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Thursday, March 01, 2012

Are You Married? If so, read this!

Maybe my wife Mary Lu and I have been watching WAY too much Grey's Anatomy, where there are rampant relationship issues, betrayals, affairs, etc, BUT it continues to caution and sober me that our marriages are critically important and, in many ways, so fragile.

I suspect that a lot of us married folk may have gotten to a place we never thought we'd be, a place where something's not quite right. Many of us are dealing with conflict between husband and wife, daily. Many of us are hurting from broken hearts, furious that our expectations haven't been met, or vexed that all our efforts to help have gone virtually unnoticed. Some of us have "walled-off" our spouses or are building up our defenses, stiffening so that "this time" we won't get hurt again. Many of us have kids / teenagers / jobs / careers that cause enough conflict to exhaust a superhuman, and we feel we have little left for our spouse.

Unfortunately, this is life in a sin sick world. It's life, but it is not REAL life. We are Christians, and we are called, commanded even, to something better.

Husbands, are you loving your wives as Jesus loves the church? Are you sacrificing your time, needs, and pride to meet her needs? Are you helping her to see how beautiful she is, inside and out? Are you doling out back scratches and back rubs? ;-)

Wives, are you respecting your husbands, empowering them to lead? Are you showing him through words and physical contact that you think he is a great man? Are you giving him the freedom to work, to decide, and even to fail in an honest effort?

Husbands and Wives...are you?

Here's my challenge to us all: Read 1 Corinthians 13 (below). Then, break the "love list" down into parts. Find THREE ways from that list that you can love your spouse TODAY.

1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 8 Love never fails.

If you succeed today, then do it tomorrow too.