During laast weeks’ Vacation Bible School, the lesson Practical Family Discipleship shared points on embracing and serving in the freedom when single (Oh where, oh where was this lesson when I was 27? And would I have listened and heeded?) as well as serving and focusing on spouses when married. An attendee asked a great question.
“Does marriage get easier?”
Responses varied including staying in one’s own role, fulfilling responsibilities, love, respect, focus on God. That seems so simple, hunh? But it doesn’t always get or stay easy, does it? When our expectations are not met (in that moment or whatever time frame) we focus on the disappointment, the frustration and the fix. Expectations are based on our history, our desires, and what we believe is the order, what should happen, what we want to happen, what we expect to happen.
I have found the pain points in marriage involve expectations with money, sex and/or children. There are others…but they all seem to tie back to these. And those are the surface items. When we are honest, those insecurities, being in control, what I see as success or failure, being content, being happy are the root of the pain point. Our behaviors manifest in the choices we think we have to make, our decisions, our expectations…what we do and say in public and in secret (or so we think). And our behaviors (ALL OF OUR BEHAVIORS) are manifestations of our beliefs.
Not getting along at home surely makes it harder to focus. Making every choice that fits the Integrity Screen checklist.
Do the right thing
The right way
For the right reason
Expecting the right results
To benefit others
It is easier to get distracted. It is easier to ignore. It is easier to focus on what will make me feel better for the moment.
Soooooooo….if it starts with beliefs, how do I start with beliefs where I am now?
Living sacrifice and transformed lives
12 So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service. 2 Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.
3 Because of the grace that God gave me, I can say to each one of you: don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. Instead, be reasonable since God has measured out a portion of faith to each one of you.
Romans 12:1 – changing the temple
Romans 12:2 – changing the mind
Behavior reflects what I believe.
Behavior informs my belief.
We lie because we don’t believe what God says about lying.
If I want to walk victoriously I must live victoriously.
Study 1 Corinthians 2
2 When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I didn’t come preaching God’s secrets to you like I was an expert in speech or wisdom. 2 I had made up my mind not to think about anything while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and to preach him as crucified. 3 I stood in front of you with weakness, fear, and a lot of shaking. 4 My message and my preaching weren’t presented with convincing wise words but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power. 5 I did this so that your faith might not depend on the wisdom of people but on the power of God.
6 What we say is wisdom to people who are mature. It isn’t a wisdom that comes from the present day or from today’s leaders who are being reduced to nothing. 7 We talk about God’s wisdom, which has been hidden as a secret. God determined this wisdom in advance, before time began, for our glory. 8 It is a wisdom that none of the present-day rulers have understood, because if they did understand it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory! 9 But this is precisely what is written: God has prepared things for those who love him that no eye has seen, or ear has heard, or that haven’t crossed the mind of any human being.[a] 10 God has revealed these things to us through the Spirit. The Spirit searches everything, including the depths of God. 11 Who knows a person’s depths except their own spirit that lives in them? In the same way, no one has known the depths of God except God’s Spirit. 12 We haven’t received the world’s spirit but God’s Spirit so that we can know the things given to us by God. 13 These are the things we are talking about—not with words taught by human wisdom but with words taught by the Spirit—we are interpreting spiritual things to spiritual people. 14 But people who are unspiritual don’t accept the things from God’s Spirit. They are foolishness to them and can’t be understood, because they can only be comprehended in a spiritual way. 15 Spiritual people comprehend everything, but they themselves aren’t understood by anyone. 16 Who has known the mind of the Lord, who will advise him?[b] But we have the mind of Christ.
Genuine (=biblical) and wholesome (=balanced) spirituality is the goal of all Christian living.
The Bible is the guide and test of one’s spiritual life.