First I would like to say that I know and understand that not everyone shares the same values and beliefs that I have. I am in no way trying to force my faith or view of anything on anyone. I believe in freedom of speech and I believe that what I believe is right and true. This does not mean that I judge you, criticise you, gossip or look down on you for having your own thoughts or opinions. I write about my experiences and my life and I do it in hopes to bring joy to others, inspire others and possibly challenge others. This post would be more of a challenge to others.
I write to a very mixed audience and it is hard sometimes to appeal to all audiences. I ask that you read what I have to write with an open mind and open heart. Not because I am trying to change you but because this is how I live my life, and it works for us. Even if you do not share my beliefs, you have to admit that the principles are good ones and you would probably benefit from trying it out in one way or another. =0P
So, on to my planned post for the day…
This passage challenges us to set aside the poor behaviors that always get in the way of a healthy marriage and put on a “new” character (specifically the character of Christ since that is who we should be striving to be like).
As I am reading this passage I am thinking about one specific trait that is the hardest for me to let go, and another godly trait that is hardest for me to “put on”. I call these “put off” and “put on”. You put off a negative behavior and you put on a positive one. It is like trying to quit smoking… you can try, but it is easier if you have something to replace that habit.
Basically what this verse is saying is that once you have committed your life to Christ, to live as a Christian, you are no longer a slave to the world or a slave to sin and the struggles you face. You are alive and have freedom because you trust in Christ and have placed your trust in him. Therefore the sins or the “struggles” that you once were enslaved to or apart of have no hold on you any longer. The passage is asking you to get rid of the “old self” which was you before you “became a Christian” and put on a “new self”, a positive character, follow Christ’s example. There is more to it… but this is the main point that as I am reading I am trying to think about. It is a brief and rough explanation but I just wanted to give you the gist of the passage incase while you are reading it you have no idea what it is saying. Sometimes the Bible can be like that. I find that the more I read it the more I understand it.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Now this verse is not marriage specific, it is appropriate for all seasons of life. I just happen to be thinking about my marriage and how I can apply this verse to my life in a specific area. I know that there are certain people or situations outside of my marriage where I can and should resolve to change but for the sake of this post I am only going to talk about my marriage.
So, what is my “put off”? Well, I guess I am going to have to say lust. Lust (any strong desire; to have a strong desire) in my case would be evident in our relationship like this: I want my house to be prefect, pretty, unique and well decorated. Not a bad desire right? Not really. But, when that desire is so strong that I start to complain about little messes, things I don’t have, things that don’t match, things I want to make our house better, it starts to put a strain on our relationship and causes that little desire to become a big problem.
What is my “put on”? Honestly I could stand to put on every positive trait that is listed but I will pick one that will compliment my put off. Patience. Oh how patience is so important in every area of my life. I ask for patience on the daily because I am not patient. Patience is the ability to endure provocation, annoyance, misfortune or pain with calm and strength. The ability to tolerate delay. Thanks dictionary.com! Well, that is pretty plain and simple if you ask me. God has given me everything I have ever wanted or needed and guess what, I didn’t get it right away, I had to be patient and wait. The dirty sink… it was cleaned. Maybe not when I wanted it done but it is clean now.
So really I think the next step for me would be to confess to Ryan how I recognize that I am failing in this area and ask him to forgive me (really I need to confess this to God first). Just because he is not currently mad about it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t ask his forgiveness. He deserves it. Then I am going to ask him to help me to be more patient. I am going to ask him specific ways and areas I can work on it and allow him to call me out if my desires are causing me to sin against him, my family or our friends.
My desire is to always be striving to be a better wife and a better person (I know “person” is vague but I am too many things to list). I know that I can’t do that on my own and I am glad that I have help. Help through my faith in Jesus and help from my amazing husband, family and friends. Wont you join me in this pursuit to put off our sinful earthly desires and behaviors and put on the positive character of Christ.