For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 ESV The plans for your life are declared by God. The plan for your spouse and for your marriage are declared by God. As I pause and meditate on those thoughts, I’m overwhelmed at the awesomeness of our God. The God who created the universe, who… Continue Reading →
If we want to find the good God promises in our most difficult struggles, we have to stop focusing on our solutions to the problems, and start focusing on Him, trusting completely that He has it under control.
When we open up about where God has us, when we become transparent about the trials or the sin issues in our hearts, we often find others who have walked similar paths sitting in our presence. That’s God.
God promises to always provide an escape, and it’s very rarely an end to the marriage. His escape is almost always a promise to trust that He has a plan for your good if you walk through the struggle and not around it.
God promises to be our refuge forever. He is a firm rock on which we can stand. He never shifts, He never crumbles, He is solid. He will provide you with everything you need to find joy and peace in this world.
When we sit down in prayer with God about the struggles in our marriage, we can confidently look to a future day when He will rescue us. He will provide what we need, He will heal our hearts, He will restore our bonds. We can trust God to rescue us.
We all love imperfectly because we all try to love others in our own power. We need to continually hold up God’s definition of love against what to world teaches us to find and fight the discrepancies.
God calls us to a life of humility, one where we are consistently putting others before ourselves. Our job to become keenly aware of where we fall short so that we can surrender our pride in confession and repentance.
Love does not insist on its own way. It takes a flexible mindset to be able to see things from another person’s perspective, to consider another person’s experiences, or to lay down what you think is best.
God doesn’t keep track of our sins against Him, we should not keep track of others. He chooses to show us grace. If we are to love like He does, we must choose to show grace in the same way to others in our lives.
The mark of a truly loving person is someone who will not wince or falter under pressure, but will lean in to brace the relationship when sufferings and afflictions hit. The enemy seeks to destroy and divide.
God is working on all those who believe at a different rate. If your spouse is a believer, you can bet that God is working on their hearts to reveal their sin to them, and He is using the very incident that caused you pain to do it.
It is only to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ that we can begin to release the past and find a way to live in the present. There is a grace available to you that frees you from living in the past.
The fight for God-honoring Marriage is a life-long battle. As a younger couple, you may look at more mature marriages and think they have “arrived”; that they are somehow closer to perfection, but you would be wrong. They still struggle with the flesh every moment of every day just like you do—the only difference is they know how to put on their battle gear.
Reliving hurtful moments brings us to a dangerous state of mind, and opens up an opportunity for the enemy to attack. Sins we have moved past or hurts we have forgiven suddenly become larger than life again, and we can develop a victim mentality focusing on all the things that have gone wrong.
God never looks at us and tells us we’ve been struggling too long with the same sin; He never throws His hands up because we’re struggling with a temptation that He thinks we should just get over; He never says that one sin is too great to forgive.
God designed marriage as a way to refine us, to sanctify us, to help us grow in His image. He knows the deceptive nature of our hearts won’t allow us to do that on our own, so He created marriage as a way to reveal our sin to us.
God designed marriage as a way to refine us, to help us clearly see our own hearts. We need our spouses to hold us accountable, and we need them to confront us with the truth about what’s in our hearts. Without that exhortation, we will not grow in the ways He calls us to grow.
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.
True sacrificial love means we lay down what is important to us in favor of what is important to our spouses. We give up our point of view, our beliefs, our comforts, our expectations and we pick up theirs as valuable.
If we are trying to define what love in our marriage should look like, we must start here: God is the very definition of love. We must look vertically before we can ever look horizontally to find the love our hearts desire.
Fear of the wrong things will keep you from becoming all God intends for you to be, and it will keep your marriage from becoming all that God intends for it to be for you. It will limit your potential and it will destroy your union.
When one spouse is controlled by an irrational fear, it dominates conversations and impacts decisions. This takes a toll on the receiving spouse, breaks down communication, and causes relational strife.
Biblically facing anxiety starts with identifying your fear and understanding the source. Most fears can be broken down into two categories—fear of something happening to us or our loves ones and fear of man.
Fear has the ability to destroy our peace of mind, so it has the ability to destroy the peace in our marriage. When your mind is consumed with a controlling fear, it can’t possibly be focused on serving the other person.
Our response in every situation is to be love. When we don’t know what to do, we are to love. When we’re struggling with a decision, we are to love. When we are seeking advice about how to handle a difficult situation, we are to love.
Biblical love is returning harshness with kindness, neglect with compassion, betrayal with forgiveness. That’s the kind of love God showers on us every single day, and that’s the love He expects us to show His children.
God created us to be relational beings. From the very beginning, God created us to live in community—that means the relationships He allows in our lives have a transformational purpose. Even those difficult ones.
Sacrificial love understands that God works on all of us in different ways and at different times. Sacrificial love doesn’t have any expectations for the way a person is supposed to behave, but rather focused on how we are supposed to behave.
God wants us to be people who fervently love God and fervently love other people. Every single thing God teaches us in scripture flows from these two commandments—love Him and love each other. How can we not give them top priority?
In order for us to love God with all of our heart, we need to treasure Him above all else. We need to value our relationship with God over all our earthly possessions, over all our accomplishments and our accolades, over all our relationships.
Loving God with all of our minds means we are making new discoveries about Him all the time. We should be investing energy every single day of our lives learning more and more about our Father in Heaven, and filling our minds with His truths.
When Jesus calls us to love others as we love ourselves, that’s a pretty challenging command. He’s asking us to love our spouse as much as we love ourselves, to think about them as much we think about ourselves.
Having the ‘Christian club card’ was never meant to be a pass from the struggle—we don’t get to just pray away the hardship. God’s not our genie in a bottle, and when we approach Him that way, we’re going to be sadly disappointed.
We are told we can find joy even in the most difficult struggles, and we can. We have to stop focusing on the solutions to the problems and start focusing on Him, trusting completely that He has it under control.
Rather than running, if we only learned to stop and open our eyes in the moments when the trials seem to be the greatest, we would find the supernatural power to transform our hearts. We grow a little more like Jesus in those moments, and we find His peace and His joy.
God designed marriage as a way to chisel away at the self-centered nature of our hearts. His desire is for us to love others as ourselves. He wants us to put the needs of our spouses before our own instead of demanding our needs are met.
We get anxious, we get overwhelmed, we even get angry, but the difference is we do it with the hope of things to come. Our response as believers to those difficult emotions should distinguish us from the world as we have something different at work in us.
God wants us to choose joy in our struggle because He desires for us to know steadfastness—this is the state of a refined heart. When we are steadfast, we are not easily provoked or angered by difficult situations.
Biblical wisdom does not necessarily help us decide which college to go to, which job to accept, which house to buy. It’s true that His wisdom may have an influence on those decisions, but the reality is if the decision doesn’t conflict with Scripture in any way, then the choice is yours to make.
A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways who receives nothing from the Lord. Nothing. No blessing, no wisdom, no comfort, no peace. If you’ve wrestled with double-mindedness, you know this to be true.
If the focus of our attention is on our bank account or our material possessions, whether they are many or they are few, we will not experience God’s blessings in our marriage. He wants our focus to be on Him. He wants our pursuit to be of Him.