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Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Till Death Do Us Part... Part Three

As with most married couples, my wife and I have our share of disagreements from time to time. Well, ok... She talks and I disagree. Whatever the case, there are times when the intimacy just isn't there. Not long ago was one of those times. It didn't last very long and as usual the make up process was quite rewarding.

Shortly after we were back in sync she shot me an email that read something like this,

": ) what can we do to get along all the time?"

It really got me thinking. My first thought was that it is impossible to get along all of the time so why try. I quickly dismissed that negativity and prayed over the question and asked the Lord how to faithfully answer her question. My thoughts, prayers, and Bible reading led to this:

Forgive - Love - Trust - Endure Hardship - Submit

I think the first step for a husband and wife to keep their relationship in the best standing is mutual forgiveness of past, current, and future offenses that we commit against God and each other. Forgiveness is critical to our well being and right standing with God and with each other.

Mat 6:14-15 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Luk 6:36-38 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."

Forgiveness is like surgery that removes the disease that keeps our spiritual organs from working properly. I know when I am willing to forgive my spouse, my heart changes and I am able to relate more fruitfully than when I harbor bitterness and resentment.

Secondly, love one another. Love is essential in times of difficulty. Love covers a multitude of sins (1Pet 4:8)

Joh 15:12-14 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.

Without the foundation of love, we will not be willing to lay down our lives for each other. Our point, our side, and our pride become more important than the other person's well being.

Third on the list is trust. Trust plays a huge part in any relationship. Not only trusting in the Lord to make our path straight (Proverbs 3:5-6), but in the honesty and integrity of each others motives.

Fourth point would be to expect and endure hardships and difficulties, even if they come from one another. Being from the seed of Adam we are sinful from birth. It isn't something we do, it is who we are by nature. Ephesians tells us that we are born children of wrath, sons of disobedience. Knowing this helps me not get so worked up when I am offended... what should I expect being carnal? Also, when we are at odds I think we forget that the battle is not against each other but against the principalities of darkness (Eph 6). Rather than spending time debating sides, try praying together. We will endure difficulties and prayer will bring back the peace.

James 1:1-4 "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

And last but not least is submission. (Eph 5:21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.) As I submit my desires and will to the Lord (husbands) and display servant leadership then Ephesians 5 & 6 will more easily be established in my family. I submit and love, as Christ does for the church. You submit and respect, as the body does unto Christ.

Forgive - Love - Trust - Endure Hardship - Submit

Lord, I thank you again for the gift of marriage. Please help me to be the spouse you created me to be; forgiving, loving, trusting, enduring, and submitting.

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