By: Mandy Hill
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. (Romans 16:17-18)
Control is something that we may not even realize we are imposing on our spouse.
Of course, every marriage experiences painful moments of unreasonableness and control from both partners. But when those moments become the norm rather than the exception, it denies a spouse the freedom to be who he or she is both within and outside of the marital borders. Focusing specifically on my sisters today, it’s important to remember that “a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day” (Proverbs 27:15) and that it is “better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife” (Proverbs 21:19).
What sort of appetites to you set out to feed on a daily basis? Are they that of your own? Or do your decisions serve to bless your spouse?
Do you encourage your spouse to be the man or woman God created them to be, or do you find yourself easily angered when your spouse measures less than perfection?
The bible clearly points to the tool in which we can use to ensure we are are walking in the Spirit, rather than chasing down our own fleshy desires.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, and divisions.” (Galatians 5:16-26)
Sisters, please take a few moments and ask The Lord to speak to your heart. Do you walk in the Spirit, or in the desires of your own flesh? Imagine how anointed our marriage relationships could be if we daily sought The Lord for ways to encourage our spouse to be exactly the person God made them to be, and faithfully committed to ‘letting go’ of our own desires and agendas.
The wonderful news is you don’t have to imagine. You can make it happen. Let it go.
Heavenly Father, thank You. Thank You for the wonderful blessing of marriage. Thank You for the closeness and intimacy that comes with being husband and wife; please help us to never take advantage of that closeness. Please strip us of our selfish desires; those fleshy desires that lead to controlling behaviours. Help us instead, to daily seek You and Your Holy Spirit for guidance in how we can best encourage and support our spouse to be exactly the person You have created them to be. Please bless our marriages today. In Jesus’s precious and holy name; Amen.