The other day, I read an article written by Sheila Wray Gregoire, the author of 31 Days to Great Sex that has really been playing over and over in my mind. And although she relates it to marriage specifically, I think it is true in any area of life. But, as you will read, it’s not so easy. But, true nonetheless…
In this article, entitled Marital Success is a Matter of Attitude Sheila was saying how an attitude adjustment about your marriage and what to expect in your marriage could go a long way in ensuring your success in marriage. I mean, let’s face it, marriage is hard work. And we all enter into marriage hoping (and praying) for a successful and happy marriage.
But, don’t we wish the same in everyday life?
It was because I decided that I didn’t want to be miserable in my marriage. I wanted to be happy. And it seemed to me that the only way to be happy was to start believing that the good things that I had heard about marriage and sex were true. Instead of questioning God, I turned the tables and started questioning my own experience. Reference here.
And here is the crux of the journey that I have travelled over the last couple of years. It’s not what I perceive to be true that counts – it’s what God says IS true that counts. You see, anxiety (for me) is often brought on by negative thinking.
For example, I think I’m a terrible mother. And start to believe I am a terrible mother. I start to feel anxious, because there isn’t really any more that I can do to improve my mothering. And that anxiety leads to panic, … and then the wheels just fall off.
But, is that the truth?
No, it’s my perception of the truth.
Because you see, I am actually doing okay as a mother. I discipline where necessary, I love when I can, I am involved in Baby Girl’s life, I make sure she has healthy lunch, she goes to bed on time, she wakes up on time for school, she’s bathed, hair washed, we play games together and I look after her the best way I can and Baby Girl is a well-adjusted and happy child.
Now, I can either choose to believe my anxious thoughts.
I can choose to believe what is true.
This is very similar theme to what Joyce Meyer’s says:
Think about what you are thinking about – challenge your doubts and your fears. Is what you fear really the truth? Or just what you believe to be true? (Paraphrased)
So, let’s look at my battling with anxiety – is this what God wants? No, it isn’t and that is why I like what Joyce Meyers says: Doubt your doubt.
2 Timothy 1:6-8 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God…
You see, anxiety – which is basically fear – is not from God. God has not given this to us. Will this mean that I will never feel anxiety again? Or fear? Probably not – but it does mean that when I am feeling anxious, I can choose to believe in my anxiety or I can choose to believe what God’s word says.
And with our financial battles – I have already told you that our word for this year is abundance. Now, that may not mean that by the end of this year, we will be rolling around in so much money that we don’t know what to do with it. (I mean, I can only dream … right??? 🙂 )
But, Jesus did say,
And each person’s walk is different, but I fully believe that if I believe God and take Him at his word, hubby and I will be living life abundantly. Because that is what Jesus came to do. And once again, this may take time to play out in our reality, but I am slowly learning that this God who created the world in seven days and who wants us to spend all eternity with Him so much that he gave his Son to die for us, actually does want what is best for us – IN THIS WORLD. HERE. NOW. And that may not always be what we would want it to be, but in the end, when we look back, we realise that it was always for the best.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
God knows us intimately – He knows our fears and troubles, our worries and our concerns and He knows what will be the best for us.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Reference here.
So, after not having a resolution for this year, I now have one. It’s to trust God a lot more, to not focus on my own insecurities, fears and anxieties, but to trust that He has a hope and a future for me, that He has thoughts of peace towards me to not harm me, but to give me hope.
And of course, as per Sheila Wray Gregoire‘s article, this is very definitely true in marriage.
The success of your marriage depends far more on what you believe about God than on how you feel about each other. Reference here.
For me, it’s a case of “the success of your life depends far more on what you believe about God than on what you think about in your mind.”
Often the reason that we struggle in marriage is not because there is something wrong with our spouse, but because we don’t actually believe God’s promises. Reference here.
And while God’s promises can often mean very different things to us in our individual walks with him, I would like to say, “Often the reason we struggle in life is not because there are issues to always battle out, but because we don’t believe God’s promises and trust Him to fulfil His will in our lives.”
Does this mean that Christians will have perfect, healthy and wealthy lives?
Of course not.
But it does mean that our attitudes to life and what we believe will convey a certain sense of peace about life – and that as we face battles in everyday life – whether they be financial, illness, a cheating spouse, or whatever it may be – we trust and know who us the author and finisher of our faith.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Reference here.