Once again, I have failed; not only myself, but my husband and therefore God. My biggest struggle is with the one whom God has given me. It’s as simple as that: I pray to be the wife and best friend that the Lord has called me to be, regardless of his words or actions, and without fail, I once again got it wrong. You see, the problem is my weakness: pride and defensiveness, and it affects my #1 relationship.

We tend to lash out and hurt those who are closest to us. It’s so easy! We know their buttons, and they know ours. We have those little pet peeves that drive us crazy, and when that person pushes those buttons which tend to push us over the edge of sanity, purposefully or not, that spurs a necessary response right? Because hey, they should care more about our feelings. But is that really true? Actually, whether they recognize it or not does not deem what my response should be: my words, thoughts or deeds that follow need to be tempered with the same that Jesus does for me.

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8

Yeah, its not so simple, right? How in the world can we earnestly love someone that drives us bonkers? Is that person’s sin any worse than our response? No. If I fail in how I deal with the current problem, then I alone am responsible for my actions.

Marriage is designed to be the earthly parallel relationship with our Lord.

Unity of mind, oneness of heart, personal and intimate, sacrificially giving your all, generously displaying the fruits of the Holy Spirit; these are our ultimate goals. If this was easy, it wouldn’t require discipline or prayer. Since God has placed this relationship as the most important, then my role is to work my hardest at it, because it WILL be rewarding both here and now, and in the future.

If I can conquer my need to protect my pride or be defensive – with the help of God’s Holy Spirit patiently working and reminding me to be on guard with my words and my responses – then my marriage will be far better for it, and will represent my relationship with Jesus Christ. This will be a testimony to God’s goodness that my children will see, and hopefully replicate in their marriage.

No matter which relationship in your life is the hardest; your spouse, your child, your mother or father, that person is worthy of your best. It does not depend on what they say, do, or don’t say and do. It depends on how YOU treat it.

Read this passage, then read it again:
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends..”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

I write this today because the Lord has pointed out my sin, again, and perhaps it is yours too. Do we wallow in our weakness then, or do we fight for what God has placed as the most important which then requires the most work? We fight! We are fighting with our own nature of selfishness and pride, which the evil one LOVES to make prevalent in our heart. SO, let’s take control, and LOVE better, love more, love longer. There is no giving up, or throwing in the towel, or walking away, because Jesus does not give up on us. EVER.

“We love because He first loved us.”
1 John 4:19

Loving without Jesus is like a rock: very hard, and can crack and eventually break.
Loving with Jesus is like the Rock: solid.

Food for thought: If God is willing to forgive you, over and over and over, then why is it so hard for you to do the same in your most challenging relationship? Get to work!

Fun facts: It is believed that a marriage ceremony ends with a kiss because in ancient Rome, a kiss was a legal bond that sealed contracts, and marriage was seen as a contract. More than friendship, laughter, forgiveness, compatibility and sex, spouses name trust as the element crucial for a happy marriage.

Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Love is like a Rock