{Marriage} No more tit-for-tat stuff.

By: Mandy Hill

To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.” (Luke 6:27-30)

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I was dreaming this morning of snow….I love snow at Christmastime and I am kinda sad that it’s still so green out there. Dreaming of snow reminded me of a surprise snowstorm we had last year! It started Saturday night, and the snow fell all through the night! When I woke up on Sunday morning to have my time with Jesus…..I noticed the plow was just coming around our cul-de-sac!

It was early….but it was also Sunday. Sunday mornings are already a very busy time at our house, but add shovelling the driveway in on top of that….and you’ve got yourself an extra full morning.

I woke my hubby and asked him to come and shovel the driveway with me! I figured we could shovel it together in no time at all! His response was quick and seemingly without thought or care: “No!, I have to go to church early because I am speaking this morning. I will just plow the car through the snow.”

I could see from the window that the snow was over a foot deep in the shallowest parts…I knew that it needed to be shovelled before anyone went anywhere. After trying to explain this to my husband and getting nowhere, I decided that if he wasn’t going to help me, I’d just have to do it myself.

I went downstairs and pulled on my coat of pity, threw my scarf of bitterness around my neck, and pulled on a hat of anger and resentment. As I walked outside, I realized the job was even bigger than I had perceived from the window. As I began to shovel and lift the snow, my mind taunted me with a million reasons reasons as to why I should be angry with my husband.

With every reason I could come up with, the Lord convicted me to respond with the energies of prayer for my husband and to turn this hard work into a gift; rather than think of it as a chore.

Oh sisters, it wasn’t easy for me! My flesh so badly wanted to make that list of reasons to be angry. My flesh grasped for any excuse to make being angry an appropriate response. But, the Lord was speaking into my heart, pointing me to the path of righteousness.

I had a choice to make. Certainly it would be easier to fall in line with my flesh and choose anger and resentment. But, the Lord uses these very moments to grow us; to make us more like Him. It may be more difficult and unnatural to do the right thing….but it’s what we are being asked to do.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation like mine? How did you react?

Lord Jesus, thank You for the blessed gift of marriage. Thank You for the gentle way in which You convict our spirits; for Your gentle guidance in how to be more like You. Thank You for not giving up on me no matter how many times I make the wrong choice, for forgiving me when I do, and for giving me lots of opportunities to make the right ones. Thank You for the promise that You will never stop investing Your love in me. Please to make the path of righteousness a clear one. I pray that You’ll do the same for my sisters. In Jesus name, amen.

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