February 19, 2016

Marriage on Lent Day #6

I am hoping you will join us on our 40 day journey of praying for the marriage's of those around us. My sweet friend told me once, "wedding problems are always a spiritual battle," with our prayers to the Father, they will be our weapons to fight with God for the hearts and unions of those around us. So get your list and join us in prayer.  The guest posts will bless those who are praying and also those of us who are married or know married people. I love that each post is very different. Get ready for some wonderful encouragement and powerful thoughts and prayers. Enjoy these blessings.

Thank you to Stephen Corbett, Abilene, TX for his guest post today.

"Love your neighbor as you love yourself."  Jesus, in Mark 12:31

Message from the Heart
The "Golden Rule" is applicable to all of our relationships, but it takes on a new meaning when we substitute the word spouse for the word neighbor.  Imagine what marriages would look like if husbands and wives lived out the words, "Love your spouse as you love yourself."

In most troubled marriages I've known, either the husband or the wife - or both, if I'm being honest - love themselves more than they love their spouse.  It's a recipe for disaster.  When a husband loves himself more than he loves his wife, he excuses his selfish attitude and behavior while heaping demands on his wife to meet all his needs.  When a wife loves herself more than she loves her husband, she places expectations on her husband to treat her well, yet feels entitled to treat her him however she wants.  The result is a downward relational spiral, where needs are not met and love is not shared... and eventually the couple hits rock bottom.

On the flip side, in most marriages that I consider exemplary and healthy, both the husband and the wife are clearly more interested in actively loving their spouse than they are in being served, or treated well, or having their needs met.  Those husbands and wives who set their sites on loving rather than being loved create an upward-trending, perpetual-motion love-machine, where each partner is increasingly valued, honored, encouraged... and loved more deeply year after year.

Prayer for Marriages
Father, Creator of love, Exemplar of selfless love,
Bless me, that my heart's desire would be to lift up my spouse and love her as she wishes to be loved.
Soften my heart, that I would love my spouse selflessly and sacrificially, as Christ modeled.
Remove from me the desire to get my way.  Remove from me the expectation that my spouse meet all my needs perfectly.
Strengthen me today and in the days that follow, that I might reach out to my spouse and make the first move.