Colossians 3:5,8,12,13—Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry . . . But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth . . . Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.
I received a call from a distressed young man. Kafar’s marriage was about to end. His wife told him she no longer loved him and she wanted a divorce. Distraught and resolved not to lose Angela, he wanted advice. In the few days since Angela made clear her intentions, Kafar had time to reflect. She made him meals before he went to work. He did nothing for her before her shift. She paid the bills, took care of the house and put time into meeting his needs. He slept, drank too much alcohol and was pretty selfish.
A desperate man will cry for help; a broken man will listen to advice. God looks for those whose hearts are soft and His Word is full of great medicine. In Colossians, the Apostle Paul shares with us three p’s that are essential for anyone who wants to live a Christian life. These p’s also happen to be essential in preserving marriages. First, one has to put to death his worldly nature. Coveting anything that pleases the flesh and displeases God is a sure recipe for disaster.
Second, one has to put away or take off five behaviors that are sure to alienate his partner. Anger, wrath, malice, slander and a filthy mouth all cause deep wounds, are forms of abuse, and create an unsafe environment.
Third, anyone who wants to have a healthy marriage must put on or put into play the seven traits that Paul shares with the Colossians. I have never seen a woman in her right mind leave a compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, patient, accepting and forgiving husband! Unless her own disposition is foul, she will thrive with such a loving partner.
Before Kafar can win back Angela he will need God’s help to get his spiritual life in order. Too often the one who is afraid of losing a spouse resorts to a change in behavior but without the necessary change in heart. Unless God has our first love and we are committed to obeying Him it is impossible to change ourselves and apply the three p’s. The only time I have ever seen a failed marriage restored was when the Lord of creation became the Lord of the marriage. Two hearts committed to Him make one enduring love song!
My contention is simply this: I am convinced that many, many marriage and family problems are really problems of disobedience.—Stuart Briscoe in Spiritual Stamina
©2012 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)