JESUS ONLY: Part 2 (Day 19)
Principles to Build the Relationship
I remember well the conversation with my Uncle Don. John and I were engaged to be married and I was confidently telling my uncle how my marriage was going to be different. It was going to be a 50/50 partnership – none of this lopsided business I’d seen in my life. I still recall his comment about the give and take, the willingness to engage in a ‘partnership’ that would often require either John or I to give more. Life would require us to adjust and adapt in this way. I listened but inwardly was skeptical at best. I was intent on guaranteeing an equal partnership as a means of protecting myself. It took time for the Lord to help me see a bigger glimpse of the potential of what ‘could be’. I needed some personal healing. I needed a deepening trust in God. It’s been a journey. And as many of you know, walking this out requires a great deal of give and take.
Today we look once again to Paul’s words in Colossians because it sets the standard for the way we live our lives together.
“12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” - Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)
God desires us to thrive in our relationships. So how do you build a strong relationship? It’s a vast subject and this is not an exhaustive discussion so let's explore a few principles.
Learn to communicatewith kindness, mercy and humility. This skill takes time and practice.
Find ways to enjoy each other, patiently exploring each other’s likes, dislikes, and preferences and developing new ways to have fun with each other.
Offer forgiveness and mercy freelyremembering that “the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." This is a never-ending task for marrieds. Consider the following: “couples don’t fall out of love as much as they fall out of repentance.”
Turn towards each otherrather than pulling away, withdrawing in silence, or turning toward others.
Recognize there’s a war going on for your marriage – the Enemy seeks to destroy as we read in 1 Peter. This necessitates our intentionality in praying for each other and the relationship.
Lastly and this really underlies each of the others...
Choose to invest in your own soul health as you develop awareness and the ability to personally reflect. This is key for God to show us those subconscious places where He wants to bring healing and transformation.
As you read through the scripture today – in what area is God speaking to you? Take some time to journal about it, pray about it, and then initiate a conversation with your spouse regarding it.
Look over the list of principles for thriving in your marriage relationship. Which one are you drawn to do? Take time to read through these with your spouse, praying and asking the Lord what a next step might look like.
Check out the website for Family Life Ministry. They have many helpful resources.