Oh man. This is a common thought, huh? It is not one that is vocalized often, but sometimes it sneakily creeps into the back of our minds. The Bible gives answers for many marriage issues, but when it comes down to specific situations, there are plenty of issues that have not been directly addressed in the Bible. “Should all our bank accounts, possessions and assets all be jointly owned?” “Can my spouse have friends of the opposite sex?” “Should my wife be a stay-at-home mom?” ETC. You have the questions, and you are looking for answers.
Here’s the deal. As Western Christians in the middle of the Information Age, we use the Bible like Google. We want to search to get the exact answer for what we need. We like black and white. We like quick fix solutions. We like no-hassle.
The truth is the Bible is not all black and white. God stays silent on certain issues so that we continue to use wisdom and seek His spirit for what is right for us. The Christian life is not about quick fix solutions. It is about continued perseverance. The Christian life is not meant to be easier, or hassle-free. It was meant to grow you as you constantly study the Word and let its depth inform your day-to-day decisions.
There are answers sprawled out through the text of the Bible, and we also have an active God who makes himself available through prayer. But this still doesn’t mean you will get an audible, black and white, quick fix, no-hassle answer! Sometimes He places convictions in our hearts. Sometimes He reveals his answers piece by piece. And sometimes He wants us to dig deeper into the heart of His Word.
The Bible is not, nor was ever meant to be, our Google! The Bible is not a compilation of sound bytes. It is a comprehensive, true and real story that reveals deep truths. Jesus primarily spoke in parables not to be cryptic, but to get people to truly think through life philosophies. When you study a text do you read it for face value or do you dive in and look for the themes within? For example, the parable of the prodigal son is not just about a father happy about a lost son coming home. This story also addresses the real issue of Christians (represented by the older brother) being unhappy when a new convert (the younger brother) is getting the attention. One of the themes in this story is jealousy.
We have to study the Biblical themes and let them guide our day-to-day decisions. Look at the issue that you have in your marriage. Examine your motives. What are the themes? Are there any underlying issues that the Bible does address?
Also, it is vital that we don’t just look through the Bible when we need answers. We need to study everyday. By saturating ourselves in it, we become aware of the depth of the Word. The principles stay in us and then we are able to approach our difficult decisions with wisdom. A lot of “un-touched” topics become less scary when we are assured of what we believe through ongoing study and relationship with God.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” James 3:13-17