Have you ever been caught in that place where you feel if you keep giving your all to your marriage and loving your spouse with unconditional love, you might end up wishing you hadn’t. You find yourself thinking, “this could help my marriage, but then again what if it doesn’t?” You don’t want to get hurt by putting your all into the relationship and then it doesn’t work out. You feel you have to hold back, just in case. After all, if you did everything you could do, to really love your spouse and invest in your marriage and then turn around and you still end up losing your marriage, wouldn’t you look like a fool.
Or maybe you find yourself in a battle with your spouse and your afraid of what might happen if you don’t win the argument or get your way in the situation. You don’t want to come across as the weak one in the relationship, so you take your stand and you remain strong through everything. Don’t let them see you cry. Don’t ever let your spouse think they got the best of you, right?
But what if I told you that you could come out a winner regardless of what your spouse does and how your marriage struggle turns out?
What if I made you a Win Win Proposition?
What if you could give your all to your marriage and love your spouse unconditionally and not have to worry because you know you win no matter what? I’m not saying you will be guaranteed on how your marriage struggles will work out. Nor am I saying you can be sure your spouse will never hurt you. But what you can be sure of, is you can have a positive outcome for yourself regardless of what happens to your marriage.
You are the only one who can determine if you will love deeply with an unconditional love or will you hold back your love according to how safe you feel about your relationship. You are the one who can decide how big you allow yourself to grow on the inside regardless of what happens to you on the outside.
It was a lesson God gave me years ago.
Janet and I had been married for nine years at the time and we were facing our third major crisis. She wanted out of the marriage and I didn’t. Neither of us would give up on custody of the kids or our home. So I lived on the couch for a few months while I fought to hang onto my marriage.
I prayed constantly, read my bible and listened to worship music. And at the same time I kept warning Janet how bad of a mistake she was making by continuing the affair she was having. But I couldn’t stop what she was doing and there were times I wondered how far I could go on with the fight.
Then one day as I was praying and I began to tell the Lord how I could continue to stand as long as the affair had not gone too far. I told the Lord I would not be able to handle it if the affair had become sexual. I said that was a line I could not cross. Then I heard the Lord speak something very clearly to my heart. He said, “do not draw a line in the sand.”
Right away I knew what the Lord was saying. I knew He was not telling me to condone the affair or to passively accept it. But He was saying my position of love, forgiveness, and believing for my marriage to turn around should not change based on what my wife was doing.
From that moment on I learned that no one else but me and the Lord has a say in how big I am on the inside. Immediately I began to feel a change in me and as I let that change take place I began to like how the Lord was making me into a better person. Not very long after that I said to Janet, “even if you do leave and mess up your life with this guy, I know I will be alright.” I also said, “The Lord is doing some work in me to help me become a better person and I like who I am becoming and if you are not with me then you are the one missing out.”
Just follow the Lord’s example
There is a simple lesson I now share with anyone who is going through a struggle and they are afraid they might get walked on. I say you have the choice to become more like Jesus and to follow His example regardless of your circumstances.
You can love like He loves. You can forgive like He forgives. You can be as gentle and as kind as He is. You can turn the other cheek the same way He would. You can go the extra mile just like the Lord would. You can lay down your life for the good of someone else just like Jesus did.
In the end, you might get the kind of marriage you have always wanted. You might receive in return the same kind of love you are giving. If you go all in, you might get to live life the way you have always wanted to live it.
But if none of those things happen, you will still get to be more like Jesus. You will still be a better person. And with that I think no matter what else happens, you’re still in a win win situation.
I’m not saying this is easy and I’m not saying you can do it on your own. It takes complete surrender to the Lord and it is only through Him that a real lasting work can be done in you. There will be times when you stumble and change does not happen overnight. But the reward is absolutely worth it. After all, it just doesn’t get any better than to be more like Jesus.
Question: Do you think laying down your will and becoming more like Jesus is the best thing you could ever hope for? We would love to read your comment.
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