Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Monday, April 27
“Pray then like this…your will be done.”
Mt 6:9-10 ESV
STAYING WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE LEAVING (3)
Here are another two helpful keys to resolving marriage conflict: (1) Let God direct your prayers. Prayer can be closed-ended or open-ended. When we think that our perspective is the only accurate one, we pray closed-ended prayers calling on God to solve the problem our way, believing it’s the only correct way. But closed-ended praying produces two problems. First, it locks us into rigid thinking and blinds us to other perspectives. Second, it keeps us from seeing God’s perspective, the one that can heal and restore the relationship. Open-ended praying asks God to solve the problem His way. “Pray then like this…your will be done.” Ask God to reveal His will to you both, wait until He does, then pray accordingly. The Bible says: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us…we know that we have what we asked of him” (1Jn 5:14-15 NIV). (2) Remove the conditions from your love. Sound difficult? Love is a biblical command, not an arbitrary emotion. God’s not asking you to feel warm and fuzzy, He’s asking you to act in a loving way. Wouldn’t that be hypocritical? No, it’s rising above resentment, hurt, and fear, and practicing real faith. It means asking yourself: “If I were loving unconditionally right now, what would I be doing? How would I be responding to my spouse?” Then do it. The Bible says, “Love never fails” (1Co 13:8 NIV). You can lovingly act your way into a new way of feeling for both you and your spouse.
Tuesday, April 28
“Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders.”
Ps 55:22 TM
STAYING WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE LEAVING (4)
Give your marriage to God. The last word on the matter must be God’s Word! Seeking professional help is a good thing. But until you’ve transferred ownership of your marriage into God’s hands, you haven’t exercised your best option. You say, “What does handing my marriage over to God mean in practical terms?” It means two things: (1) You stop calling the shots—that’s God’s job. And you must get out of His way so that He can do His work unhindered. Your self-interest and need to control must bow to His will. As long as you insist on “being right” and “straightening out” your spouse, you will remain part of the problem. On the other hand, when you give the problem to God, He—not you—has the problem to work on! (2) You learn how to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2Co 5:7). When things feel out of control you will want to resume ownership of the problem. Don’t do it, or the result will be more of what doesn’t work. Renew your decision to allow God to have control and work in both of your hearts. “Walk by faith,” not by feelings. The Psalmist puts it this way: “Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out.” When you trust God to handle it, three things happen: (a) You experience peace; (b) your partner’s resistance will likely diminish because you’re no longer stirring the pot; (c) God goes to work: “He who began a good work in you [both] will bring it to completion” (Php 1:6 ESV).