We like control. We crave control. Our first reaction when life starts to spin is find a way to fix it. Control. Manage it. Control. And when we can’t fix it, and can’t manage it, we block it out and begin to focus on what we can control in the moment (or at least, what we think we’re controlling).
I have discovered that God doesn’t just “allow” pain – he uses it, on purpose, in each and every one of us. There are some lessons that cannot be learned through ease and comfort. And there are some things we’ll never change, some sin we’ll never forsake, until God uses pain to get our attention. Therefore, pain is not just inevitable; it is necessary.
Our response to pain reveals what we truly believe about God.
[Excerpt] Divorce begins before a couple is even married. Before a man and woman even exchange vows and rings, most marriages are already in decline. By the time a couple reaches the alter, they’ve already begun to take each other for granted, they’ve already begun to think marriage is going to make them (and keep them) happy. They already believe that it will be easy and effortless, that it will finally complete them. But these are all lies.
Marriage is hard, and a good marriage is even harder.
[Excerpt] Submission is a sensitive topic, especially when it comes to marriage. However, that does not mean we should avoid it. Rather, we must work hard to make sure we have a biblical understanding of submission – who we are to submit to, why we are to submit, and what that looks like.
[Excerpt] God gave Eve a great responsibility to help her husband. And He gives us that same responsibility today. But far too many women are more interested in taking from their husband than giving to him. This reveals idolatry – countless women place unrealistic expectations on their husbands that are rooted in their own selfish desires.
[Excerpt] Why am I talking about DIY projects? Because some women treat their husbands like a DIY project.
What we’ve forgotten is that in order to be successful at a project, you have to have be qualified. That comes from training, from practice, from education, and talent. You know why so few people succeed at DIYs? They don’t have the skill, or the talent, or the training. They attempt a project that is way out of their wheelhouse, only to become more and more frustrated, often making things worse, so that when they finally give-in and call the professional, it costs more time and money than it would have had they called for help at the start.
[Excerpt] Ruth Bell Graham said, “A good marriage is made up of two good forgivers.” What is forgiveness? It’s choosing to release someone from the obligation that resulted when they hurt you. It’s about humility. It’s about laying down your rights. It’s the opposite of taking, manipulating, and controlling. It doesn’t feel good. But it is good.
It’s time to stop placing your happiness in people. Stop manipulating to get what you want. Be determined to give, bless, and encourage. Don’t look out for yourself – look out for your husband. Sound impossible? That’s what grace is for. But in order to receive God’s grace, you have to be surrendered to God’s grace.
[EXCERPT] Anything that you search for peace, happiness, or satisfaction from apart from God is an idol. So which God do you serve? Are you serving the god of yourself, searching for pleasure and happiness, regardless of the cost? Or are you serving the God who made you, loves you, and is fully able to satisfy you?
God perfect, and therefore is the only one who will never let us down. He is the one who made us, so He knows exactly what we need. He loves us, and wants to give us what will make us holy and happy. And because of His power, He is fully capable of doing it. If you’re not experiencing peace, happiness and satisfaction in your relationship with God, it’s not because of Him.
It’s time to make God your portion. To make Him enough. To learn to let Him satisfy us fully. And until you do that, there is not a single relationship in your life that will result in happiness. Your insecurity and need to take from those people will ruin any chance of it. Because the more you take, the less you get.