2 Minute Devo: Ecclesiastes Day 10

September is all about diving into the book of Ecclesiastes.  Watch the devo and read the scripture for today:

 

Ecclesiastes 12:1

Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”

2 Minute Devo: Ecclesiastes Day 6

September is all about diving into the book of Ecclesiastes.  Watch the devo and read the scripture for today:

 

Ecclesiastes 7:2

It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.

You’ll never be the perfect spouse…so stop trying.

Maybe you provided the perfect date.  Perhaps you found the perfect gift.  Possibly, you cleaned up the house for your spouse to come home perplexed in surprise over what was done without asking. You spoke the love language of your spouse flawlessly.  You stand there in your cape taking in the glory of your title.   Other spouses envy/hate you for what your spouse posts about you on social media.  You stand back in the glory of what you feel you’ve become.

The perfect spouse.

perfect spouse

It may be the next morning or even ten minutes later, but reality has hit.  The smile on your spouse’s face isn’t as big as it was a few moments ago.  Social media isn’t singing your praises anymore.  The fame of your accomplishments seem to be dimming.  Your mind seems to be thinking “What should I do next? How do I get that feeling back? What do I need to do to regain the title again?”

But it’s nothing more than a hamster wheel.

hamster-wheel

This “hamster wheel” is an endless pursuit of something can never happen.  I watch/counsel people from all walks of life striving for the same thing: they want to have the perfect marriage by being the perfect spouse. 

I’ll admit as a marriage blogger/preacher/counselor, I admire the drive to be the perfect spouse.  It seems like a great accomplishment and something we should all strive to be.  

But here’s the problem: it’s not what your spouse needs from you. 

Huh?

I’ll say it this way: Your spouse doesn’t need you to be driven to be the perfect spouse.  Your spouse needs you to be driven to be the best man/woman of God possible.  

Let me explain…

As admirable as it seems to be, striving to be the perfect spouse can be extremely hazardous to your marriage. What I’ve learned from these type of people is they’re willing to do and/or sacrifice anything to look like that superhero to their spouse….even if it means lowering our standards and sacrificing their character. After all, our spouse is happy…isn’t that the point.

NO!

When you are DRIVEN to be “the perfect spouse”: 

  • Your decisions become about “what makes my spouse happy” as opposed to “what does my spouse/marriage need”.  After all, his/her happiness is everything to you. 
  • To protect your title of perfection, you shy away from confrontation by avoiding it instead of walking in truth. 
  • You overly spoil your spouse. Your actions are dictated by the wants of the marriage instead of the needs.
  • Your strength is derived from affirmation and recognition of your accomplishments.
  • You place your spouse at the center of your life instead of Christ.  

You can ask Anne, I love to take good care of her.  I love fulfilling her needs and serving her the way the Bible states.  But the worst thing I can do is make her the center of my life.  It’s the worst thing I can show my children.  

As flattered as your spouse will be, they don’t need you to be the perfect spouse.  They may say it, but it’s not going to help them or your marriage.  Why? Because it’s a hamster wheel that will only get you to a point where when you stop make them the center, they’ll inherently feel like the marriage is failing.  You’ve conditioned him/her in such an unhealthy addiction of being the center of everything. 

What your spouse needs is for you to be the best man/woman of God possible.  They need you to have Christ at the center of your life.  He/she needs you to be drawing your strength from the Holy Spirit.  I love what the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1: 

1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

Paul didn’t begin with himself.  His focal point came from who Christ is.  And it’s from that place that he was able to be the man he needed to be.  It was from that point that he became the leader that others, like you and me, needed him to be. 

THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND!!!

I’m not telling you to stop dating your spouse. 
I will not steer you away from speaking your spouse’s love language. 
Don’t stop showing humble, courteous, self-sacrificing love. 
I’m not advising you to ignore your marriage relationship.

What I am saying is: all of that should come from you keeping Christ in His rightful place as the center of your life.  Why? Because your marital actions will come from a place of truth, humility, grace, and unconditional love.  You’ll treat your spouse the way that Christ treats you.

And that’s what your spouse truly needs. 

You want to be a superhero to your husband/wife? Follow Jesus and give them THAT example to follow (1 Cor. 11:1).

Thanks for letting me ramble…

2 Minute Devo: Ecclesiastes Day 4

September is all about diving into the book of Ecclesiastes.  Watch the devo and read the scripture for today:

 

Ecclesiastes7:14

In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

2 Minute Marriage Devo – Day 13

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.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

2 Minute Devo Series: Book of Matthew Day 17

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Welcome to our 2 Minute Devos. This month we’re going through the Book of Matthew. Take the time to read through the passage of the day and listen to the 2 Minute Devo.

Matthew 16

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Pharisees and Sadducees Demand Signs

16 And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them,[a] “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.

The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees

When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “We brought no bread.” But Jesus, aware of this, said,“O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread?Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 11 How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread?Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others sayElijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock[b] I will build my church, and the gates of hell[c] shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[d] in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord![e] This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance[f] to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[g] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. 28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”