Saturday, June 14, 2008

Unequally Yoked



(Inspired by a message written by Karen, a Christian, married for 23 years)

Being involved in a relationship with an “unbeliever” is difficult. After all, the Bible has warned us against being yoked together with an unbeliever. “For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?”

However, for those who chose to ignore God’s warning, and are now reaping the seeds of their disobedience, there is still hope, found in His Word.

Marriage is not a mere contract entered into between a man and a woman, but a sacred commitment to stick it out “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do you part”. So, right from the start, one must not think about divorce as the option. The Bible says God hates divorce. God’s plan is for marriage to be a lifetime commitment, except in the case of marital unfaithfulness, where divorce and remarriage only by the innocent party is allowed by the Scriptures.

God can work miracles even in the most troubled marriage. One just have to learn to commit everything to the Lord, submit to His will and believe that He will direct him to the right path.

Karen shared what she called a “7-day quick fix-fast start” suggestion that will help one attain peace and joy even in the midst of a troubled relationship.

1. Give God the first 30 minutes (or more) of your day, to feed on His Word. Satan will work really hard to keep you from doing your morning devotion but don’t let him rob you of God’s best.

2. After your morning devotion, spend time for private prayer.

3. Check your tongue in response to your spouse. “Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up.” On the contrary, express your love, or if you can’t, at least compliment your spouse on one thing, every day! This does not mean you have to bottle everything up inside, but that you will take it to the Lord instead. Sometimes it helps to write it down, very confidentially, just to unburden yourself until you have good prayer time. An additional avenue (only after going to the Lord, first) is to take it to a sister/brother-in-Christ, who will stay true to God’s Word. You must NOT share information about your spouse to other people, without your spouse’s permission, as this falls outside your role as a Godly spouse. Do not wash your dirty linens in public and betray your spouse’s confidence. Remember Proverbs 31: 11-12: Her husband (wife) has full confidence in her (him). She (he) brings him (her) good, not harm, all the days of her (his) life.

4. For wives- submit to your husbands. Let there be no power struggles. Let God fight them for you. “Wives, be submissive to your husbands, so that if any of them do not believe in the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives when they see the purity and reverence of their lives.” Do this to glorify God, and not just to fix your own problems.

5. Do all that you do for the glory of God. We are just sojourners in this world and our aim is eternal life. Therefore, our main focus should be there. But for now, “whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Walk with assurance that God is in control but do your part. Sometimes, in depression, we let ourselves get bogged down and neglect the important areas in our life. Satan loves it because it only fuels more depression and hopelessness. Take some time everyday to clean up and tidy your house. Get some exercise. Eat right. You need to be organized and energetic to do God’s work.

6. Take a few minutes, everyday, to thank God for the blessings you have, and to enjoy them. It is as simple as hugging your spouse or your child, feeling his/her warmth and listening to his/her breath of life, or a few minutes on the lanai watching the sunset or feeling the gentle breeze on your face. God gave you so much to enjoy.

7. Love your spouse. It is an act of will to love and not just an emotion. Pray for God to fill you with love for your spouse, and don’t stop praying until it happens. Many times we pray for things that we are not sure are His will. We might pray for a loved one to overcome an illness, and then God takes them home instead. However, when we pray for something that is in line with His will, we know that prayer will be heard. Do you have resentments from past hurts? We all do from time to time. Pray for God to allow you to forgive. He will do that, and more. Let Him be the one to take revenge or dole out justice. If you harbor grudges, the emotional baggage will make you physically sick, and Satan will use this to block you from being “in love” with your spouse. You really can let go.

We are given a Warning: Our endeavor to complete these steps will, undoubtedly, be tried by Satan, and our spouse. When that happens, we should persevere. We need to PRAY daily to overcome these obstacles. Sometimes, it takes time for the spouse to trust a change in a relationship, and Satan does not want us to succeed. Satan wants to break relationships. But we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.




"Life can be beautiful right now.
God leads me to the people, things and circumstances
that help me grow into the person He wants me to be.
His blessings in my life are constant.
I only need to count them and be thankful for them."
.

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