The views expressed below are those of the writer and may not reflect the views of Rejoice Marriage Ministries or the Steinkamps.
Men, has the Lord placed a devotional on your heart that you would like to share with other standers?
I have found myself struggling more through this journey than usual lately. When I get honest with myself, I know that I have been looking at my circumstances and at my wife more than I have been seeking God. This journey is not about my wife. It is about what God desires, and what He desires in me. For most of my marriage, I have blamed my wife for my bad decisions and actions. Based on her responses to me or her decisions, I justified my wrongful decisions. This journey is not about my wife, it is about what God desires, and what He desires in me.
I am child of God, I have been called. I have been called into obedience according to the Word of God. I have been called into marriage with my wife. I made a vow, until death do we part without exception or condition. I have been called to love, honor, forgive and be faithful to my wife, regardless of our circumstances or how I feel. This is not about my wife, this about God’s desires in me.
“‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign LORD. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel! “‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it.’” Ezekiel 36:24-34
This is has been my prayer, as much for me if no more so than for my wife. I want my heart to be right with God so that I may be the man my wife needs me to be. As I was sitting and writing these words in my journal , my pastor made a few points that I want to share as well. He said that religion is not enough. Religion is about self, it is about judging others, and it is unforgiving. I have been stuck in religion most of my life. I have been called to be more. I desire for more, but too often I take my eyes off of God and look at me, my circumstances, and I make decisions based on self.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
He shared this verse and through it he challenged us to see God’s love and then to be this kind of love to others.
God’s Love is extravagant – For God so loved the world, His love is big regardless of where we are
God’s Love is expensive – He gave his only Son, we are valuable
God’s Love is exclusive – it belongs to whoever believes in Him
God’s Love is eternal – shall not perish but have eternal life
This is how we are to love. We have been called. My love for my wife and my children should be extravagant; neither circumstances nor distance should matter in my love for the gift they are in my life. My love for my wife is expensive; she is valuable, she belongs, she is worthy regardless of where she is, and this love will hurt at times, maybe even more right now. My love for my wife and my family is exclusive; there are certain aspects of my love, my decisions, my words and my actions that are reserved for my wife and my family alone. My love for my wife is eternal, which means that our current circumstance do not dictate how I love her. We have been called to love our wives as Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5) regardless of the circumstances; there are no “ifs” in this calling.
All of this speaks to me that my eyes need to be on God continually so that I can love in a way that glorifies Him in my life. I need to walk in complete surrender to God in my life. He is in control and the battle is His alone. When I start looking at my wife or our circumstances, I make an idol of her, of my stand. I have had to repent of this on more than one occasion.
I have been called to be more. You have been called to make a difference in your life, in your marriage, in your family and in this world.
David in Texas