Revive Me #50– Elevate Your Marriage

Revive Me, Week 50– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Elevate Your Marriage

I’m tired of all the marriage bashing.  Marriage is honorable (Heb. 13:4).  No one will be happy in their marriage if they are caught up in the worldly mindset of pleasing self.  But those who put godly traits into practice, like serving, yielding, and giving, will find daily joy in their marriage.  In other words, when we lower ourselves our marriages are lifted up.

How can you elevate your marriage?

Accommodate Your Spouse’s Likes and Dislikes

  • Are you paying attention?  Are you listening?  Do you remember?
  • Look for various ways to prove it.  For example, if your spouse likes a cup of coffee after work, have a fresh pot ready.  Thoughtful gesture= love affirmation.
  • Keep your eyes open for new likes and dislikes.  We all change as we age.
  • Get in the habit of asking, “Is there anything I can do for you?”  This question should be asked in various areas of life (bedroom, work, ministry, etc.).
  • Do what you can to make your spouse feel like it’s a joy to serve them (using words, gestures, facial expressions, and touches).

Value Your Unique Marriage

  • There’s only one marriage exactly like yours.  You have your own history, memories, inside jokes, and traditions.  Relish it!  Protect it!
  • Don’t take it for granted.  Regularly point out specific things you love about your special relationship.
  • Don’t let anyone bad-mouth your spouse or your marriage.  Remember, it’s honorable.

Seize the Day

  • Don’t wait for your spouse to deserve to be served.
  • Keep putting your spouse first no matter how you feel and no matter what others say.
  • Replace excuses with acts of service.
  • Serve without hoping to be served.  Let genuine love and their happiness be your motivation.
  • Start now.   What can you do today to elevate your marriage through service?

It’s ironic that the world considers these types of things to be drudgery.  Those who practice selfishness are the ones with the dull marriages.  Christians know that serving is satisfying.  There is no regret.  We will not look back one day and think, “I wish I hadn’t been so thoughtful.”  Consistent service enhances marriage.  It feels good and it’s intoxicating.

“Serve one another humbly in love” (Gal. 5:13).  Doing things God’s way brings out the best in everything.

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  Brainstorm ways to include unexpected acts of service into your schedule.
  2.  Spend time meditating on Scriptures concerning humility, putting others first, and agape love.  Here are some to start off with:  Phil. 2; 1 Cor. 13; Rom. 12:9-13; John 13:14-17.
  3.  Pay attention to your heart when you serve.  Are you filled with joy and satisfaction?  Or is your service done resentfully and grudgingly?

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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Photo Credit: Traci Sproule

 

Ain’t No Big Deal

Neal and I had the privilege of spending some time with a man who is a talented, well-known speaker, TV evangelist, university board member, and very beloved preacher, husband, and grandfather.  This distinguished man spoke of a time when he would retire and have someone take his place.  When I made some comment about the difficulty of finding a man brave enough to try and fill his big shoes, he said, “Ain’t no big deal.”  He was absolutely serious.  He wasn’t being falsely modest, but rather giving me a glimpse of the deep humility that has earned him the love and respect of all who know him.  He really is a great man who has done great things and who is admired by a great many, but in his own eyes he “ain’t no big deal.”  Just think how having that same kind of attitude could affect our own lives:

When I am slighted or rejected…

When I am ignored, neglected, overlooked…

When I am criticized…

When I don’t get the recognition I think I deserve…

Ain’t no big deal.  If we are seeking to be servants of Christ, then HIS notice is all we need or crave.  And He does notice (Jeremiah 17:10; Hebrews 4:13).  Genuine humility affects other times in our lives, too:

When I am praised or lifted up…

When I am sought after…

When I am awarded…

When I am thanked…

Ain’t no big deal.  While those feel-good moments can be gratifying, we know that everything we do is through God’s power and ability for the purpose of growing the kingdom.  And prayerfully, we do it all for HIS glory (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:3).  Neither vainglory nor false humility belong in Christian hearts.

Prayer for Today:  Thank you, Lord, for exposing us to such a humble servant of Yours.  May we all strive to have that genuine mind of Christ.