How to fall in love, stay in love, rekindle your love. That’s the subtitle of Dr. Ed Wheat’s LOVE LIFE FOR EVERY MARRIED COUPLE…probably the best book we’ve ever read on marriage. You know why? Because it’s so practical.
We want to share a portion of it with you, just in case you haven’t read it. And if you haven’t, maybe this will whet your appetite. Because, believe us, its worth reading!
Dr. Wheat, as doctors tend to do, writes a prescription for a superb marriage. The prescription is for B.E.S.T. — that is: Blessing, Edifying, Sharing and Touching. This is an uncomplicated formula, but extremely effective. If you want the BEST marriage possible, then you must take this prescription of B.E.S.T. You’ll find that taken on a consistent basis, your marriage will get distinctly healthier.
We’re going to cover only the first part of the prescription — BLESSING — in this SEEDS FOR GROWTH. All four would be too much to handle in two pages.
BLESSING. The New Testament Greek word for Blessing (Eulogia) simply means good word. So, to bless someone means to commend them to God’s favor or protection; to wish good to; feel grateful to; to make happy.
Is this the picture of your marriage relationship? Do words of blessing flow from your mouth? Do your actions bring happiness to your mate? Or is BLESSING a word foreign to your way of life? It doesn’t have to be. God gives specific instructions on how to bless, and then gives us the power to obey.
Let’s look quickly at two Scriptures. The first, Romans 12:14-21, gives 11 commands on how to bless.
- (verse 14) Bless — don’t curse — the one giving you a hard time. You mean, if she yells at me, I’m supposed to say something nice to her instead of yelling back? You got it. Of course, you can’t do this consistently in your own strength. That is why God offers you His strength and power.
- (verse 15) Be empathetic and understanding. That’s saying, “You don’t have to think or feel like me. You can feel the way you want to feel, and I’ll honor your feelings.”
- (verse 16a) Live in harmony. Can’t get much plainer than that.
- (verse 16b) Don’t think you are better than your mate. Your ideas, your way of looking at things, your way of solving matters…do you think they are better than your partners? Don’t even think it!
- (verse 16c) Don’t act proud and set in your own opinions. Your opinion could be wrong and your partner’s right…as strange as that may sound. The command is: Don’t be conceited!
- (verse 17a) Don’t repay evil with evil…even something petty. “I’ll do the same to him. Then he’ll see how it feels.” Sound familiar?
- (verse 17b) Find out what your partner thinks is right and, if it is not against God’s Word, try to do it. This continues the theme of not being self-centered. We often feel the way we do things is not only OUR opinion — it’s the RIGHT opinion. There’s only one way to do things, and that’s MY way. The instruction here is to open our minds to the possibility that our partner’s opinion may be the RIGHT way this time. (Imagine that!)
- (verse 18) As far as it depends on you, live at peace in your marriage. Sort of wipes out the excuse, “I’ll be nice to her if she’s nice to me!” Huh? The key phrase, of course, is “as far as it depends on me.”
- (verse 19) Never take revenge. Never? Not even if he deserves it? Never.
- (verse 20) Do kind things for your partner, even if
Blessing (cont’)not reciprocated. We act like we believe our spouse’s bad behavior excuses our own. Well then, let’s all be old bears and blame it on someone else. Sorry, God says we are responsible for our own actions…the way we act is no one else’s fault but our own. Shucks!
- (verse 21) Don’t let evil overpower you. Take the offensive! Overpower evil by doing good.
God promises some definite results when you obey these commands. Obeying God always works! When are we going to get that through our thick heads? (Well, maybe your head isn’t thick, but ours surely are!)
I Peter 3:8-12 is a call to every believer into a life style of consistent blessing of others in words and behavior. These are the promised results if we CHOOSE to obey that call.
- (verse 9) We will be blessed by God. You want God’s blessing? Obedience is the way to get it.
- (verse 10a) We will love life and experience good days. Blessing others will fill us with a sense of peace and well being.
- (verse 12a) God will watch over us with special protective care. Maybe Blessers get extra heavenly body guards.
- (verse 12b) God will hear and answer our prayers. We surely want God to answer our prayers. Don’t you?
In fact, don’t you want ALL these results in your life? Then why CHOOSE to live without them? 1 Peter 3 also says when we choose NOT to bless, we are, in turn, choosing certain consequences: (verse 12) we will miss out on all the above blessings…and nothing we try to do in our marriages will prosper.
Remember the old game Truth or Consequences? Well, the name of this game is BLESSING or CONSEQUENCES. And you can choose which one you want.
If you choose a life of BLESSING, then here are some specific decisions you will need to make:
- By God’s strength, I am going to consistently speak well OF my mate and lovingly TO my mate.
- By God’s strength, I am going to consistently behave in a loving and kind manner to my mate.
- By God’s strength, I am going to consistently show my mate I appreciate her or him.
- By God’s strength, I am going to consistently pray for God to bless my mate every day.
If you choose to be a BLESSER (no matter what your spouse chooses to be right now), your marriage is going to change; your life is going to change. That’s a promise! It’s God’s promise! You can count on it!
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