About Tim Burt

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Marriage: Adapting and Adjusting

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I am constantly reminded through the conversations I have with married couples that Supernatural Change is critical in marriage – especially when a marriage is young.

There are some things in marriage counseling that never fail to amaze me. I am always amazed when a couple shares with me, little bothersome issues – “little foxes” that bug each other that neither has changed in and are still bugging them ten, fifteen, even twenty years later. What do I hear in marriage counseling? Something like this: “For twenty years I have asked her to wash my socks before I run out but she never does.” “Oh yea, well for twenty years I’ve asked you not to shake your hands after you wash them because you splash the mirror and leave spots – but do you stop? Noooooo! Do you leave clothes everywhere in stead of hanging them up or putting them in the dirty close pile? Yesssssss!”

When a couple is guilty of this, they are guilty of not remembering the promises they made to the person they fell in love with, the person they pledged to God to love with their whole heart. And they are guilty of not listening to the Lord. I assure you that God has tried to speak to the heart of anyone in this situation.

Song of Solomon 2:15 tells us that it is “the little foxes that spoil the vine.” It is these little bothersome issues that can erode a marriage. God has a plan for this and it involves Supernatural Change. Eph 5:21 says, “… Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” What is this verse saying? The best way to understand this verse is to look at the word submit as “adjust and adapt.” It is saying that in marriage there will be needed efforts made to adjust and adapt to each other.

When a husband and wife come together they are two unique individuals. Now God wants them to adjust and adapt to each other to become like-minded in how they live out their purpose, and course of life. Eph. 5:31 says it like this; “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." It doesn’t mean either loses their uniqueness or personal desires. To the contrary, it means that the husband adds his to his wife and the wife adds hers to her husband.

Two people come together and with the help of the Holy Spirit, become like-mined and unified in their course of life. They build their life’s goals together. They learn to work together as a team. They grow together in their love for God which then helps them grow in love toward each other. True love for God will produce greater love for each other. That is how Supernatural change happens. When two people are submitted first to the Lord, they will take correction from God when they have acted like a jerk to each other. They will repent to each other and forgive in turmoil because God says that forgiveness is not an option. They will work toward learning how to love each other because God instructs them to.

To both husband and wife He says,“… Submitting (adjusting and adapting) yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” (Eph 5:21)

To the husband he says “And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her… husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man actually loves himself when he loves his wife.” (Eph. 5:25 & 28)

To the wife He says, “Wives, submit (adjust and adapt) to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should (adjust and adapt)to their husbands in everything. (Eph. 5:22-24)

God has taught me, don’t fight Renee, pay attention and let me show you how to love her. I have learned to look for those things that are important to her and adjust to them. It brings peace to our marriage and usually works healthy change in me. I don’t leave my shoes in our entry way anymore. I put a coaster under a pop can. I don’t track dirty shoes through the house. I often was up the few dishes in the sink at night because it blesses her. People have often said to Renee, “I feel like I’m talking to Tim when I talk to you about certain things.” They’ve said the same to me concerning Renee. God has brought us to the place where we are on the same page.

This is not just change but Supernatural Change. Why? Because neither of us would have adapted and adjusted to each other if we hadn’t first learned to submit ourselves to what the Lord wanted and to His correction in our hearts during those difficult times.

Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives.” God is in every detail of our life if we submit - adjust and adapt - to Him, and then adapt and adjust out of love to each other. When we do this, He can direct our steps. He directs the steps of a husband and wife together so they can move beyond the stupid “little foxes” that try to spoil the marriage. A smart couple will learn this in the first year or years of their marriage. Adjust and adapt and allow your marriage and life to move on to a blessed life together. Those that don’t learn it will end up in the counseling office many years later fighting over really stupid things. It’s better to change – to supernaturally change!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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