Day 12
"Love Lets the Other Win"

"Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."
(Philippians 2:4)

He is standing his ground. She is standing her ground. Neither will budge. He says that he is right and she is wrong. She says that she is right and he is wrong. Sadly, they get no where. They are in what is called a "The Crazy Cycle". Stubbornness comes as a standard feature on both husband and wife models. Defending your rights and opinions is a foundational part of your nature and make-up. It's detrimental, though, inside a marriage relationship, and it steals away time and productivity. It can also cause great frustration for both of you.

So given this stand-off of wills, what is a couple to do? One of them will have to be willing to give in. Which one? It's usually the more mature of the two - the one who is willing to say, "You have some really good points. I'm sorry that I was not listening carefully or seeing them clearly. Let's talk about it". This new attitude of loving cooperation can make all the difference in the world, and save your relationship from more bitter confrontations as issues tend to compound.

What prevents us from being submissive to each other like this? You might guess selfishness, given the many times that has come up, but today it is pride demonstrated in stubbornness. Wisdom and love would have us change our ways to take the time to respect our wife's opinion, and be willing to yield. It's possible that we're not even talking about compromise here, but actually putting her preference first.

Today - Choose to let go of one thing that you and your wife are in disagreement about. Tell her that you want to put her preference first.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:17)

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)

"Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." ...When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy."
(Hebrews 4:12)

Think about the extraordinary journey and set of "circumstances" God designed to lead the wise men to the birth of Christ! The nearest planet to Earth is thirty-seven million miles away. The nearest star is twenty-five billion miles away. Whatever light the wise men saw, traveling at 186,000 miles per second, would have been ignited at least five years before Christ's birth in order to have been visible to these wayfaring theologians and scientists! Some would call this phenomenon a mere "circumstance", but we know better.

Just as God illuminated the pathway of the wise men to the Son of God, He desires to reveal our way to us today. Often, God will orchestrate the events and circumstances of our lives to give us clear direction. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us,

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

One very important key to hearing God's voice through our circumstances is the ability to discern God's voice from the distractions and pitfalls around us. While God does often use the circumstances of our lives to guide our steps, that guidance will never be inconsistent or contrary to His Word and the gentle, guiding peace of His Spirit.

Prayer: God, I pray that You will give me a discerning heart to recognize Your sovereign hand in the circumstances of my life. Teach me to trust You, to remain faithful to Your Word, and to follow the guidance of Your Spirit. I pray that I will trust You to lead me, my wife, and my family on the journey of Your awesome plan for our lives. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Jeremiah 1 ... This chapter explicitly describes God's calling on Jeremiah's life. Can you briefly state what you think God's purpose for your life is? Focus not just on what God has called you to do, but also focus on who He is calling you to be.

God Bless - and may He keep you and your family safely under His wings. -
The Dove Alliance