by Pastor Tim Burt
When a husband and wife enter into marriage, they become as the bible says, “one flesh.” The Bible says in Ephesians 5:21 that they are to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” The best way to understand this is by understanding that these two people, prior to marriage, each had their own life, living independently of each other. They each had their own way of living out their life down to the smallest details, such as how you fold and re-hang a towel after you take a shower to whether you fold it at all or just throw it on the floor. Suddenly, they’ve walked down the aisle, returned home from their honeymoon to the reality of their own place where they will now live together, and they have to merge these two independent lives harmoniously together! These two people have to learn to adapt to each other and develop a plan of how they are going to walk out those details in their life, big or small. It won’t even take a day before little things that bug each other begin to surface. They must begin the process of learning to adapt to each other out of great love for God and for each other. As Romans 12:10 (NLT) says it, “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
Renee and I had to learn this truth and found out it takes work. We also found out why we needed to do it with reverence for Christ. It was like we had to allow Him to be the mediator of our heart and keep us in check when either of us was feeling stubborn about change. There are still little things that crop up that Renee asks me to adapt to such as loading the dishwasher the right way (meaning her way) so that everything gets clean. I still have to remind her to turn the lights off when she leaves a room. That’s okay. It’s really no big deal. We love each other and continue to adapt out of love for each other and for God.
Solomon 2:15 tells us that it’s the “…little foxes that spoil the fine.” Little foxes or things that could bug each other can and will always come up in life, and more frequently than we would have imagined. When people don’t put the Lord as the mediator of their hearts in their marriage, these little foxes are remembered, hashed over, and a fight for who is going to get their way takes over. Marriages are quickly chewed up and spit out in this mode. But when you go to God when these things bug you, and when you pray and read His word, the Lord has a way to speak to your heart. If your heart isn’t hard and you want Him to help you, He will! He will make you do things you don’t want to do like “Go and work this out!” You’ll be tempted to argue with the Lord about the injustice of that and how your spouse is all wrong. He will tell you again and again to work it out “in love.” He’ll remind you of Romans 12:10 (NLT) “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” When you let Him lead you and when you swallow your pride, you’ll do the right things. And you’ll learn to adapt to each other out of a love for each other.
I have some great strengths in my life and Renee has plenty in hers. Through adapting and yielding to each other in love, we’ve learned from each other and gained strengths we didn’t have before. Our love has also grown immensely. And we’ve learned to let go of the little foxes and banish these inconsequential bandits from our life. They will always come but the love of God through adapting and preferring one another will always triumph! Although I have my brief moments of getting bugged, I do not let the little things that could bug me steal from the beauty and love of the amazing woman who God has given me!
The word “submit” is not so easy to grasp, but the concept of adapting and preferring each other brings it all to light! Hold on to this light because when little foxes try to make things bad and dark, Psalms 112:4 (NLT) promises us, “Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.”
Oh, and one more thing! These truths work in any relationship! There will always be a need to adapt, honor, and prefer others over yourself. This is God’s plan!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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