Have you been in that place where you feel if you keep giving your all to your marriage, you might end up wishing you hadn’t? Maybe, you thought, “this could help my marriage, but then again what if it doesn’t?” After all, you don’t want to give your all to a relationship that could hurt you. What if it doesn’t work out? You feel you have to hold back, just in case. If you did everything you could to really love your spouse and invest in your marriage and then turn around and 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?
Did you know 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 I guaranteed how your marriage struggles 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 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 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 big of a mistake she was making. 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 far I was willing to go. I told the Lord I had my limits and there was only so much I could take. But, 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 He was telling me. I knew 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. He was teaching me to love with unconditional love. He tore down my limitations.
From that moment on I learned that no one else but me and the Lord can say what kind of person I am on the inside. So, I began to let Him start changing me. And I began to understand this wasn’t just about my marriage.
Then as I began to change I started to like the way the Lord was helping me become a better person. Soon after that, I said to Janet, “even if you go through with this and mess up your life with the choices you make, I will be alright.” Then I got even bolder and 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’re not with me then you’re the one missing out.”
Just follow the Lord’s example
This is a simple lesson for anyone going through a struggle and 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. So, what do you really have to lose?
You can love as He loves. You can forgive as He forgives. It’s your choice. You can be as gentle and as kind as He is. You can turn the other cheek the same way He did. That is if you want to be more like Him. You go the extra mile just like the Lord would. You 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 a life that gives you back everything you have always wanted.
But if none of those things happen, you will still get to be more like Jesus. You still get to be a better person. And with that I think no matter what else happens, you still win.
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’s only through Him that 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 like Jesus.
Question: Have you experienced a positive change after a difficult trial? Please, share in the comments!
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