Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 17, 2015
Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:20-21
I like fresh fruits and vegetables in the summer: tomatoes, squash, zucchini and okra, slightly grilled, all taste delicious and contribute to a healthy diet. What I eat contributes to how I look and feel. In a similar way my marriage is a reflection of what Rita and I ingest into our relationship. A healthy marriage diet may include: prayer together, daily engaged conversation, ongoing marital training, having a mentor couple, being a mentor couple, reading and discussing the Bible and worshiping together at church. Thriving marriages intentionally follow best practices. A healthy marriage prepares us to persevere through trials. Here are three principles that work:
It is hard to grumble when we are grateful. If we obsess over our spouse’s traits that irritate us, we live perpetually frustrated. If however, we thank God for the reasons we married our mate in the first place—their humor, good heart, sweet smile, cute looks and love for the Lord—we are reminded of what matters most. Thankfulness is content in growing an imperfect marriage. We think the best of them, we serve them and we love them like they desire to be loved. We speak from our heart how much we love and appreciate them. Gratitude is committed to giving comfort.
“Rooted and built up in him [Christ], strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:7).
Submit to One Another
Submission is an act of love and respect. It supports the mission of its mate, so they are fulfilled in how God has gifted them. For example, help your wife with her desire to develop her professional goals. Prefer her interests over your own. Be available to serve so your spouse is free to follow their dreams. Or, as a wife you may put your career aspirations on hold for a season as you invest in your child. You submit to the higher purpose of raising children who love Christ and who grow in character. When you both submit to the Lord—you can submit to one another.
“But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13).
Married couples who fear God also love God. Because they love God, they want to obey God—thus they are committed to stay faithful to their marriage vows. They vow faithfulness to one another under the authority of the Almighty. Also, the fear of God grows a deep humility in our hearts, so we are able to put our spouses needs above our needs. We defer to what they prefer. We want to honor the child of our King. Our fear of God leads us away from sin and into awe and worship of the One who died for us. A healthy fear of the Lord leads to a healthy marriage.
“Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him” (Psalm 128:1).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to intentionally invest in my marriage for Your glory.
Related Readings: Nehemiah 13:26; Malachi 2:13-15; Matthew 24:37-39; Hebrews 13:4
Post/Tweet this today: Humility defers to what others prefer. #marriage #wisdomhunters
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