible says about it?
In Luke 4, Satan tempts Jesus to turn away from God and His divine purpose. Jesus refutes Satan by quoting Bible passages to deal with Satan’s twisting of God’s words. How do you recognize and resist sin? Saturate yourself with the Word of God, so when the temptation comes, you’ll recall these words, which help you fight the battle.
Do you ask for forgiveness or recognize your missteps? How do your relationships with your spouse and children imitate Christ? How do you know? What benchmarks do you measure?
As our children grew, we discovered the importance of humbly requesting forgiveness for our actions. When we treated our children disrespectfully, saying, “I’m sorry for speaking to you that way. Please forgive me,” opened opportunities to restore relationships with the wounded family member. And taught humility. We learned to listen better and speak less. We expanded our ability to say “yes” and diminished our desire to say “no.” Doing so allowed our children to try, make mistakes, and succeed.
While recovering from porn addiction and depression, Dave and I discovered a new level of humility with each other. Speaking the truth no matter what brought new freedom to grow, forgive, extend, and experience grace. We let go of our need for perfection and accepted the joys found in authenticity.
Actions over words.
A wife suffering from her husband’s porn addiction craves truthful actions. Words don’t mean as much as actions. Typically, we rush to explain ourselves, believing the flood of words smooths and lessens the pain. Not so. Concrete, consistent, loving actions practiced in the moments create more healing and trust than worthless words.
How did I know Dave abhorred his porn addiction? He demonstrated his desire to change every day. For instance, when I asked him to show me his computer history, he opened it. He viewed his computer or phone only in public areas and held nothing back. Even when I had uncomfortable questions, Dave answered each one without hesitation.
Your marriage needs stability. Without it, your home life feels shaky and unsafe. A wife whose husband views porn believes she has no value. A husband whose wife consistently drips negativity feels demoralized. Even though you may be trapped in unhealthy patterns now, you can change that.
How do you forge stability in your home? Practice S-T-A-B-L-E:
- Seek God
- Tell the Truth
- Accept personal accountability
- Build healthy boundaries
- Listen actively
- Exhibit emotional intelligence
Your stable home provides a safe, nurturing, and vibrant environment to help you, your spouse, and your family thrives. Though easy to neglect, don’t. Prioritize your home life.
When life hurts and the pain feels unfair, unrelenting, and seems to cloud your every thought, know that it doesn’t have to stay that way.
When ballerinas spin and spin gracefully, they find a spot to watch to stay centered in their turn and not get dizzy. In the same way, your marriage needs a solid center.
Center your marriage on Christ.
Study His life and then follow His example. When you do, not only does life become more satisfying, but you also experience the freedom to be who you were created to be.
Need some help? Give me a call or shoot me an email. There is a way to steady your home. Let’s create a plan to move Christ to the center of our lives.