"It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor." Luke 6:41-42 MSG
Thoughts for Today
The biblical concept of marriage is built on the principle of submission to one another in love. Is this likely to involve conflict? Yes!
In any healthy marriage, a couple experiences conflict from time to time. Our day-to-day relationship brings focus to bear on what I want versus what he or she wants and can result in arguments.
We could choose to ignore the differences. This may mean less anger, but it also lessens intimacy and potential growth. On the other hand, open communication and a willingness to work through the problems together can result in growth and maturity.
We need the freedom in our marriages to express anger and hurt in a loving and truthful manner without either spouse fearing rejection. Mark Cosgrove in Counseling for Anger states, "So many marriages fail, not because people have married the wrong people, but because they are not being the right people."
Think about your own marriage relationship. Can your spouse express his or her thoughts without fearing your rejection? Are you willing to listen and to communicate your own feelings in love?
Ask God to help you think not about whether or not you married the right person, but rather think about whether or not you are being the right person in your marriage.
Lord, help me to listen to my spouse without judging and condemning. Help me express my feelings in love. Help me to focus on being the right person in our marriage. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Anger: Our Master or Our Servant by Larry Heath. This study offers a clear explanation of anger, what causes it, and how to recognize when you are sinning with anger. It not only ministers to church members, but serves as a powerful evangelistic tool. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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