angry man and woman with crossed arms sitting back to back on a couchDo those words shock you? Those were the words that a married man confessed to me. However, I think if we’re honest with ourselves there are probably days when every married man could admit to thinking those words. We hear the word “compatibility” thrown around a lot today with respect to marriage. I hear couples who have resigned themselves to divorce simply say, “We were no longer compatible.” They speak of compatibility as though it were an immutable trait. However, based on Scripture and the experiences of countless couples, I believe that compatibility is a choice and not some inherent trait over which we have no control.

When asked about divorce, Jesus quoted Genesis 2:24, “’For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19:5-6My point is that every marriage has its rough spots. It simply stands to reason that when two sinners of the opposite gender agree to spend the rest of their lives together, of course there will be disagreements and friction. There will probably even be times when you don’t like each other. But feelings are fickle and change like the wind. But the currency of marriage is love. We’re told to love each other—not because we’re both so lovable—but precisely because only love can overlook all our faults. And believe me, both my wife and I have plenty.

The true test of a good marriage is not how compatible a couple is, but how compatible or loving they choose to be despite conflict and differences. This is why the marriage covenant is such a big deal. Rightly seen, incompatibility is a refusal to work on one’s marriage. But under the covenant of marriage we mutually agree to work towards compatibility and genuinely enjoying one another.

Perhaps you’ve been hurt by your spouse and you’re in a place where it’s quite an effort to even liker her. The best way I know to overcome that is: through prayer ask God to give you a genuine love for your wife; and to engage in doing and saying loving things. When you speak lovingly and perform acts of love for your spouse, your feelings will follow, and you’ll reignite the flame of love that attracted you to this lovely woman in the first place.

Regardless of the state of your marriage, don’t wait to put these actions into play!

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:25-33

Personal Application:

If you are married, don’t leave the health of your marriage to chance. Begin actively pursuing an ever-growing love relationship with your wife. If you’re not yet married, consider what you read here and tuck it away for the day that you are married.


Jim and Wendell signatures Jim Grassi, D. Min. and Wendell Morton

We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5