Here is the 16th and final lesson on Diligence. The main idea was:
“This is a way to live, not a program that you go through. You don’t graduate from this. Success in marriage is not just avoiding divorce, but always moving toward oneness. You will have to fight for everything you have gained.”
Though this is the last post, you should not look at this as the end of journey but rather the beginning of one. As we talked about in the last post ★ Re|Engage – Completion ★, it is important you and your spouse keep on going over these posts to keep it fresh. If you want to attend re|engage, you can find a class in your area by going here http://marriagehelp.org/churches and entering in your zip code. Don’t finish reading these 16 posts and never thing about how to improve your marriage again. The lesson started off with this great advice…
“Be sure to celebrate what God has done in your marriage, but also start to take the next steps in pursuing oneness “more and more” with your spouse.”
Success is not linear…it is a series of peaks and valleys.
In the reading they had six ideas that could be next steps for you:
One class, one time, will not make your marriage great. Love is not a noun but a verb. You need to continually be pouring into each other.
“Be sure you are doing things to spend time together, have fun and keep investing in your marriage. Don’t fall back into patterns of neglecting your marriage.”
If you thought you were “done” working on your marriage, this is not the finish line; it’s the beginning of the rest of your journey together implementing what you learned in these posts. Galatians 6:9 (NLT) encourages us…
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
And let 2 Timothy 4:7 (ESV) spur you on!
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2. Work on you.
If you recall I read this quote the first night that we were together as a preview that I will repeat once again…
“Remember that you are the only person you can change in your marriage. Developing your personal relationship with Christ through prayer, study of Scripture and asking him to continue to change you is the best single thing you can do for your marriage.”
We all want better marriages, so to achieve that result, its paramount work on whatever struggles and issues that we’re going through personally. I love what James 4:7-8 (NLT) says,
“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”
Everything always comes back to humility, and when we draw close to God, we will become more like Him which ultimately will improve our marriage!
3. Become Known.
In the reading they said,
“Couples that isolate often struggle in the marriage. If you’re not a member of the church, join a place that will faithfully teach scripture and call you to live out your faith. And don’t just simply show up. Join a life group where you can be honest, known, challenged and encouraged in your faith.”
Hebrews 10:25 (NLT) says,
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
I once heard a sermon that James MacDonald put it this way…Satan has 3 strategies:
“Disguise, Divide and Destroy. He comes to us as an angel of light. He gets us isolated by ourselves, and then he takes us down.”
Isolating yourself from other people it’s a very dangerous thing! And that is why being part of a church and life group is so important.
4. Share your story.
“You can never force someone toward oneness with their spouse, but you can definitely nudge them. Humbly sharing what you learned – as well as your failures – is a great help to others and often your marriage.”
“God doesn’t call the QUALIFIED, He qualifies the CALLED!”
All you really need to do is share your story, what has God done for you and your spouse. Okay let’s look at the final 2 Next Steps…
5. Address your home life.
“Money and parenting are two of the biggest argument-starters for couples. If financial issues or disagreements aren’t addressed, this area will act as a wedge between you and your spouse. Don’t ignore debt, differences about spending or lack of giving. In the same way, not being on the same page about your children is incredibly frustrating, but being unified in the way you raise, discipline and disciple your kids can be a big win for your marriage.”
6. Serve Others.
“Serving is a great way to get the focus off of yourself, and serving with your spouse is a great way to promote oneness in your marriage.”
“Your marriage and the way you love your spouse is about so much more than your happiness. The way you love your spouse should be a way that people will know you are a Christian and a way that helps them understand God’s love better.”
Jesus gave to his disciples, in John 13:34–35…
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
I like what they said in the book…
“We live in a culture where many come into marriage to get something and leave as soon as they don’t get it. Christians have an opportunity to be known for the profoundly different way they love each other. Imagine what could happen if you begin began to love your spouse the way Christ loves you. Imagine what could happen if everyone in your church and churches around the world did the same!”
Don’t stop trying to improve yourself and your marriage, the pursuit is worth it!
If you want to read previous re|engage lessons click here…
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