Devotion #137

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:1-2 ESV

As we continue to meditate on this verse, we find there is a danger in not softening our hearts to hear the exhortations of our spouse. Our hearts will harden. When we hold up our hand as they try to reveal the truth about our hearts to us, if we distance ourselves when they share the truth with us, if we continue to knowingly sin after being confronted, eventually we will become unable to see our own sin. We lose the ability to see ourselves as others see us, or as God sees us. When our hearts are hardened, it becomes more difficult for His truth to penetrate. Sadly, when that happens, we need to be more broken for the truth to get in.

We are warned to protect our hearts throughout scripture. This is because a sinful, unbelieving heart causes us to become insensitive to God. It is like cancer that slowly eats away at our ability to trust and rely on Him. It doesn’t happen overnight, but over time, our hearts can become hard and insensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. This happens when we are swept away by the deceitfulness of sin. The choice may seem insignificant at the time, but overexposure to the lure of this world will wreak havoc on your heart and your ability to trust God. 

The remedy is to protect our hearts, choosing to allow your spouse to be God’s tool in the transformation. The problem is no one wants to hear about the evil living in our hearts—no one even wants to acknowledge its there. Listening to your spouse and acknowledging they see you in a way you cannot see yourself is the way you guard your heart. Remember, God specifically chose your spouse for you because He knew He could use that person to reveal your struggle to you. Choosing a humble position and seeking their perspective is how you soften your heart, and how God can do the incredible transformation work He promises for your life.

God at work stories don’t end with me. They don’t end with “look at how I pulled myself out of that mess.” God at work stories end with God being glorified. God uses the people in our lives—even the most difficult people—to bring to the surface the places in our hearts that are not yet fully surrendered. Many of us want to point to our spouses as the reason our marriages are in trouble. We see their sin magnified, and we use that exaggeration as a defense for why we don’t need to give them any credit when they confront us. But the hard reality is this: the struggle in your marriage has just as much to do with the sin in your heart. God is trying to use your spouse to reveal that truth to you.

Don’t let your hearts become hardened against the truth. Pray for a soft heart and for a conviction to change when you are confronted with a difficult truth by your spouse.  

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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