While talking with my NANC supervisor yesterday about a couple with marital problems that I am counseling, he said I should remind them, “you think the biggest problem in your marriage is your spouse and you; the biggest problem in your marriage is you and God.”

And isn’t that always one of the root issues in our lives when sin is dominating and controlling us?  We think the problem is external to us when the problem is in actuality within us.  Al Mohler has made this same point in another context:

Most Americans believe that their major problem is something that has happened to them, and that their solution is to be found within. In other words, they believe that they have an alien problem that is to be resolved with an inner solution. What the gospel says, however, is that we have an inner problem that demands an alien solution — a righteousness that is not our own.  Once we begin to understand how that dichotomy comes together, we can see better how we can think we are talking about the gospel…

So the problems in marriages are connected — like every other problem — to the centrality of the gospel.  If one preaches the gospel to himself every day, recognizing that on his own he is helpless to effect spiritual change and that he is dependent every moment of the day on the transforming power of the gospel, then both his fellowship with Christ and his wife will grow in godly maturity and Christlikeness.