Did anyone tell you that you’d have to “get low” to make marriage work? Jesus humbled Himself low and showed us how true love looks. Join me today on Do Not Depart for a look at Philippians 2 in the Love Like Him series and a look at how “Love Bows Low.”
Today I’m welcoming Patti Brown from the Do Not Depart team to share a guest post for Marriage Monday. Welcome Patti!
When you have to yield
It happens in all marriages.
At some time or another, no matter how strong their relationship, a husband and wife will disagree.
Sometimes the issues are very serious, but it’s surprising how often they aren’t. Little things can set us off in a big way. Household management issues, child rearing, even the family schedule can bring out differences of opinion that are strongly held. Let me tell you, I can be a self-righteous, stubborn woman. Just ask my husband!
When my husband and I come to an impasse I have a choice. I can clench my fists and hold tight to my certainty of being right. I can inflate the discussion in my mind by translating my husband’s opinion of the right course of action into an opinion of me and of my value. I can nurse my self-inflicted woundedness.
But what does that gain me?
In stubbornness, I build walls, I grow resentment in my heart. I wound us both more deeply.
Someone must yield or the relationship is damaged. Why not me?
When I step back and am honest with myself, when I ask the Lord to give me His eternal perspective, so very rarely am I holding onto anything of consequence. If I have to choose between a joyful marriage and having every little thing my way, I’ll choose the joyful marriage every time.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
– Philippians 2:3-4
I have control over no one’s choices but my own. Whether I am right or not, by refusing to yield I am choosing to disobey God’s admonition to count my husband (and everyone!) as more significant than myself. Our culture’s message of Me! Me! Me! stands so totally at odds with this concept that the point of it can be easily missed.
This is not about my idea, not having value, or not being equally as good as my husband’s. And it’s not about me being less important than my husband. By considering others as more significant than myself, my inherent value as a person is not changed in God’s eyes. He still considers me just as important as everyone else.
This is about a mindset of humility and love driving my worldview. And influencing my day to day choices. Is it easy? No! Especially at the beginning. But like working a muscle, the more I have practiced yielding and truly letting go (nothing is worse than a martyr-wife) the easier it has become.
The Lord so wants us to obey that He is ready to help us whenever we seek Him in this. We can do all things through our God who gives us strength (Phil 4:13)! Ultimately my motivation to yield in conflict is love. I yield out love for my husband, as well as out of love for Christ (Ephesians 5:21).
Yielding in conflict can be transforming in your marriage. A peaceful loving relationship is a precious treasure, and rare in this selfish world.
When you come to an impasse, what helps you let go & live a joy-filled marriage?
Once struggling with depression, Patti has been transformed into a truly joyful mama by the power of God. Through His Word and the daily choice to live a life of service, she has found hope and joy. Whether through bible study, intercessory prayer or writing, Patti is passionate about encouraging women to seek hard after Jesus and receive freedom to enjoy the life they have been given. She challenges women to choose love and find beauty no matter their circumstance at her blog, Joyful Mama.