There are times in life when we just want to settle down in the land of victimization. Things don’t go according to plan; others don’t agree with our point of view and their comments are irritating.
In some ways, misery and complaining are safe endeavors as they excuse us from trying.
The Israelites were, in some ways, safe when living in both Egypt and the desert. They knew what to expect and had good reason to complain regarding conditions. We act in a similar way when we give into thoughts of victimization.
It’s not, however, God’s place for us.
Imagine if the Israelites had not entered the Red Sea – if they just stood on the shores and gave up. Their outcome would have been death or further punishment. And then what of their future generations?
That leaves only one solution: take the plunge into the unknown! It is a little intimidating and uncomfortable, but it could have a better result. It leaves little room for victimization and plenty of room for God to take us to the other side of freedom.
We can look at Bible personalities and assume that they were “extra spiritual” or supernaturally enabled to do great things. Why else would a woman leave her family, home and culture to follow an old woman to an unknown family and culture that worshipped a different god?
Perhaps it was simply that they made wise choices. Some of the dilemmas they faced are not so different from those we face today.
Because money is an essential part of living, it is important that financial adjustments are made by both partners in a marriage. However, these adjustments have to be made in agreement. It is also good to realize that God’s plan for abundance includes the financial realm. Many people fear money and believe it to be evil, but this is not so. The mistake we make with money is relying on it to bring us happiness and security rather than relying on God.
In many ways, we helped each other grow up, maturing into adulthood together. It is easy to look back and think about what we could have done better. We could have championed each other’s goals better and not taken the other for granted. We could have been better parents too—more attentive, spanking less, yelling less, and spoiling less. We could have not tried so hard to be the perfect Christian family. If we, however, desire transformation, we must let go of regrets over what could have been and pursue what can be.
The former does little, while the latter brings results. (Philippians 3:13).
(An excerpt from Marriage How to Stay Married Forever)
Sharing the same faith is not necessarily the key to a spiritually fulfilling marriage. You can both be Christians and run into marriage difficulties. In the luster of a new relationship, we often believe that we can change our spouse’s behaviors or attitudes. In fact, due to these beliefs, we often feel that we would do anything for the other. But as time passes, these feelings and motivations begin to fade.
This is when it is crucial for us to return to our Christian basics: love is a commitment, not a feeling. When we focus on this truth, our feelings and motivations for our spouse resurface again. Why does this happen? Because our relationship with Christ includes both the spiritual dimension and the currency of faith. When we make Christ the foundation of our marriage, we base our relationship on truth rather than the “facts” or natural realities that may or may not be too appealing at the time.
What is spiritual intimacy? I believe it’s an important component of a marriage that requires that both partners determine to be close to God and follow His direction for their lives. Any other way leads to disillusionment and dissatisfaction in a marriage as one partner (or both) seek fulfillment in other ways.