Our son was visiting over the holidays this year and I saw this on his screen saver:
(I will take responsibilities for my own life.)
(I will find lessons in setbacks. I will look forward and not backward.)
(I will be empowered by my circumstances not impeded by them.)
(I will do things others are unwilling to do.)
What encouraging words! And of course marriage being my passion, I adjusted the words slightly:
Today, I will do the things for success in my marriage that others are unwilling to do.
We all know this is easily done when it‘s going well and there‘s peace. But what about when it’s not so peaceful.
How do you say words and live actions
that you don’t feel?
Fake it? Seems slightly deceptive if not a downright lie and perhaps with the wrong motive it is. But the right perspective changes it.
It is right
We all fake it from time to time. “That was the nicest wedding service I’ve been to!” Or, “That is the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen!” (A Seinfeld episode comes to mind here) Growing up we are encouraged to do our part and apologize to make things right, even when we don’t think it’s our fault or if we agree with the outcome.
Why – why should we fake right when we feel wrong(ed)? Remember when mom said, two wrongs don’t’ make a right? Mom was dead-on. God drives this home in His Own words: Do not return evil for evil.
To make this applicable to marriage it will be more difficult to swallow:
Today, I will do the things for success in my marriage
others are my husband is unwilling to do.
I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want is to be nice to someone who has been mean to me or hurt my feelings. Whether an offence is real or imagined; intentional or not, it still hurts. I remember someone at a church we attended rounded up our small group (excluding me and hubby) and went to the pastor to complain about my husband. Going into details of an offence is petty, suffice to say it became a mess because ‘the issue‘ is never really ‘the issue‘. The topper for me was being approached by this person with their hand extended as they said, “Still friends?” No discussion whatsoever, just a big smile and this request. I responded with a lie through a thin smile, “Yes of course.”
… but, was it a lie?
- I returned good for bad (1 Peter 3:9)
- I covered the offence of a brother (1 Peter 4:8)
- I didn’t take vengeance into my own hands but left room for God’s wrath (Romans 12:19)
- I maintained the unity (1 Corinthians 1:10)
At the risk of sounding like I’m some super saint – please don’t be mislead! My kids and friends and husband will tell you – there are lots of times that I do return evil for evil and don’t cover the offence. There are lots of times I don’t strive for unity – sometimes, vengeance is just too tasty. This exchange just happens to be one of the few times I was able to scratch my way to the door of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).
So – how do you change how you feel? You can’t – only God can. Is it a lie (or is it wrong) to do what God commands — even when you don’t feel it? No, I don’t believe it is. In fact, I believe this is precisely the time it’s righteous to obey God’s Word, especially because you don’t feel it.
I bet Jesus wasn’t exactly feelin the love for me or you as He was being executed – yet out of obedience – He stayed. Having every right to not stay for that execution – having done nothing wrong – He stayed.
Believe that God wants your marriage to be successful, if you work towards this end He will out give the good you put in! (Malachi 3:10-11*)
Be the wife you believe will make God proud. Be willing to trust Him for the victory of your marriage. Expect God to do what He says. (Psalm 25:21)
Focus on the good things of your man. You know they are there – these are the things that attracted you in the first place. Call a successful marriage into being – and believe what you pray. (Phil 4:8; Rom 4:17)
Don’t return a negative for a negative – especially to a brother who is a husband. (Luke 26:28)
Don’t feed your marriage only when your husband is willing to, this doesn’t show that you are obedient or loving towards God – only that you know how to keep score. (Luke 6:33 and 1 John 3:11)
For many years I did keep score and that choice stopped me from being obedient to God’s Word. (See Luke 26:28:33) I used to think that faking it was deceitful; not godly, but now I see that my view was wrong. Faking it is actually a weapon we use. It merely means that I’m going to trick my feelings so they don’t get in the way of my obedience.
You can fake it till you make it because you know you’ll make it. That’s the key!! When God says He’s great – He means it and anticipates our expectation of the miraculous! (Psalm 27:14; 39:7; 42:5)
Lord, teach us to expect You and stretch us wives to do the things for success in our marriages.
*If there are devourers that are destroying parts of your marriage put this principle to work and do what God says, Test Me in this. God will not go against His Own Word and Law of sowing and reaping. As a homemaker I have (had) no income to tithe from, so I tithed on what I did have: myself. The attitudes of my mind and heart.