Refusing to Compromise

Ring and Commitment

Compromise  has no place in our marriage when it comes to our commitment to our spouse. This is part 3 of 7 in our series of what Jesus would say to our marriage. If Jesus’ words to the seven churches in the book of Revelation were used as an evaluation of your marriage, what challenges would he have for you? What words of encouragement might you hear?

The Context

The city of Pergamum (Revelation 3:12-17) was at one time considered the greatest city in Asia Minor. It was known for manufacturing a special parchment which was used as paper for books—and the parchment was named after the city and called “pergamena.” There was a massive library of over 200,000 volumes in the city. A multitude of gods were worshiped in Pergamum including Zeus, Athena, Dionysius, and Aesculapius. Aesculapius was the god of healing and had an entwined serpent on his staff—the same image that is used today as a medical symbol.

Even further, this was the first city that had a temple dedicated to Caesar and they promoted worship of Caesar—hard. In fact, Jesus describes their city as the place “where Satan has his throne.”

Early on the Christians stood firm against the persecution, refusing to budge. One of the leaders of the church in Pergamum, Antipas, was martyred because he would not worship Caesar. All one had to do was take a pinch of incense and put it on the altar of Caesar and affirm loyalty to him. But Antipas refused and died for for his refusal to compromise. Over time, the strength of the Christians’ commitment was eroding into compromise in beliefs and in their tolerance of false teachers.

Perhaps in the early years of marriage you were steadfastly committed to your spouse in every way. But over time—almost without awareness—you’ve allowed compromise to subtly slip in where resolve once stood firm. What would Jesus say to you about your marriage? Where might he point out areas of compromise in your commitment? He might say:

“I know where you live”

Jesus knows the influence of Satan is all around your marriage. Culturally:

  • Divorce has become normalized,
  • Faithfulness to one’s spouse is trivialized.
  • Commitment to Jesus is demonized.
  • Personal purity is jeopardized.
  • Honesty is marginalized.

He might say, “You have stayed faithful in your marriage. You haven’t given in and walked away from your spouse. Even with all of the influences of Satan to draw you away you’ve stayed in your marriage.”

“I have a few things against you”

However, Jesus may be saying to you, “While you may have remained married, there have been compromises. You have allowed:

Your eyes to wander where they don’t belong
Your heart to long for another and that’s wrong
Your testimony of Me to shrink from the scene
Your purity to be tarnished as you look at a screen
Your truthfulness slips from your marriage to hide
The secrets that you hang onto deep inside.”

“To those who overcome”

Jesus calls each of us to live with our spouse without compromise. He wants us to live in the overflow of his blessing.

What do you think—where have you seen couples compromise? Where have you seen couples stand strong?

When you stand strong, when you choose to live in faithfulness, when you shine like lights in an ever-increasing dark world—you make God-sized strides as you Build Your Marriage!

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  • Christopher woods

    i am a minister and my ex wife was too quick to get rid of me. as i came home from my army training she was distancing herself from me she didn’t want help and said God didn’t bless us in our marriage. she had been lying and cheating and we have a son together and has kept me from him and has moved in with the guy she was cheating on me with

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Christopher. That’s a lot of hurt, pain, betrayal and loss. We hurt for you. Your story is a reminder to everyone reading to guard our hearts and our minds to think on what is right, true, pure, and honoring to Jesus. She chose lies and the collateral damage is greater than she knows. We are praying for you and for the peace and grace of Jesus to guard you like a sentry as you heal and honor Jesus with your heart and actions. Blessings to you.