If you’ve been around the church long enough, you’re likely familiar with the passage about Jesus healing the paralyzed man whose friends lowered him in from the ceiling.
At first glance, this is simply another story about one of Jesus’ miracles.
Digging deeper, as I studied this passage with our women’s Bible study at church, God revealed to me several lessons from this story that could be applied to marriage.
If you’re not familiar with it, or even if you are, let’s read through it quickly to refresh our memories.
Mark 2: 1-12
1A few days later Jesus went back to Capernaum. And when the people heard that He was home, 2 they gathered in such large numbers that there was no more room, not even outside the door, as Jesus spoke the word to them.3 Then a paralytic was brought to Him, carried by four men. 4 Since they were unable to get to Jesus through the crowd, they uncovered the roof above Him, made an opening, and lowered the paralytic on his mat.5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”6 But some of the scribes were sitting there and thinking in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like this? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”8 At once Jesus knew in His spirit that they were thinking this way within themselves. “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?” He asked. 9 “Which is easier: to say to a paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, pick up your mat, and walk’? 10 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...” He said to the paralytic, 11 “I tell you, get up, pick up your mat, and go home.”12 And immediately the man got up, picked up his mat, and walked out in front of them all. As a result, they were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
How on earth can this be related to marriage?
Here is what God revealed to me during my study.
1. We must eagerly seek Jesus’ wisdom and teaching.
The first thing we see in this story is that there was a crowd gathered to hear Jesus talk. Do you eagerly go to Jesus each day to listen to Him speak? Do you look forward to spending time with Him, learning from Him, getting to know more of His truth and His wisdom?
We can’t leave our Bibles closed and then claim we have no idea what God is telling us to do to heal our marriages, or to help our husbands, or to grow as wives. We must sit at His feet and listen to His words, and then we need to do what He says.
2. Be careful who your friends are.
First of all, these four men carried this paralyzed man to the roof of a house. How difficult must that have been? Not only that, but then they took the time to make an opening and lower him down to Jesus. This sounds like it must have taken a lot of time, patience, and strength. These were really good friends!
Secondly, verse 5 tells us that “When Jesus saw their faith”, He forgave the man’s sins. When He saw the faith of the FRIENDS, the man’s sins were forgiven. WOW!
Do your friends have that kind of faith? Are they willing to stand by you when you are in need? Will they sacrifice their time and comfort to be there for you?
Will your friends bring you TO Jesus through sound, biblical advice, rather than lead you AWAY from Him by encouraging you to disrespect your husband by “venting”, to focus only on your needs, or to divorce your husband?
The people we choose for our inner circle matter more than we can imagine.
3. Jesus knows our thoughts.
In verses 6-8, we see that the scribes were thinking things “in their hearts”. Jesus knew what they were thinking, and called them out on it.
If Jesus were to read your thoughts about your husband, would you be embarrassed? If He called you out on the way you think about your husband, would you feel ashamed?
Now, Jesus is not the author of shame; shame comes from the enemy and it’s meant to keep you stagnant. However, the Holy Spirit does use our conscience to guide us, and we may feel guilty or convicted about certain thoughts or behaviors in that we will take action to change and grow.
Consider whether you would be okay with Jesus holding you accountable for the thoughts you think about your husband. If not, reach out to me so we can talk through that some more. Scripture tells us that we are to “take every thought captive” and think about things that are pure, praiseworthy, and lovely. If your thoughts towards your husband don’t fall within that criteria from Philippians 4:8, then you must take them captive and intentionally turn them towards the things that do.
4. Do we notice the miracles God performs?
At the end of the passage in verse 12, we see that the man obeyed Jesus by picking up his mat and walking, while the crowd stood amazed, glorifying God and exclaiming that they’d never seen anything like that before.
Do you take the time to notice the miracles God performs in your life, in your marriage, in your husband? Miracles don’t always have to be something you’ve never seen before; the birth of a child is a miracle but that’s happened countless times.
Your husband may attend church with you every single week. Do you consider that a miracle? You should - it’s only through the miracle of the Holy Spirit that your husband has the conviction to attend church.
Does your husband go to the office and work hard each day to provide for your family. This is also a miracle.
Miracles aren’t necessarily something we can’t imagine happening; they can be everyday things that when we consider them, truly do take an act of God in order to happen.
Sometimes taking out the trash can be a miracle. 😊 We should always be intentional about keeping our eyes open to recognize and acknowledge even the tiniest of miracles that happen in our homes and in our marriages.
One thing I will work on is my friendships. In all transparency, I don’t have many (or any) in-real-life local girlfriends. I define that as someone I can meet for coffee every now and then, have playdates with our babies, go shopping, or hang out at each other’s houses. I would love to have some girlfriends that I can rely on when I need some extra support or just want to get out of the house.
Tell me, what is one thing you are going to work on?
What is God speaking to your heart about growing in order to heal your paralyzed marriage? Share with me in the comments, or send me a message. I’d love to join you in prayer!