Contentment In Relationships

Day 15 - April 8 / Elder Mark Harbeson

Colossians 3:18-21

“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.  Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.  Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”

When did you realize your honeymoon was over?  For some, it was probably a few months later.  Your husband or wife did something gross, or annoying, or reacted in an ugly way, and you suddenly realized you weren’t living with Prince Charming or Wonder Woman.  For some, it might have been the day after.  Or during the honeymoon.  Some of us never had a honeymoon.

Maybe you and your kids drive each other crazy.  I remember once sarcastically quoting Psalm 127 (“Children are a heritage from the Lord….blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!”) to a wise friend, and he said, “Do you know why that’s in the Bible?  Because you need to be reminded of it.”

Every relationship we have is tainted by sin—either ours or the other party’s (usually both).  Our discontent in relationships comes from having our expectations (often selfish or unrealistic) not being met.  If your love depends on certain conditions, you will never be content with a relationship.  (This type of “love” is often hypocritical as well.). We often waste time trying to “fix” people.  All we get for our trouble is more irritation, as the behavior modification inevitably fails.  The most powerful tool for changing someone is to instead offer grace.

Love is not a feeling.  Love is a choice.  We know this because God chooses to love us while we are still His enemies, in total rebellion against Him.  Any relationship you have—spouse, child, parent, friend, co-worker—will be transformed if you choose to love as Jesus loves you.  No strings attached, no conditions—in total grace, in spite of your sins and weaknesses.  This is the power of the Gospel within us—to show others what God’s grace feels like.  Look at the people around you.  See all of their faults for what they are.  And make the conscious choice to love them anyway.
Prayer Points:
  • Read and pray through 1 Corinthians 13.
  • Thank God for choosing to show you His love and grace.
  • Pray for the ability to love others as Jesus loves you.
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