Communication. It is one of the biggest barriers to healthy, vibrant relationships, or should we say to God-honoring relationships. With that said, is communication our problem or is it us?
Romans 7:6 reads, "But, now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code." Hebrews 7:18-19 reads, "For, on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God."
Paul in Rom 6:1 asks, "What shall we say, then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?" To which the obvious answer is NO! I’ve really enjoyed all the songs that we recently sang on Sunday mornings about our identity and position in Christ. Some of the lyrics in No Longer Slaves by Bethel Music read, "I am surrounded –- By the arms of the father - I am surrounded - By songs of deliverance - We've been liberated - From our bondage - We're the sons and the daughters - Let us sing our freedom…. I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God."
In a marriage, there is usually one spouse who is better at something, i.e. communication, finances…. One may truly articulate words better, dissect meaning better…The other may be better at letting words roll off their back, letting things pass, moving beyond more quickly. Both in their humanness, in their flesh, will have the propensity to think that the problem lies in the other person. If they would just… for instance ‘like me’… But, being better AT something is not the same thing as BEING better. We must remember, the ground is level at the foot of the cross. Christ died for all sins and if we use our ‘strengths’ or our ‘weaknesses’ as tools to serve ourselves verses ‘serving in the new way of the Spirit’ than we fool ourselves into thinking we are better. Christ died for all extremes on the spectrum of human goodness, skill, ability...the law defines how we fall short.
The fruit of the Spirit is where we find perfect 'love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law' - because the law cannot make us perfect, the law cannot produce holiness-right, God-honoring communication, finances… we are told in John 15, apart from Christ, we can do nothing.
We are the marriage mentors, we are teaching on communication tonight. We have failed epically this week. I was focused on what I think I do better- but I did not do better because I am not better. I am no longer a slave, I am a child of God, I have freedom in Christ, but even so, ONLY by the power of the Holy Spirit, can His word govern my heart, mind, soul, spirit to produce a God-honoring life that walks in step with the Spirit.
"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. BUT if you are led by the Spirit…" Gal 5:16-18a
Help us Lord to serve our spouses in the new way of the Spirit, help us keep in step with your Spirit so we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Forgive us Lord that we fail. Thank you for Hope as we draw near to You.