Love and Serve in Marriage

 

Marriage Happy Sign Married Love

“…so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him….” John 13:4-5 

All too often in marriage, we start off fine, but something happens. We get disappointed or hurt, then we stop. We stop being loving. We stop placing the other first. We stop putting in the effort. We stop the excitement and anticipation. We stop helping. We allow our disappointments to consume us and move away from what God has for us to what we can do to make it worse. What is left, is costing on what we may have had, without refueling or repairing, until it all starts to come apart and fail. What we need is a reboot!

The end of Ephesians 5 gives us a picture of walking in healthy relationships that seems like foolish, archaic and abusive to a worldly perspective.  Yet, provides a great reboot to any marriage. We have to have a chain of authority to keep structure and order, or you will have chaos and dysfunction. We have to see the importance of love and respect. How to love and how to esteem each other. This also helps us look to God and accept His authority over all and our lives.  Consider that, everyone is in submission, even the president of the United States is supposed to be held to account by the people and Congress and the Supreme Court. Within God’s plan is a structure and call to help us make it work, and work well. Below is an application of this structure that will improve your marriage, no matter how good or bad you may be doing.

Here is a great way to vastly improve any home or marriage situation. First, read Ephesians chapter four and five. Then be in prayer, Lord, how can I push my pride and hurt away and place you more in my life? Lord, how can I be more like you in my marriage and family?

Now consider these time-honored relationship treasures:

  • As Christ served us, see how you can be the biggest servant in your home? Remember, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe did, how about you (John 13:1-17)?
  • As Christ loved us, see how you can be the biggest “lover” in your home? (Mark 10:45; John 15:12; 1 Cor. 13; Eph. 5:25)?

In marriage, it is not about what can I get out of it, it is about what can I put into it! This is the true Christian model, by Christ’s example. It is not about focusing on my hurts or past experiences, or what they have done or do not do; rather, it is about surrendering my pride and forgive and move forward. Then we can step up and be the person who loves and serves, even when we do not feel like it or think they deserve it. As, none of us deserve Christ’s grace; Yet, we received it anyway. That is why it is grace undeserved. Have grace for your spouse! The more we love and serve the better chance they will catch it too.

Questions to help you realign yourself up to God’s call in marriage:

  1. What does unconditional love mean to you? Can you give an example? Have you ever felt or experienced it? Have you ever given it?
  2. How is my attitude about serving? Does it line up to Christ?
  3. Is Christ leading my family, or am I seeking to lead Him?
  4. God created something special in your family, what can you do to rekindle into a great relationship that glorifies our Lord?

Remember, real love is Sacrificial!

© 2017, R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. www.thisismarriage.org

Money and Marriage

Money and marriageMoney and marriage go together like ice-cream and a cone or a car and gasoline or more like this–problems and fighting.  

Because financial issues can be so destructive in relationships, you need to know how to make sure both of you know what money is and how money works. How do we do this? Know that money is a tool, not the focus.  It is important to have a good, biblical concept of how to deal with budgeting and debt.  Know what comes in, know what goes out, and make sure the ‘in’ is more than the ‘out’.  Communicate without judgments and strings or pride to one another.

If your treasure is on earth, your heart will undergo many disappointments, and the storms of life will overwhelm you and hurt your family.  All of the things in life in which you find your primary joy are suddenly gone!

Can you go through all of your possessions and tell which ones will rot and will not apply to your Christian growth?  How can that list, motivate you to seek what is in Matthew 6:33?  Then what will you have, do and feel (Matthew 6:33; 7:24-27; Luke 12:33-34; Hebrews 10:32-39; 1 Timothy 6:17-19)?

When our focus is on possessions, they become our idols, and we worship them.  Our identity, and personification of who we are, becomes branded by what we have, and not who we are in Christ (1 John 5:21).

Let’s look at another key word, Fear the LORD means to trust, serve, and worship Him.  Money and things can easily become the priorities in our lives!  The choice becomes whether we will worship the One True God, or be idolaters, following after false gods.  Know that our real and true treasures are imperishable!  Make a list of them, and put them in a place that you can see daily to encourage yourself.  Keep in mind that true treasures are not material in nature, so look to relationships and character (Proverbs 1:7; 3:5; Matthew 6:33; 1 Timothy 6:9-19; 1 Peter 1:3-5).

You must be able to ask questions, listen, and be vulnerable to reflect, challenge, and address each other’s views and ideas on budgeting.  Do not focus on faults, rather on areas that need growth. Take it slow and develop your budget first.  If you do not do this, then you will be among the countless relationships in our culture filled with miscommunication, hurt, and misery!

  1. Money is not for power and control, it is a tool for effectual living and our Lord’s service! How can you make this your mindset? How will it improve your family?

Make your budget, but first pray, and pray more and treat each other with respect, dignity, listen and take breaks, perhaps have fun doing it! 

Remember, our real and true treasures are imperishable!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5