“The devil’s great enemy” by Martin Luther

“It is a great and special blessing when people in a marriage endure well. They are the devil’s great enemy.”

–Martin Luther, Off the Record With Martin Luther: An Original Translation of the Table Talks, trans. and ed. Charles Daudert (Kalamazoo, MI: Hansa-Hewlett, 2009), entry no. 1794, p. 43.

“Uncomfortable grace” by Paul David Tripp

“There are moments in our lives when we are crying out for grace, not recognizing that we are getting it. We are not getting the grace of relief or the grace of release, because that is not the grace that we really need.

No, what we are getting is something we desperately need, the uncomfortable grace of personal growth and change. With the love of a Father, your Lord is prying open your hands so that you will let go of things that have come to rule your heart but will never satisfy you.

With the insight of a seasoned teacher, He is driving you to question your own wisdom so that you will find your understanding and rest in His. With the skill of the world’s best counselor, God is showing you the delusions of your control so that you will take comfort in His rule.

With the gentleness of a faithful friend He is facing you toward the inadequacies of your own righteousness so that you find your hope in His.”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 216.

“Remember Jesus” by Paul David Tripp

“When you are working on rebuilding trust, you need to place your hope not in your husband or wife but in the third Person in your marriage, the Lord Jesus. He is with you and for you. As the designer of marriage and the one who brought you together, He has more zeal that your marriage would actually be what He created it to be than you will ever have.

He has the wisdom you need. He has the strength you need. He offers the forgiveness you need. And He will not leave you when the going gets tough. Cry out to Him; He will never turn a deaf ear to you. Listen to His Word; there is wisdom there that has the power to restore.

And when you are discouraged and feel that you are all alone and no one understands, remember Jesus. He suffered rejection and mistreatment. He was not even able to trust His closest companions. On the cross, as He bore our sins, even His Father forsook Him.

He knows what you are going through, and He is the only one who is ready and able to give you the grace you need as you seek to put the shattered china of your trust together again.”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 165.

“The bright message of Scripture” by Paul David Tripp

“The bright message of Scripture is that change really is possible. God sent His Son to live, die, and rise again to give us new life and with that new life the promise of reconciliation and restoration. Your marriage is not encased in concrete. You are not stuck.

God not only calls you to change, but He has already given you everything you need to make the changes to which He has called you. Remember, you are not alone in your struggle. He has invaded your marriage with His powerful love and transforming grace.

Confess the things that have broken the trust between you and get to work building trust once again.”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 154.

“We forget” by Paul David Tripp

“A lifestyle of unforgiveness is rooted in the sin of forgetfulness. We forget that there is not a day in our lives that we do not need to be forgiven. We forget that we will never graduate from our need for grace. We forget that we have been loved with a love we could never earn, achieve, or deserve.

We forget that God never mocks our weakness, never finds joy in throwing our failures in our face, never threatens to turn His back on us, and never makes us buy our way back into His favor. When you remember, when you carry with you a deep appreciation for the grace that you have been given, you’ll have a heart that is ready to forgive.

That doesn’t mean that the process will be comfortable or easy, but it will mean that you can approach your needy spouse remembering that you are just as in need of what you’re about to give to him or her.”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 97.

“This hope is at the cross of Jesus Christ” by Paul David Tripp

“Confession is all about hope. Confession unavoidably leads us to give up hoping in ourselves. It calls us to abandon our trust in our own wisdom, righteousness, and strength. It welcomes us to admit how weak, selfish, needy, fickle, and rebellious we actually are.

It faces us with the reality that we are still people in deep and daily need of rescue. Yes, we have grown, but sin still lives within us, diverting our desires and distorting our actions. So, we lay down the hope that we had in ourselves, and we take up a new, brighter hope.

This hope is at the cross of Jesus Christ. He came to earth and lived the perfect life that we could not live. He became the perfect sacrificial lamb, taking our sins on Himself, satisfying the Father’s wrath and purchasing our forgiveness.

He suffered the rejection of His Father so that we would be accepted. He walked out of His tomb, defeating death and making the hope of eternal life a reality. What does this have to do with marriage? Everything!

When the shadow of the cross hangs over our marriage, we live and relate differently. We are no longer afraid to look at ourselves. We are no longer surprised by our sin. We no longer have to work to present ourselves as righteous. We say good-bye to finger-pointing and self-excusing.

We abandon our record of wrongs. We settle issues quickly. And we do all these things because we know that everything we need to confess has already been forgiven, and what is needed for every new step we will take has already supplied.

We can live in the liberating light of humility and honesty, a needy and tender sinner, no longer defensive and no longer afraid, together growing nearer to one another as we grow to be more like Him. Now, who wouldn’t want a marriage like that?”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 82-83.

“Jesus took our shame” by Paul David Tripp

“Dealing with our guilt and shame is what the whole Bible is about. It is about redemption, that is, the paying of a debt of guilt and shame that needed to be paid. That payment was made on the cross. Jesus took our shame, hanging in public, numbered with the criminals.

He took our guilt by taking our sin on Himself and paying the price for it– death. He did this even though he had no reason for either shame or guilt, because He was a perfect man. He did not do these things for Himself; every action in the whole process was substitutionary. It was done for us.

Why? So guilt and shame would not hold us; so that in the courage of celebratory faith we would quit hiding, quit excusing, quit blaming, and quit rising to our own defense. So that we could be unafraid of saying, ‘You are right, I was wrong, and I need your forgiveness.’

So that we could say, ‘I know I blew it last night, but I am committed to doing better.’ So that we could say to one another, ‘I need your help. I don’t always see myself accurately. If you see something wrong in me, I welcome you to help me see it as well.’

So that we could look at our marriages and not declare that they are perfect but celebrate the fact that, over the years, we have taken many important steps closer to what God has called us to be and has designed our marriages to become.”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 79.