In Matthew 9, there is a story of a paralytic who is brought to Jesus for healing. What he received was forgiveness for his sins. In that moment, the paralytic was faced with God not meeting his expectations.
How often are we like this paralytic—coming before God with expectations that He wants to shift? We do not see the need to shift and become stuck in our expectations like the paralytic stuck on his beggar’s matt. We want people to come take care of us in our time of need because God didn’t answer our expectations. Our paralysis grows the longer we remain in this one spot.
We can avoid this kind of existence by living with humility; this is an understanding of our flaws and our dependence upon God. When we know that our own wants and desires are fallible, we are released to forgive the injustice we feel in our lives and walk forward into a new life. We hear God’s answer—His differing answer—and we are ready to receive it and walk in it. The result is a greater life than we thought we could have when we brought to Him our expectations.
Marriage problems can all too often stem from a simple misunderstanding of our spouse’s needs. In our marriage vows, we promise to be there for each other through all things—something that is easier said than done. Needs within a marriage differ from couple to couple and from person to person. A man’s interpretation of what is important is not the same as a woman’s. What can result from this difference is a mountain of frustration built up over time because the husband and the wife have both sought to fulfill the wrong needs.
This issue can be fixed with a determination to communicate. Communication can fix most problems in life. Ask your spouse what they need; by asking, you are showing that you genuinely care about what is important to them. Listening is the next step and the most crucial. We can ask but then not listen to the answer and still cause frustrating moments because we didn’t listen. When we listen to our spouse’s needs, we can understand what is and why it is important. Lastly, clarify the need. Do not leave room for assumption or misinterpretation. If you are confused, ask for more information.
Life is a struggle. There will always be marriage issues. Communication is not a cure-all, but it is an effective tool. If there has been a lack of communication in marriage, there may be some hurts and pent-up anger that will need to be worked out so that healing can occur in your marriage. It is better to start late than to not start at all!
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalms 46:10 NKJV)
So often, we can interpret the phrase “Be still, and know that I am God” as an invitation to take a break. Rest is a good thing—who doesn’t like a little extra sleep or some time to read a book? God wants us to rest in Him, but that rest does not necessarily mean a vacation to a tropical destination; sometimes, resting in God means reflecting on His Word.
This Scripture reminds me that it is important to take time to pray and to reflect upon how God’s Word effects and changes my world. When I discipline myself to remember and apply Scripture, I begin to see the negative aspect of my soul fall away.
Instead of thinking about all the things that are going wrong in my world, I begin to see all that God has done. I move from my natural inclination to think negatively to an unnatural desire to dwell on the positive. I am reminded of the bigger picture God has for me and my life, and this reminder helps me to refocus upon my purpose within God’s framework.
The results of being still and knowing He is God is improved health in every way—from physical to spiritual. My thoughts are positive, my emotional state is healthy, I am physically ready to move forward into the next phase of God’s plan, and I am spiritually reconnected to my God.
Sexual love is a part of marriage, but sexual love is a lot more than intercourse and achieving an orgasm. It is lying close to another and being conscious of the other’s body even without intercourse. It is reunion after being apart, tender loving touches, and the random hug during the day. It is holding hands for no apparent reason and sharing memories while creating new thoughts for the future. It is the tentative reaching out with one’s fingers or toes after an argument while there is an ongoing awareness that one belongs to the other. These things are all a part of the sexual relationship that is vastly different from a sexual encounter to gain immediate sexual gratification.
Solomon writes in Proverbs 4:20–23, “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Solomon’s use of imagery in the description of the heart being “the springs of life” demonstrates an understanding of the interconnection of all parts of a person. The state of the inner man or heart affects us in so many ways. If the heart or inner man holds onto grievances, it can actually affect our thought processes and our physical body. One bad day then can lead to another bad day.
To therefore come back to the promises of God rather than dwell on grievances and hurt is far more beneficial for our lives.