A little while ago I was browsing through Joyce Meyer’s website, and came across a story where she had just arrived home from a week-long seminar that she had hosted. She was tired, exhausted and all she wanted to do was go home to a nice, hot bath and relax with her family in front of the TV. However, this she did not do.
She went to visit her Aunt and another elderly relative because she had not seen them in a while. And Joyce says that she didn’t want to, she didn’t feel like it, but she did because it was the right thing to do.
There are going to be times in your life, and in your marriage, you do the right things NOT because you feel like doing it, but because it is the right thing to do. And because God has called you to a higher standard. A standard where you obey Him and His word – not your emotions. And in this world, that is very, very hard to do. Because every media message we receive, and sometimes even from well-intentioned family members and friends, is that if it feels right, do it. If it doesn’t, then don’t. But, there has to be a standard higher than our feelings – higher than a mere whim of now I feel like it, now I don’t.
Don’t listen to the world – listen to what God’s word says. I battle anxiety, and every day I feel like I have to once again get my mind in the right place to get through the day without too much anxiety. And I know that as I keep working on my mind, so the anxiety will be less and less each day. But, I also know, that I cannot act on my anxiety – there is standard much higher to which I hold that not even my anxiety can reach.
In today’s post at 31 Days to a Better Marriage series, Juana Mikels talks about taking up the cross of marriage. Because there are going to some days that you are not going to want to put your husband and family first, and you are not going to want to love and honour them, and you are not going to want to do all that a wife and mother needs to do to run an efficient household, but you know what? You do it anyway – and those feelings will pass, and then you can be glad you attended to what needed to be done.
But I’ve had to learn the lesson of taking up my cross in my marriage the hard way. You see, when I was a young bride, I left my husband. I thought that I could do better. I thought that I would be better off starting with a new husband. I didn’t yet have anyone who would take me to be his wife when I left my husband, but I wanted to make it my quest to find that higher love that I believed had to exist. I had come to the wrong conclusion that I had married the wrong person, and that I needed to search for the “perfect love.” You see, I was not a Christian yet, and I had no idea that no person could meet all my needs. Only God can do that! I was looking for what didn’t exist in humanity except in the person of Christ! Once we meet the source of unconditional love in the person of Jesus Christ who died for us and we receive Him into our lives, we can then learn how to love our husbands as Christ intended. He teaches us how to love by modeling his love and forgiveness to us!
Be on your guard in your marriage. God will give you many opportunities to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him. Ask yourself daily, “Where does God want me to take up my cross this day?” Jolene titles her blog, “The Alabaster Jar,” for the woman who poured an offering on Jesus’ feet. Can you offer to Him anything that cuts across your will in your marriage? See it as your chance to die to yourself. By God’s grace, I will be joining you.
Let’s gladly take up the cross from the nail pierced hands of the One who loves us with an everlasting love—and follow Him.
Let’s let His love transform us—which will transform our marriages.
Walk by Faith,