Sometimes life is tough. And, difficult circumstances can take a toll on your marriage if you let them. What does God want you to do during those tough times?
Hebrews 10:24-25 gives us guidance:
Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds . . . encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
These instructions were given during a time of great turmoil in Israel. Jewish Christians were being persecuted and were facing a Roman army bearing down on their city to destroy it. It makes a pandemic, riots, and economic downturn seem tame.
How do you respond in times of fear and unrest?
Do you panic? Get angry? Go into self-protection mode? Hebrews gives a different solution: Make sure you continue to show love to those around you and do good deeds on their behalf.
While the author of Hebrews gives an exhortation which applies to all those around you, start with the person closest to you—your spouse. He or she is the person most likely to take the brunt of your anger or depression. They will bear the brunt of a rash decision. They are the one who feels the loneliness when you shut down and pull inward. Or, they will be the happy recipient of your encouragement and generous service.
Working together as a team
As your encouragement and service draw your spouse closer to you, you have the opportunity to work as a team and encourage and serve those around you—which then stimulates them to love and good deeds.
The Bible often gives us advice that is counterintuitive. When we find ourselves in the midst of turmoil, our human reaction is to strike out in anger or frustration or to pull inward and try to protect ourselves. These reactions destroy rather than help our relationships—especially our closest relationship. It takes faith to accept the Bible’s admonition to love those around us and find ways of doing good for them. But, in the long run, that’s what builds relationships and helps us in the process.
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