HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!
As a kind of fresh start, I wanted to talk about the idea of why it is important to have a true relationship with Jesus before we can have healthy relationships with others.
One of the most profound things I've ever heard Kayla G. talk about was the idea of Fulfillment. A few years ago she talked to us about the need for us to find Fulfillment in Jesus, not our spouse, significant, friends, or family. As awesome as those special people are, they do not have the ability to take care of our spiritual needs - only the Lord can do this.
An engaged couple recently sought advice from my husband & me. As I prayed about what to say to them, this idea came back to me.
So many times I make problems in my own relationship. Problems that seem shallow, but that truly have a deeper, spiritual issue. For instance, if I feel uncertain about where the future will lead us, I go into over-planning mode to compensate - creating back-up plans for my back-up plans & having a short temper when my husband doesn't share my level of pathological concern. At the end of the day, only God knows our path. & He has proven that He will guide our journey. As much as my husband loves me, he knows just as much as I do. He must put his trust in the Lord as well.
We all were made by God to be relational beings (God Himself is three different Entities in One Person). We were designed to FIRST have a relationship with the Almighty God, THEN have relationships with each other that is based on & strengthened by the Holy Spirit. When we deviate from this design, we create problems.
Our relationship with Jesus must be stronger than our relationship with our person (whatever context fits for you. Mine is a marriage). This means we have to talk to Him. A lot. Try something like this next time...
Even if you feel like the victim, ASK THE LORD FOR CONVICTION. This is the hard part. Are you doing something wrong? Are you asking them to carry a burden that is too heavy for them? No matter how deep their love is for you, there will be things that they simply won't understand because God made you differently - & perfectly. Ask for grace to not be offended when they don't share every opinion or feel every emotion. This will break through some of the pride we feel when we are hurt by others.
PRAY FOR EMPATHY FOR YOUR PERSON. What if the situation was reversed? What if they asked this of you? What if they said those words to you? I look at my husband like he is Superman, but I also have to remember that he is not invincible & that I have the ability to hurt him. Pray for a tender heart for your person - & for yourself.
Though you may have been wronged, INTERCEDE FOR THEM. Pray for God to grant wisdom, compassion, understanding, empathy to your spouse. Pray without bias, no matter how you feel. Don't tell God what to do or how to do it, but trust that He knows the answers.
Finally, whatever it is you are asking of your person, ASK JESUS INSTEAD. Don't separate the "spiritual things" from the "non-spiritual things - as Christians there is no differentiation. No matter how superficial it seems, ask Him. Are you seeking understanding? Jesus already knows the desires of your heart & hears the groaning of your spirit when we can't find the words. Are you seeking compassion and comfort? Jesus is touched by your infirmities & He weeps when you hurt. Are you seeking security & safety? Jesus promises to cover you with His feathers & to keep you from evil.
When we become truly vulnerable & ask Jesus for healing & not our spouse, we find the spiritual Fulfillment we need.
And we learn how to be a better help to others, as well.
I know that 2016 will hold great things for you!
I pray that you all find true & complete Fulfillment in Jesus Christ, the only One who is truly able!
The meek shall eat and be satisfied. They shall praise the Lord that seek Him. Your heart shall live for ever. - Psalm 22.26
Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. - Psalm 37.4 (Our Marriage Verse)
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. - James 1.19
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. - Philippians 2.4
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and glamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. - Ephesians 4.31-32