This is Part 3 of our series titled, Diapers, Toddlers & Romance, Oh My, where we are talking about how to keep the home fires burning in the midst of raising a family. We have talked so far about the issue of being physically tired. Today we switch the focus…
The pressure raising children adds to a marriage doesn’t necessarily create trouble in the marriage, but it definitely exposes it. It’s like putting a pot on to boil and watching what bubbles to the surface. Maybe there have been sinful patterns in your relationship like: selfishness, arrogance, self-righteousness, entitlements, etc. that you have learned to work around to keep peace. But when the pressure builds that children bring, these sins quickly rise to the surface.
The wise person pays attention to how they are reacting to the current pressure. If you’re often having this mindset: if she/he would only stop doing this or start doing that, then I wouldn’t act this way, then your thinking is unwise and unbiblical.
The biblical way to respond to the pressure is to ask yourself: Why am I reacting in this way? What is this circumstance revealing about my heart? God help me repent and change because left to myself this is who I am with no hope of changing.
Sin seeks to blame others for the cause of their reactions.
A mature Christian realizes the blame is on the sin still residing in their own heart. The circumstances only revealed what was already in the heart.
What can we do to change? It’s simple. Repent, ask forgiveness from your spouse and/or children, and allow God to change your heart. This is the hope that lives within us. We don’t have stay the same. We can grow and change, but it takes a willingness to see our sin for what it is.
In order to live this way it requires humility, an honest assessment of your thoughts and cravings, and then a tenacity to fight the indwelling sin. Christ died to set us free from the bondage to sin. We don’t have to sin. But we must hate what God hates in order to fight it as we should. When I get angry at my spouse I am saying, no to godliness, and yes to selfishness.
God help us to stay focused on who our enemy is. It’s not our spouse. We must work together to help each other fight for godliness. Doing this will draw your hearts closer together as one, instead of adding one more brick to a growing wall of hostility.
Here’s the challenge we offer you:
Take notice over the next 24-hours how you react to your spouse and your children. Is frustration and anger common? Do you find yourself wanting to get away, to escape the pressure? Do little things bother you? If so, there is work to do, but it’s based on the finished work of Christ who died to set you free from the obligation to sin. The problem isn’t with your spouse. It isn’t with your children. The problem being exposed is found in your own heart and these pressures are only serving to reveal what’s been in your heart all along.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
(Romans 6:12-14 ESV)
If we never identify our struggle as sin, then we are left without hope to change. Acknowledging it as sin gives us hope because sin has a remedy, and it’s found in Christ. We have a Savior who died to set us free from this bondage to sin. Let these children and the pressure they bring serve to bring you closer to Christ, thus making you a better spouse and parent.
In what ways have you settled into your sin and let it stay without being challenged?
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This is post #19 in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post everyday in July.