“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other.Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil, and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”
1 Peter 3:8-12
How different would our marriages be if we applied all of God’s word to them instead of just the traditional, often misunderstood ones? I am sitting in my recliner laughing on the inside at how God brings things to our attention. I began this post on February 7 and today is March 15. The dates are not the funny part. The length of time between when I started it and today isn’t too humorous either. But the struggles I’ve had in my own heart today…the fact that I started a wonderful post this afternoon…and saved it! (I remember it clearly), only to return tonight to complete it and find it…gone…and that as I searched through posts to replace it with, I found myself settling on this one…without reading the verses above first…and I needed to hear these verses tonight more than I needed to share them. That’s what’s funny. And I don’t mean haha funny. I just mean funny. Like “Wow, Lord. Really?”… that kind of funny.
The question above was as much for me as it is for anyone else reading this. Let’s look at it again and ask it a little differently. How different would my marriages be if I applied all of God’s word to it instead of just the often misunderstood ones? With that in mind, I ask you, very humbly, to take a walk through a few of these verses with me, and to take this walk with our husbands in mind.
Most of us probably have a ‘to do’ list that we make an effort to follow daily, but do we have a ‘to do’ list for the maintenance and care of our most important relationship in the world; our marriages? If you were to read these verses without knowing the context of the entire chapter, it would be easy to see how their true intent could be missed. But did you know that this chapter and these verses are dealing specifically with how we are to relate to eachother in marriage? Have we realized that these verses are very simple, practical, and achievable tasks or goals that we can work on daily with our spouses? Let’s take another look, shall we?
Do we read things on this list…in these verses, that, if we were to work at them, would improve the quality of our marriage relationships? Why don’t we give it a try! Let’s choose today to obey scripture. In our relationships with our husbands, be of one mind, and show sympathy for/towards him. Sometimes we are so consumed with what we are dealing with or struggling with, or how we feel and what we need, that we become blind to the needs of our husbands. Take some time to develop a habit of considering their feelings and hurts or struggles before we consider our own. Love eachother as brothers and sisters…unconditionally! I have 2 sisters who I love very much. We have argued and disagreed and made eachother angry over the years. We have also disappointed eachother and hurt eachother deeply with our words and deeds over the years. But no matter the hurt, or disappointment, I was taught as a young girl to always forgive them. Why? Because they are my sisters. The relationship that I have with my sisters has developed over our lifetimes being spent in relationship with eachother. The relationship I have with my husband…that you have with your husband…has developed and will continue to develop if given the same time, and if we remain tenderhearted and maintain a humble attitude. I spoke to a young wife some time ago, and in her words, she was “Done!”, “Tired!”, and had “Nothing else to give”. But we always have more to give, when we allow Christ to give through us, rather than trying to do it all in our own strength. Don’t harden your heart towards him…remain humble. Ask yourself, “If I harden my heart towards my husband, whose heart will God love him through?” Don’t repay evil for evil, and don’t retaliate with insults when you are insulted. In other words, Grow up! Aren’t we past name-calling because someone called us a name? Aren’t we past playing the dozens? And if we’re not, shouldn’t we be? Let’s mature to a place where we now give a blessing when we are insulted, or when our spouses words lash out and leave a mark. How difficult is it to walk in the spirit in that moment , when our flesh wants to rise up and lash back!!! But we can do it because Christ lives in us! No matter what, we don’t say speak evil about our husbands… we simply do not say bad things about our husbands…even if they are true. He may be_________, and __________, and ____________, but he’s mine/he’s yours. And God will make him what He intends for him to be, and it will only take longer when we tear him down as God is building him up. Keep our lips fom telling lies! Don’t exaggerate his failures or short-comings no matter how angry you are, or how badly you want to inflict pain on him because you percieve pain from him. Turn away from evil and do good. You can do this. And after we’ve done all of this, and whether it appears to be working or not, search for peace, and fight with everything in you to maintain it. Did we get that? Don’t just search for peace, and stan and stare at it when we find it, but work hard to maintian it! Work hard! Work hard! Work hard!!! All it really takes is a deeply heartfelt commitment, supported by prayer, humility, and the Holy Spirit. I know we can do this. God knows it too. He even placed His Spirit…His power… in us to make sure we couldn’t fail. Are we armed with our Must Do List? Then let’s get to work…on us.
Enjoying the journey, and growing more than I ever thought I could,