DECEMBER SCRIPTURE JOURNALING
It doesn’t matter what you are facing today or tomorrow, you can have victory in Jesus! Are you walking around looking defeated or victorious? We have the tools we need to be victorious because of Jesus Christ.
This month we will spend time focusing on scriptures in the Bible that will help you shift your focus to a place of victory. We can overcome sin and struggles when we look towards the cross.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Every night, my husband Scott sits on the couch and enjoys a bottle of water before heading to bed. I should be proud of his commitment to hydration (insert eye roll). Instead, I found myself loathing this nightly ritual.
What does my husband’s water habit have to do with marriage? Well, the Lord used a water bottle to remind me that I have a choice in how I react and what I dwell on in my marriage.
In the morning, I am usually the last one in the house. My routine is to tidy up once everyone leaves for school and work. Many mornings, I found the empty water bottle Scott left behind sitting in the living room.
There were times I begrudgingly picked it up and threw it away. Some days, I left it in the living room for Scott to find later. I walked away from that water bottle, feeling victorious, like I had won. “I’ll show him. I’ll leave this right here.” Reason #256 why you shouldn’t follow Lori, but Jesus for your marriage advice.
I’m pretty sure the days Scott got home from work and noticed the water bottle, he had no clue about the internal battle I had with its location earlier in the day. He just picked it up and threw it away. Meanwhile, I started many days irritated that I was cleaning up after my hubby.
I realized one day that I had a choice. I was choosing to focus on a tiny thing and allowing it to become a massive issue in my mind. I started changing my perspective. You see, Scott’s nightly ritual is after spending time with me in the living room, he enjoys some water and then tends to our daughter. Every night, after she is asleep, one of us has to go take care of some medical needs. Scott handles that task every night. Then, on the way to bed, he checks the doors, makes sure we are locked in for the evening, and makes sure everyone remembers to lock their car doors. Somewhere along the journey of wrapping up his night, he forgets his water bottle in the living room. Big deal!
What is the water bottle in your marriage? What is that one thing that you allow to almost get the best of you? What is that one thing when you focus on it, you spiral into a pattern of destructive thinking?
There were days when I would look at that water bottle and could easily go down a list of all the things Scott does to annoy me. That is precisely what the enemy wants to happen. Instead, I had to shift my thoughts. On the days I found the water bottle, I started thanking God that my husband was around to leave things in the living room. I began being grateful that his nightly routine was such a huge blessing to me and took responsibilities off of my plate. I started quietly picking up the water bottle and simply throwing it away. It really wasn’t that big of a deal.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
We have a choice. We can serve our spouses every day through our actions and our attitudes. We can make our homes places of rest and peace, or we can allow things like water bottles to drive a wedge in our marriage.
I’m pretty certain nobody ever got divorced over trash left in the living room. However, I know people who have allowed negative thoughts and attitudes to fester and grow. They start confiding in a co-worker about the annoying things their spouse does. Then, it can develop into admiration for a person of the opposite sex. Thoughts like, “I bet he never leaves trash behind” enter your mind. Temptation begins, and things spiral out of control leading to separation and divorce.
But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:14-15
Start taking your thoughts captive today. Ask the Lord to give you patience for what you see causing negative thoughts toward your spouse. Pick up the water bottle and thank God for your many blessings and the ability to serve your spouse.