I wanted to share a few more thoughts with you that have been on my heart lately. No matter what relationship is under consideration, there is guidance to be found from the Lover of our souls and Restorer of our blessings!
1. Fight false feelings.
Jeremiah 17:9 states, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Especially when we are facing external pressures, our emotions can have a serious impact on our actions toward others. The fact that Jeremiah called the heart a deceiver tells us that, although these emotions may be grounded in reality, they may also lead us astray.
One of the Bible’s richest and most beloved passages about love is 1 Corinthians 13. I would like to focus in on one key phrase in verse 5. Charity: “doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;” (emphasis added).
“Thinketh no evil…” can I honestly say that I don’t ever think the worst of my spouse? That my feelings of rejection or emptiness don’t cause me to jump to conclusions? In a fight I can be quick to throw out accusations about the way I am being treated, but when I bring up my concerns, I oftentimes find that the slights I saw so clearly in the depth of my pain I misinterpreted! If I know that the person I love is honorable and has no intent to harm me, I can act with greater respect, freedom, and confidence every day.
On a related note, the wisest man who ever lived (except Jesus of course!), Solomon, had this to say in Ecclesiastes 7:10: “Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.”
Have you ever been unsatisfied by a shift in your relationship? A sense that things are not as good as they used to be when you shared so many happy memories with a friend, family member, or spouse? Sometimes we can dwell too much on the past instead of focusing what we can affect: our behavior in the present. Spending time in God’s word, participating in a productive hobby like writing or exercise, or hanging out with a friend can be far more productive than a melancholy, rose-covered-glasses walk down memory lane.
2. Know what is true.
Remember that you are safe, protected, and respected in the watchcare of our Father! 1 Peter 3: 7-13 (emphasis added) says:
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
“Heirs together of the grace of life.” What a beautiful description! The “good old days” don’t have to be over. All I see in this passage are blessings ahead for those who strive towards integrity and kindness toward others. We have so much to look forward to! If we feel distant from a person that we love, let us remember that the Lord is good to repay and support our commitment. Let us be an encouragement to one another, and share in the beauties of Earth and hopes of heaven with a friend by our side.
3. Know where to get help.
Feeling a little short on forgiveness, empathy, and kindly feelings? We have access to an extraordinary resource which will never run out!
Hebrews 4:14-16 (emphasis added):
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Who knows what it’s like to feel rejected better than Jesus? And who better to help us work through our problems to attain a sense of his perfect peace.
Hebrews 9:13-14 has this to say (emphasis added): For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
We no longer have to be the same as we have always been. If we backslide today we can climb back up tomorrow. Jesus the eternal and resurrected savior has made a way for us to live. We may not be able to squelch down all of our feelings of guilt, mistreatment, or longing. But we know who to turn to in order to live better, with energy and purpose. Redemption’s successful story can play out in our own lives, every day.
God, our Deliverer, you have assured us that we will face trials in this life. Please forgive us when we have been angry and have spoken unjustly to you, when we have turned away and followed the wrong things under pressure. Help us to see the truth and glory of all of your promises. Thank you for the people you have put in our lives. May we build each other up. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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Do you have a scripture, song, book, or movie that has strengthened your relationship? Let me know in the comments below so that we can spread the love! Thanks for reading!
Resources I have found helpful in addition to the Bible: the book “The Love Dare” and Movies: “War Room” and “Fireproof “ By the Kendrick brothers
I love Fireproof! Thank you for sharing your recommendations!