Easing the Frustration: Creating Marital Change 7 Days at a Time

Ever been frustrated with your spouse? Yep.
Every been discouraged in your marriage? Me to.
Every been disappointed in your mate? Never.
Would Anne have answered these in a similar way? Absolutely (with the exception that she’d tell the truth on question #3).

Congrats. You have a very normal and a very human marriage.  Yet I get so many messages from people who are dealing with normal marital challenges but feel discouraged and hopeless. First, there’s that overwhelming sensation that what your marriage is experiencing is exclusive to just you and your spouse. And second, there’s the feeling of frustration in the tension of in the scope of where you want to be and where you are at currently.

I get it. Welcome to being human where we can easily develop the tendency to focus on what’s wrong instead of what’s right. We get caught up in a moment instead of looking at the larger scale. The measurement of our progress is based upon where we haven’t arrived instead of how far we’ve come.

There is a lingering image of what life/marriage “should be” that is casts a shadow over where you are now. And that’s the place I want to shed some light of hope. I wanted to build on last week’s blog as we talked about what the future of your marriage looks like. I’d like to help remove that sinking feeling of “things will never change” into progressive steps forward 1 week at a time.

I’ve been pondering Genesis 1 lately. Early in the chapter, we find a description of the state of things.

The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Genesis 1:2

What do you see? 
It’s easy to look at our marriage and list out what we can only detect with our limited finite senses. From the look of things, your marriage can look “formless,” feel “empty,” and seem as if “darkness” is covering your potential. But this is where you have to see things from the perspective of God. He brings light into these moments, not to expose our shortcomings but to unleash our potential. Which leads me to my next thought…

God isn’t afraid of your chaos. He draws close in it. 
Wrap your head around that. In the midst of a “formless,” “empty,” and “darkness covered” moment, we find that the Holy Spirit wasn’t distant. He was there just “over the surface.” The original Hebrew could also be translated as “in the face of.” When this world was nothing more than chaos, God came face to face with it to create something magnificent. It seems like it’s out of that understanding that the Psalmist writes,

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18

God doesn’t distant himself from your chaos and struggles. He’s there AND He is ready to create something. That truth should stand in the face of the very feelings of isolation and hurt, frustration and hopelessness. Your chaos does not nor can it distract, intimidate, or repel God. He is drawn to those who need Him and He reading to make things beautiful in His time.

7 days of creation and the work had only begun.
Genesis 1:1-2:1, we see the story of creation. From the foundations to walk upon, the things to be sustained with, to life itself, everything came into being in the matter of 7 days. And as I read that, I thought to myself: what if we approached our marriage journey 1 week at a time? Instead of being consumed by everything that needs to change, we if we implemented change 7 days at a time? I think there’s a beauty to the practicality of marriage 1 week at a time. For those who have a hard time looking at your daily marital struggles, it broadens your vision beyond merely surviving 24 hours at a time. For others who’ve lost hope in a dream of “what could be,” it narrows your vision placing tangible, progressive steps toward where your marital vision resides.

What can you see created in your marriage by tackling it 7 days at a time? My thought: Boundless possibilities. Not only do we see the creative power of God in Genesis 1, but we see He made us in His image. We are (and can be) creative because He is the Creator. And through Him, we can have creative power in our homes.

Imagine with me. What if you chose ONE thing to do for a week? What could you create in your marriage by practicing a healthy Godly habit in a practical and consistent?

What atmosphere could you create if you took a week to speak nothing but encouragement instead of criticism. What image could you create of your marriage if you took a week to invest in your spouse’s love language with zero expectation in return? What level of spiritual intimacy could you create if you took a week to pray over your spouse before work or before bed? What type of closeness could you experience if you dedicated your marriage to 7 days of sexual intimacy (some of you are tired out from that thought alone)? It is so simple and practical. So much creative change can happen with a simple 7-day approach. Not only is that attainable, but it build tremendous marriage momentum into the following week of possibility.

In the face of what may seem “formless,” “empty,” and “darkness covered,” step out and start creating. I believe God want to work in you marriage. And I also believe that He wants to work through you IN your marriage. Dedicate the next week for you two to pray over your marriage. Ask each other about the types of things you both want to see changed and/or grown in your relationship. Pick one, look at the next week, and take intentional Godly steps forward into it.

Like Genesis, you may discover that after a week, the work wasn’t done. It was only getting started.

 

Love you all. Praying for you as the two of you sit down, pray, and tackle creative growth 1 week at a time.

Encourage effort.
Celebrate progress.
Feed hope.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

BTW: Check out my book. Click on the link below.

 

2 Minute Marriage Devo – Day 3

Welcome to our 2 Minute Devos. This month we are in our Annual Marriage Series at Kalamazoo First Assembly of God and we’re going through devotions for couples. Take the time to read through the passage of the day and listen to the 2 Minute Devo.

Genesis 2:24

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

2 Minute Devo: “Out of chaos” Genesis 1

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October is our journey through the 2 minute series called “Resurrecting Repentance”.  It’s as simple as viewing the vlog and reading the passage for the day.  Today’s passage is Genesis 1:

Genesis 1

1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, “Let there be an expanse[a] in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made[b] the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven.[c] And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth,[d] and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants[e] yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons,[f] and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And Godmade the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds[g] fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man[h] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

2 Minute Devo: “Create” Genesis 1:3

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August is our journey through the 2 minute series called “Watch Your Mouth”.  I want to invite you to join me as we. It’s as simple as viewing  the vlog and reading the passage for the day.  Today’s passage is Genesis 1:3:

Genesis 1:3

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.