God’s Word for Me Today: Thanks-Living in Relationships

The marriage relationship is really an art. It’s beautiful, complicated, sometimes only understood by creator of the piece, and it can be really confusing to see the end result if you’re watching it take shape. I’m not a great artist. And I’m learning that marriage is this mysterious thing that can be amazing and incredibly frustrating all at the same time.

When God created marriage, He made possible a very unique bond between a man and a woman. He takes two people who are similar, yet entirely different, and makes them “one flesh”. These two people in this “one flesh” intimate connection are still sinful people. They will disagree, argue and fight. They will be selfish and self-serving. And when I’m only focused on myself in the context of my marriage, it’s like I’m looking at an unfinished piece of art. I’m seeing the back of cross-stitch, or putting something in a clay pot that hasn’t been baked. It’s messy and it ruins the art. Selfishness make marriage not work the way it should.

Without a Creator, this unique union would undoubtedly fail. Only God the Creator could begin and sustain the intimate bond that is marriage. And that’s great news because these imperfect people that God joined together still love each other more deeply than anyone else. With Christ in their marriage they will support and defend the other, see the best in the other and forgive each other.

Photo Credit: Google Images
The idea of Thanks-living helps us to live lives of thankfulness every day. It turns us inside out – from self-centered and self-serving to others-focused and giving. Thanks-living is Christ breaking through our sinfulness and binding us to each other with His love. It’s how we can show Jesus to others in our immediate circles and in the world – which really makes Thanks-living in relationships so much more than just marriage.

Thanks-living in marriage is…
Knowing and speaking your spouse’s love language – especially when it takes work for you do so
Saying thank you
Following through on a promise
Anticipating a need and fulfilling it
Supporting a dream, hobby, interest (healthy ones), even when it doesn’t interest you
Enjoying spending time together
Making room for time together
Doing a task you agreed the other would do
Serving the other without complaint, even if it’s inconvenient (or you’re just feeling lazy)

And probably most importantly,
Recognizing when you’re wrong and owning up to it
And,
Forgiving each other

None of these are easy to do. Thanks-living means sacrifice, hard work and selflessness. I’m not great at art but I am good at being selfish and lazy in my marriage. And I’m guessing if you’re reading this, I’m not the only one. But I want to be better. I want my marriage to thrive and be the best it can be.

“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19. That’s why we care about Thanks-living. That’s why we love each other.


Scripture Reading:
Philippians 2:4  “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.”

Prayer:
Lord, forgive me for being selfish in my marriage. Show me how to live a life of Thanks-living. Teach me how to love my spouse and let that love shine to others to bring glory to You. Thank you for showing me Your selfless love by dying to forgive me and make me Yours. Amen.
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