I just love to mess around in the kitchen creating new dishes out of all sorts of ingredients. Things tend to get messy though and once in a while I end up with something unrecognizable but well intentioned. Did you ever feel that way after a huge fight with your hubbie?
Your intentions were not bad, but all of a sudden things got thrown in there and mixed together until all of a sudden you didn’t recognize what you started out with? Don’t panic! Don’t throw it all out!
Step back and think about your next spoken word very carefully. I always have this mental picture of God choosing which people he decides to mix together to perform His will. First, take a look at part of the genealogy of Jesus and you will find some very interesting people.
Abraham listened to his wife and bedded down a servant rather than wait for God’s promise. He had an Ishmael before Isaac. Isaac had Jacob who tricked his brother out of his birthright. Salmon married a prostitute Rahab who bore Boaz the father of Jesse who didn’t even want to show his son David [the future king] to the prophet. David committed adultery and murder to get Bathsheba and the list goes on. In other words God mixed up some pretty interesting ingredients as marriage material.
Your marriage is no different. We come to this marriage as two very different people with emotions and traits that get shaved off as years go by. The bible talks about iron sharpening iron.
During the dating stage our eyes are dazzled and clouded by romance, hormones, and ideals of what a perfect life we’ll have. The day after the marriage he leaves his dirty socks on the floor and gets upset when your make up takes up half the bathroom. Relax, it’s all good!
Too often we fall into a pit of ‘everything’ and ‘all the time’ followed by ‘you never’. No matter what the issue is we bring up all the misdeeds of the past and throw them in to the pot to win our case. We end up forgetting the issue at times but that’s just how it is when we want to fight to be winners, rather than fight for unity. Forgiveness leads to unity. There are many single women eating alone because they chose to fight to be winners rather than fight for unity.
When you do have disagreements, pick your battles. Not everything is a major catastrophe. I remember a friend of mine who decided that she would let her husbands dirty socks lay on the bedroom floor for weeks to teach him to pick up his own clothes. Each time she looked at them she seethed with anger and resentment. He on the other hand had no clue and never noticed them. Why go through all that? You can’t reteach your husband on everything. His mother all ready had a lifetime to do it and if she missed it, only God can retrain him. Prayer really does change things. As I have mentioned before, 'Be your husband's best prayer warrior! God can change a sloppy hubbie into a thoughtful man of God!'
Meanwhile,the few seconds it takes to reach down, pick up, put away is better than a few weeks of anger. We want our spouses to do things out of love and not because we trained them. Are we living our lives as a servant to anger and resentment or a living testimony of the love of God?
Learning to live together means some compromises. You won’t always get your own way, you aren’t always right, you can’t always be in control. Yet, you can pray without ceasing for a blessing on your marriage and try not to miss any opportunity to respond in love.
Fight for unity of your marriage. Conflicts will come and go. If you take care of the little battles, you might not even see a big one. If you find yourself in the middle of throwing out hateful words…stop and think. What sort of outcome am I looking for? In a fit of anger, do I want to tear down what love built? Is this issue worth it? If the issue is serious, am I handling it in a righteous manner? Is there a better way?
When a husband and wife are committed to a life together, it means more than sharing and caring. It is also growing together. But, it takes time and effort. Too often married couples have the wrong focus on what common denominator they use for a marriage. They stay together because of the children, or money, or status. Children grow up, money is fluid, and your status makes a cold bed partner. My tip for this week is 'Ask yourself what are you fighting for? Are you fighting to win or fighting for the unity of your marriage?' Take a trip to your knees and seek out God’s will for your life. Put God first, then your husband and let God make a miracle of your marriage.
‘Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts and always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…’ ICorinthians 13:4-8