Updated: Aug 19, 2021
We all want better relationships. The trouble is we generally need to work on ourselves instead of trying to work on someone else! For many years in my marriage, I felt my needs weren’t being met. I’m a slow learner so it took me almost 20 years before I worked out this truth: to look at myself and stop looking at my husband to fix things. In Matthew 7 we’re told not to look for specks in others’ eyes but to examine the planks in our own first. If you think about it, this really is a universal problem—blaming other people or people groups or even countries instead of self-examination.
It’s about our heart and in Matthew 5:8 God says that we will see God when we are pure in heart with integrity, moral courage and godly character.
Do you want to see real improvement in any or all of your relationships? Well like I had to, all of us need to examine our hearts for any impurities and then go to Him to repent. God wants us not to be selfish but humble and to consider others as more important than ourselves. (Philippians 2:3) Ouch!
Okay, how do we die then? I hear you ask. Here are some tips to this dying process:
1. Get some encouraging support because guess what, not only do your plans need to be laid down but you need to die to yourself and that hurts a lot! You could feel very much alone.
‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.’ John 12: 24 NKJV
Another translation talks about the production of much fruit. When I learnt to personally die—that meant the fruit I now have is: a great marriage, much happiness, wonderful adult kids who love, respect, confide in us and above all love the Lord.
2. Through this process of dying you are never really alone—God is with you the whole way and will honour your efforts no matter how seemingly insignificant to you. Spend as much time as you can in the Word of God and in close proximity to the Lord.
3. Be patient with yourself and with the other person or people in your life, cutting them some slack. It’s called grace and mercy, Jesus was patient with you and He is still patient with you. Pay it forward.
God has placed you in this time and place perfectly with those people who are in your world. You and they are not together by accident—maybe you are meant to be shining the light of the Gospel. Trust God and the Holy Spirit to strengthen, encourage and lead you. He will!
You can do this!
Love Peta XO
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