There's No Better Time than Now!
Scripture: For he says, "At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation." Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2 (RSV)
Observation: I have heard thee. This verse is a parenthetical comment on the reception of divine grace (v. 1). It constitutes an urgent appeal to men to seek reconciliation with God lest they receive the grace of God in vain. The quotation is from the LXX of Isa. 49:8 (see comment there). Isaiah looks forward to the “day of salvation” as the time of the Messiah. Paul here recognizes that the prophecy has been fulfilled in Christ. The first advent of Christ ushered in an era that is favorable to salvation (see DA 37). So long as Christ intercedes for sinners the “day of salvation” will continue. [The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 6. 1980 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (872). Review and Herald Publishing Association.]
Application: when it comes to making changes in your relationship, there's no better time than niw to begin. so many wait until they feel better about their spouse, or until their spouse makes some changes in their behavior or attitude, or until the children grow, or until something else takes place. There is always something yet that needs to take place before you take the step to make the changes. And yet, unless you start making the changes in your life and relationship right away, something else will always come up instead and you will find yourself one day with a shattered life and a ruined marriage.
One way to improve your marriage is to modify your attitudes and your actions. The goal is not to change your spouse into a more loving oerson but rather for you to become a more loving person. Harry Stack Sullivan, a noted American psychiatrist, suggested that the state of love exists when the satisfaction and security of another person becomes as significant to one as one’s own satisfaction and security. (Harry S. Sullivan, Conceptions of Modern Psychiatry, New York, W.W. Norton & Company, 1953). M. Scott Peck adds that love is less a feeling and more a commitment to the growth of another person (M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1997). Please that in these definitions love is an action undertaken to benefit another person, so that one of the keys to improving an intimate relationship is to give more and demand less from your spouse. If you want to improve your marriage, you must be willing to improve yourself. He are three things you can do.
First Change Your Behavior - remeber Jesus' parable of then speck of dust and the beam where He states that one should first examine one’s own large faults (the beam, a large piece of wood) before we criticize the small faults (the mote, a small speck of sawdust) of your spouse. Here's what you can do:
1. Have patience with your spouse’s faults and annoying habits. Drop the insistence that he or she must change.
2. Take responsibility to change yourself and improve the relationship. The focus becomes you changing first, not your spouse. instead of blaming the partner for your unhappiness, or focusing attention on the spouse’s mistakes and imperfections, take the first step to improve things yourself. Decide what you can do and do it. If you are unhappy with the way your spouse treats you, then improve your care and treatment of your spouse. You take the first stepyou show more love first!
3. The hope is that as you act in loving ways your spouse will reciprocate, but even if they don't you have acted like Christ expects His disciples to.
Second, Change Your Attitude - Avoid focusing on your spouse’s negatives and instead train your mind to focus on the positives.. Learn to overlook the few small things that you don’t like about your spouse and continually remind yourself ofit'll the things you like and appreciate in them. Make a daily list of all you like and appreciate and of all the things they do for you and your family, and then make it a habit to thank your spouse for the things he or she does. As you compliment and praise your spouse for thier strengths, you will be less likely to notice their weaknesses and faults.
Third, Change Your Heart - one of the wonderful things that social scientists have kearned is that when we change our behavior our attitude begins to change and as result our feelings also begin to change. If you worship and serve God in true and healthy ways, you may become less selfish. The unselfish person is more likely to build happy and satisfying marital and family relationships. His thoughts and actions are more often directed to the welfare of family members rather than upon his own personal wants and desires.
Let's take these three simple steps, and begin right now. today is the best time to begin!
A Prayer You May Say: Father God, help me to begin right now to make the changes in my life that may result in changes in our relationship.
Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.
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