In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God…. (1 Co 7:40).
Although single, Paul understood something about marriage that is very true. It is really, really hard. I imagine he witnessed the troubles of others in marriage as they tackled the daily stresses of learning how to do life together with someone else. You see, there’s a deep refining that takes place when two lives collide and it can be very messy.
With each new day in marriage comes an opportunity to grow into a new person, made in the image of Christ. However, there’s also opportunity to grow more selfish, bitter and prideful. This is when marriages die. You see, people don’t have marriage problems, they have people problems and until we deal internally with our own junk, it will hurt the relationships closest to us.
Paul even says it is better not to marry. Although I see where he’s coming from I wonder if Paul was thinking to himself that in doing so he’d avoid some troubles in life he’s rather not have. Yet, what I have learned is that these troubles actually grow me as a person and that avoiding them can stall my growth as an individual who wants to be made more like Jesus.
If we avoid things like marriage, parenthood and deep friendships we miss out on the opportunity to be refined into a new and better person. Yes, that’s right, a better person. One that is more kind, loving, selfless and generous. A person who learns how to love and live for something other than their own needs. A person who changes not just their last name, but their own need to always have things their way, be in control and have everything they could ever want.
Why do we struggle in our deepest relationships? Because we too are struggling. I cannot express the need to further work on yourself enough. It is imperative that we go to hard places in our lives, seeking to be changed by Jesus so that we can further let go of ourselves, heal, grow and change so that all of our relationships can thrive.
The more I love people, the more I learn that my greatest treasure in life is not the things I hold, attain or own, but the people I invest in. Yes, it’s in those relationships, when they are flourishing that I am living in the most amount of grace and love for God’s glory and for His Kingdom. Sometimes choosing the harder road and saying, “I do,” is actually the best road because it leads us down paths of transformation we would never experience without it.
Lord, I want to be a woman who values others above herself. I know how easily I can become conceited and selfish. Sometimes Lord, I am appalled at the thoughts that come across my mind towards others. Help me to take those thoughts captive and give them to you as I seek to live and others others like you would, in Jesus name, Amen.