Last month my husband and I attended the Weekend to Remember marriage conference that makes its way to Madison every year. That time together to do a “marriage check up” and be reminded to make our relationship a priority is always such a blessing. We learned many nuggets of wisdom that weekend.
The first was that if we are not intentionally growing towards each other, we will drift apart. This surprised me. I always thought that if we just chugged along, we would at least stay on a parallel course. The truth, though, is that we will actually drift apart. The same can happen with God. If we are not energetically nurturing our relationship with the Lord, we will drift away from Him (but He will never drift away from us)!
Another golden nugget was that we need the Holy Spirit to love our spouse (or anyone) well. We need God (specifically the Holy Spirit) to empower us to love when our human nature says to run or fight, to see our own sin and forgive others’ sin, and to do the right thing.
How do we become aware of the Spirit’s presence so we can be so empowered? We purposefully depend on God and invite Him into all of our interactions and decisions. It just so happens that our church has created a series of Life Marks to help see where we may need to make changes to grow closer to God. You can read all four of them on our church website, but I’d like to highlight the “I AM Dependent on Christ” life mark, which is made up of these four attributes:
- Grace: Have I received Jesus by faith and do I allow Him to love and accept me in spite of who I am?
- Surrender: Am I giving up my idols to give Jesus center stage in my life?
- Focus: Do my calendar, relationships, and checkbook display that I am fully relying on God?
- Prayer: Am I pursuing a more intimate relationship with God by allowing time for conversation with Him?
How are you doing in each of these areas? We have been reflecting on these Life Marks at each board meeting and these questions have been quite convicting for me. I know I’m often guilty of scrolling through Facebook before I’ve spent time in the Bible. And there are days that I don’t talk to God until it’s time for bedtime prayers. After reflecting on these questions, I have scheduled a specific time to spend reading God’s word every morning. And before I open Facebook, I first make space for conversation with God so I can hear from Him before I hear from the world. Are there any changes these questions challenge you to make?
By being dependent on God, we can rely on him to give us the wisdom we need to flourish in our marriage, faithfully raise our kids, and interact with co-workers, neighbors and friends.