Thinky Things

Marriage Moments


Thinky Things
Marriage Moments





Luke 10
SEVEN STEPS TO LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOUR

The original question was answered by stating that God must be loved with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and that we should love our neighbour as ourselves. In a very practical way, Jesus showed what loving is all about through the example of the good Samaritan.
When the Samaritan saw a wounded man (an enemy), lying on the path, he took these steps:

  1. He had pity on him. (v33). He loved with his emotions. His heart went out to one of God's people in distress.
  2. He went to him. (v34). He loved the wounded man with his actions, and instead of running away, he turned to see how he could help.
  3. He bandaged his wounds. (v34). He showed love through his healing touch.
  4. He poured on oil and wine. (v34). He loved by the giving of his own possessions.
  5. He put the man on his own donkey. (v34). He gave up his own comfort for the object of his love. No doubt the Samaritan had to walk while the wounded man had the ride.
  6. He brought him to an inn and took care of him. (34). The Samaritan showed his love by giving of his time.
  7. He took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. "Look after him,' he said 'and when I return I will reimburse you for any extra expense you many have." (v35). He showed love by giving money, and by commissioning others to continue the work.

The duty of loving our neighbour is no less than loving God. We must love with our heart, our actions, touch, by sharing possessions, by giving up our own comfort, by giving our time and money – while going the extra mile to arrange extra support.
That's how we love our neighbour as ourselves.

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Contentment

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4 v 11 - 13.

Let's start our marriages off for the year with a single word: Contentment.

It's human nature to always be wanting something more, something better, riches, fame, wealth, excitement, power, and so we put a whole heap of effort into getting more of whatever it is.

But there is always a cost to getting more. Looking at the rich and famous people in Hollywood, it seems that the big cost to them for getting more is their relationships. And yes, the strain of paying a higher mortgage for that bigger an better house, working extra hours, or not getting enough rest, puts extra pressure on your marriage. So do the grand holiday ideas when your spouse just wants to stay around home. Or maybe you are looking at your tired-out, ageing spouse and wondering if that is what you signed up for?

The apostle Paul said that he had learned to be content whatever the situation he was in (Philippians 4 v 11). So if you want to grow a really great marriage this year, start with growing contentment. Be thankful for what you have. This may mean that we put aside some of our dreams and desires where the cost will take a toll on our relationships. But as Paul said to Timothy, "Godliness with contentment is great gain." (1 Timothy 6 v 6). You can make great gains in your marriage relationship when you learn to be content with the rest of your circumstances.

Most of the time the "something more" that we want, we never used to have anyway. We lived without it. We didn't need it, and at one stage we were content like that. Contentment gives us more time to focus on what is really important in life. That doesn't mean that we can't and shouldn't make changes, but rather that we learn to be thankful and content first, and then we should count the cost before we go chasing after the wind.

To grow contentment, start with an attitude of thankfulness. Give thanks for the husband or wife you married. Give God thanks for all the other good gifts God has blessed you with. Learn to be happy to be in the situation God has placed you in.

Let's be content in our marriages and in our lives.

Action Points

1. Make a list of all the things you are thankful for about your spouse and share it with them (maybe in a love letter or over a romantic dinner).
2. Make a list of all the things you are thankful for about your life - your salvation, job, house, family, car, weather...
3. Spend time in prayer thanking God in detail for all the things you are thankful about in your spouse and your life. Repeat this step every day.