If you are struggling in your marriage, perhaps it’s because God has allowed the conflict to reveal your sin. Know this—God chose your spouse specifically for you. He allowed the marriage because He has a plan in it for you.
We can still experience that peace and comfort when we are in the depths of a deep trial. Though our journey may be hard, suffering is absent if we are experiencing the joy that comes from being in the center of God’s will.
Understanding the root of our behavior is understanding the motives in our hearts. We need to spend time looking beneath that surface sin and pull at the weed under it until we uncover the motive behind it.
Forgiveness does not need to involve the other person. Forgiveness is something that happens in your heart as a work of the Spirit regardless of how the other person responds. When you make the choice to forgive
God’s number one priority is that all people would come to know Jesus as their Savior. We should be operating as if that is our number one priority as well—in our offices, in our neighborhoods, most especially in our homes.
Sin causes us to be self-absorbed and self-focused because it causes us to live for ourselves. The hope for our relationships is not found in us, or in that other person changing, the hope is found in God’s grace.
If your marriage is struggling, get the Bible open and get your eyes off the moment. The best counseling advice you can get is in those pages—they remind us it’s not all about us, but there is a much bigger battle going on around us than what we can see.
Until we have let go of the hurt that our spouse has caused us, we simply cannot genuinely put their needs before our own. Forgiveness of those deep hurts happen only through the intervention of the Spirit.
We demonstrate love for our spouses when we put their needs before our own, and when we love until the end. Love is thinking about what the other person needs, it’s thinking about what would bless them even when they’re difficult, even when we’re hurting.
Love is demonstrated when we absorb the injury, and weaknesses are illuminated most when love is demonstrated. Just as Jesus loved us and transformed our hearts, you can choose to love your spouse to change.
If you want to breathe life back into your marriage, take some time alone with God today and ask Him to reveal where you have fallen short of His glory, where you need to confess your sin. Lay it down and let Him break you over it, then leave it at His feet.
It’s in the pain that God will meet you and draw you close because it’s in the pain that your heart will be exposed. It’s only in your deepest, darkest, most difficult moments that you will discover what’s most important to you.
When we quench the Spirit in our marriage, He gets quieter and quieter, and we suddenly find ourselves out in the wilderness, wondering how we got there. There are signposts along the way, my friends. Pay attention.
If the very same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead lives inside of me, why do I continue to struggle? If the very thing that defines love, joy, and peace lives inside of me, why do I continue to live with heartache and with conflict in my marriage?
It is only through the work of the Spirit living in us that we are able to realize a sustained change in our behavior. When we yield to the Spirit, we see responses that are gentle and patient, that are kind and loving, that are forgiving and full of grace.
Scripture tells us if we are going to win the battle between what our flesh wants and what the Spirit desires to do in us, then we need to lean in and figure out how to allow this Warrior to own our hearts.
Many of us find His peace and His strength in the quiet times we spend in His Word or prayer or we feel it when we’re sitting in service, but then as we move through our day or our week, we feel the peace and strength being chipped away. What happens to that great feeling?
When our minds are set on the things of the world, we quiet the voice of the Spirit, and the world dictates our responses. We will justify why we do and say things according to the world’s standards rather than God’s standards.
As believers, we cannot trust reason more than we trust God, we cannot reject His truth when it doesn’t make sense to us. We must accept there will be mysteries that will never be solved in our lifetime.
We grow His Spirit by doing those things He calls us to do—spending time in the Word and in prayer, serving others, meeting with other believers in church and small group, storing His Word in our hearts. When we do these things, our fruits, or behaviors, will naturally change.
When you notice the peace has been disrupted in your marriage, don’t ignore it or walk away from it. Pause and pray. Ask God to reveal to you where you need to confess and where you need to forgive, then ask Him to restore your relationship. He will.
Faith is believing the Word of God and acting on it no matter how we feel. We must choose to obey God even when we don’t feel like obeying. If we allow our emotions to dictate our response, we remain on the roller-coaster of life. We have to learn to obey His commands despite how we feel.
In order to allow the Holy Spirit to fill our souls with gentleness, we not only need to stop fighting God’s plan and submit our will for His will, we need to confess our desire to take control of our spouses, of our marriages, of our agendas.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 ESV The final fruit of the Spirit in this list is self-control. Self-control is stopping. It is literally standing in the way of our enemies having a hold on us. There are so many things in this world fighting against us—other people, our culture, our own flesh, and even Satan… Continue Reading →
We were never meant to live with the stress we allow in our lives—we weren’t created to physically endure the stress. God tells us over and over to not worry or to not be anxious in Scripture because He knows the damage it will cause.
So much of our anxiety comes from our unwillingness to be reasonable or gentle. We get stuck on things that HAVE to be “this” way to be good, and our blood pressure rises when our spouse insists on having it their way. What if you just let your expectations go and trusted that God is in charge?
If we want to defeat the paralyzing fears, or we want freedom from the havoc that anxiety has brought into our lives—addiction, health issues, relationship strife—then we need to be in prayer. In everything.
The promise of peace is for everyone, not a select few who are blessed or strong. God wants us all to live in freedom, but we have to grab a hold of the peace. He lays it all out for us, but it’s up to us to put it into action.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. It doesn’t same He came to fix our situation or make things easy for us, it doesn’t say He came to manage things the way we want, it says He came to give us His peace.
Contentment is simply an acceptance of our situation. It doesn’t mean things have to be the way I want them to be, it doesn’t mean I have to even like my situation, but it does mean I have to be satisfied with my circumstances—at least for now.
distractions—that’s what the world gives us. And it can be so noisy. While God wants to set our minds on Him, the world draws our attention away. We know we should set our minds on Him in order to find the peace that surpasses all understanding, but we often choose to dwell on the suffering of this world.
As believers, we cannot trust reason more than we trust God, we do not reject His truth when it doesn’t make sense to us, and we accept that there will be mysteries that will never be solved in our lifetime.
Our trials are only our trials as a result of how we respond to them…in other words, when we don’t have peace and rest about the situation, that’s when it becomes a trial. When we don’t trust or we don’t wait, chaos takes over.
Holding on to God’s promises is the closest we get to actually holding on to God. His promises come from a great God, they’re about great issues, they respond to our greatest concerns, and God always delivers on them in the greatest of ways.
Our God loves us so much that He has allowed difficult trials into our lives for a very specific purpose. We have to remember that God’s will for unbelievers is that every knee shall bow to Him, and His will for believers is our sanctification.