Embracing the Fruit of the Spirit within your marriage “Self-Control”
No. 2 of 3
Marriage is a spiritual battle ground in this 21st century. Look around you! Division wants to nest itself within your marriage; so be aware! Have you noticed the frequency in which couples are divorcing? Why is this? Many enter into marriage without first really getting to know this person who they have promised to love and cherish.
Take the time to get to know one another better rather than to simply co exist. For your marriage to endure it is important to build a strong foundation.
Self-control is a viable component of a strong healthy marriage! There are many forces at works to create havoc within your marriage. One must pray for discernment! It is important that you make your marriage and one another’s wellbeing a priority. Self-control when consistently exercised will help both of you enhance and safeguard your marriage.
Marriage is serious business and is not for immature people. Immaturity is ageless so just because you are getting older does not necessarily mean that you are ready. There are some things you need to consider. Selfishness and either spouse being self-centered will hinder your marriage from growing in a healthy manner.
Marriage ideally is for two imperfect people who desire to mature and want to grow together and become better individuals working together as a committed team. Marriage should not be taken lightly. In the spiritual sense “two become one” they are united in their desire to grow in love!
In marriage you learn to give up “me ness for we ness!”
Self-control helps you to honor your marriage vows. You choose to not let the world and it’s ever changing morality influence your commitment to one another. Instead together you elect to influence the world. You embrace yours vows and commence to live out your lives working through difficulties.
The Fruit of the Spirit are essential virtues that have intrinsic worth that will solidify your marriage. When you both strive to build a healthy living environment that welcomes love and harmony; together you can build a fulfilling, satisfying marriage!
No. 3 0f 3
Embracing the Fruit of the Spirit within your marriage “Self-Control”
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness need to be accompanied with self-control. All of the above are components of the “Fruit of the Spirit” that manifests within us as we truly embrace God within our lives. As we consistently spend time in the Word of God and begin to actually implement His principles we grow spiritually. There are major benefits when you both embrace and employ them within your marriage.
We have finally made it to self- control! Although it is the last one listed it is a top priority. There are 9 components to the Fruit of the Spirit. Part 9 of this miniseries will conclude in 3 parts so bear with me and read on. Your comments are welcomed!
When you married or whenever you decide to marry it is important to know that marriage is a Covenant Agreement. You made or will make a solemn vow to love your spouse. True love lasts forever! Love is a crucial essential element of a good marriage. It is important to know how your spouse defines and interprets love!
Search the scriptures assiduously to arrive at a better understanding of what love really is. True love continues to grow and flourish. Self-control is a component of love. Love will help you weather the storms of life. It enables you to rise to the peaks and go through the tempestuous valley experiences that often occur, when building a strong, intimate, healthy, satisfying marriage that endures the tests of time.
Embracing the Fruit of the Spirit will build a good healthy strong marriage.
Self-Control is so very important! It will help you in every area of your life! Self-control allows you to be controlled from within rather than by any sort of outer, physical, mental, or emotional remote control. You simply don’t just automatically react to anything or anyone and let it trigger an impulsive response. Instead you choose to respond in a responsible manner. Or whenever you do react impulsively you are willing to admit that you were at fault. This is exercising self-control.
Remember practice makes permanent!
Wow! We have finally reached the finale in our quest to encourage you to embrace the “Fruit of the Spirit” within your marriage. The more you practice self-control the better you become at exercising it personally.
Self-control defined is: “the ability to exercise restraint over one’s feelings reactions etc. The act of denying yourself and controlling your impulses.” Keep this definition in mind as we continue on.
No. 2 of 3
Embracing the Fruit of the Spirit in your marriage “Patience”
Patience is a marvelous virtue! Patience will help you discover a deeper perspective on what is really important. It affords you the ability to have fortitude and increasing self control as you put into practice the determination to not make hasty decisions. The Encarta Dictionary defines patience in this manner; “The ability to endure waiting delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties.” It is not hard to see the immeasurable benefits of embracing patience within your marriage.
When you begin to embrace patience in your marriage you make it a priority to think things through. Whenever either of you do become angry you should acknowledge and realize the need to activate patience. If you are not a patient person this is not at all easy. You have somewhat learned to blurt out however it is you are feeling and think later. This can cause you to say and do a lot of things that you will regret. You probably have become callous and a tad insensitive to how your spouse feels. When your heart is hardened you don’t think about it at all, because it is no big deal. It is important to know you are hurting your spouse and creating an unhealthy environment. Your spouse will not readily share with you because they dread or fear how you might respond.
Take a look in the mirror
If this is the case please do not let pride continue to get the best of you. Take a good look in the mirror and see if you like what you see looking back at you. Do you respond to your spouse the way that you would like your spouse to respond to you? You can change but it is up to you. If you have not been getting the results that you want all the more reason to make a change… There is hope and there is always room for improvement in all of us! Make it a a point to admit your shortcomings and strive to overcome your weakness. Stop making excuses and begin to take control by exerting more self discipline. Begin to harness and control your weaknesses.
Make your marriage a priority
Patience is part of the Fruit of the Spirit. When you embrace patience you welcome intimacy. Developing a deeper personal and intimate relationship with God the Father our Creator is most helpful. Jesus Christ sacrificed His life on the cross for us. It is through Him we are able to experience the Fruit of His Spirit within our lives. He has given us His Holy Spirit to help us and comfort us. There is an inner peace that only comes from Him! “But hope that is seen is not hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8. A good marriage takes both spouses making the relationship a priority!
Patience and peace work hand in hand. Peace grows as we wait patiently on something we desire. You now learn to take time when before you rushed. You begin to value your spouse for the unique individual they are! God’s Fruit becomes apparent. Your marriage begins to flourish and blossom. John teaches us about the peace of God and its marvelous benefits. “But the Counselor the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace, I leave you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid!” John 14.
The beauty of the Lord is; that all His Word is true! God is omnipotent; meaning that He is all powerful. Any weaknesses or shortcomings are or can become powerless when we yield them to Him! You can then become a better you. Working together you both become stronger and happier. Remember, it is important to be kind to one another!
God wants our marriages to be fulfilling. He wants to impart His love, joy and peace and patience to us! It is our choice to invite His presence into whatever is going on or happening within or around us.
It is important to spend time with the Lord each day. This way you stay attached to the source of all power! We can call on God at anytime wherever we are! The Fruit of His Spirit naturally begins to ripen within our hearts and our marriages when we do. Come what may we do not have to be dismayed or afraid when we choose to; “Be still & know that I am God!” There are marvelous benefits when you both embrace patience in your marriage!
Intimacy is an essential component in developing a strong, robust, rewarding and satisfying marriage. Marriage should consist of an intimate, healthy, warm endearing closeness. This attractive closeness results in building a comfortable, formidable, deeper understanding and appreciation for each other. Fostering a marital environment that welcomes intimacy will yield, trust, security and transparency within your relationship. Often two people marry and just parallelly coexist, not really getting to know one another. To further develop your relationship it is important to get to know your spouse on a much deeper level. A good healthy marriage does not just happen it takes teamwork. Do you really want intimacy in your relationship? It is a necessary ingredient when one desires a deep, long lasting gratifying marital relationship.
Marriage was originally designed by God to be the ultimate, life sustaining Christian marital relationship where two; one man and woman agree to come together and grow as husband and wife. Each should have one another’s best interest at heart. To desire to journey through life with, as well as share their personal growth experiences along with a committed partner. This then becomes the ultimate foundational environment in which to build the family. Did you know today as many as 60% of marriages end in divorce? It is important that your marriage is or becomes a priority to both of you. Intimacy will foster a stronger union that encompasses developing the ability to build a healthier marital bond. It is never too late to start building intimacy. It is fundamentally essential that each spouse should consciously embrace and continuously seek God’s direction and enlist His principles within your relationship. “God’s Love endures forever.”
What does intimacy really mean? Webster Dictionary defines intimate as follows: “1 a: intrinsic, essential b: belonging to or characterizing one’s deepest nature 2: marked by very close association, contact, or familiarity 3 a: marked by a warm friendship developing through long association
The Bible describes marriage as two becoming one flesh. This is really truly a fascinating concept that has become all too common. Take some time and ponder on this; we were made for God. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1. Today the world offers many variations as to what marriage can consists of? Remember God who is the Original Designer designed marriage to be a monogamous partnership between a man and a woman. Do you realize that you made a vow to love, walk together, grow together and go through both good and difficult life experiences with your spouse? Think about it your commitment was not only to your spouse but to God as well.
Man in general continues to quite often overlook the WORD of GOD in order to appease the desires of the flesh rather than seek the wisdom found in the Holy Scriptures. What was once sacred has become an optional alternative. The United States Supreme Court has even voted against the WORD of GOD in favor of same sex unions. This is a radical switch from the moral principles in which this country was founded upon. It is important to know God has not changed His principles for marriage.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame.” Genesis 2. Although Adam was very close to God he still needed human companionship. Intimacy in marriage is vitally important. Intimacy consists of being transparent; being able to freely express and communicate however it is you are feeling, to openly disagree without fear. To learn, express and experience the depth and benefit of God’s true Love within the confines of marriage. Intimacy when embraced helps you to also become closer to God. The Hebrew word for “intimate friend” is partner. Intimacy actually brings an element of responsible emotional freedom to your relationship. You do not elect to major in the minor things of life. Mutual trust, compassion, concern and respect then naturally become healthy components of your relationship.
Within marriage you are able to learn and understand the concept value of submission, which really is meekness. Meekness is so often misunderstood. It in no way implies weakness! It is a Fruit of God’s Spirit. It simply means “power under control.” Self control is an important element of the Fruit of God’s Spirit. The insecure desire to always want to dictate and control someone or something is easily relinquished when you know that it is God who really is in control of all things anyway. You also can easily recognize manipulation. “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Partaking in all the Fruit of His Spirit is quite beneficial. (See Galatians 5) Getting to know the Lord in an intimate personal way is so very important!
Why is it that all too often you are respectful to everyone else except your own spouse? Is your relationship often fueled by your residual unresolved emotions, impulsiveness, impatience and or hot tempers? When you usually relate in this mode to one another it will create a lot of tension between you. This also negatively impacts the overall quality of your relationship that can create a hostile unhealthy living environment. Relating in this manner, is it because you really do not believe that God is present when no one else is? Anger really grieves the Holy Spirit. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly beloved children and live a life of love.” Ephesians 4. The “TRUTH” really does set you free! How did you relate to each other before you married? It is important not to take one another for granted. “God’s Love endures forever.”
Since we live in the world that so strongly influences behavior, for many actually including God’s principles usually just becomes an afterthought. Common excuses “I’m human” well I hope so! Or “nobody’s perfect.” Did God not say “be ye perfect” because He is perfect, which really means mature not flawless. As God’s child we should be growing until He decides that it is time to meet Him face to face. Or repenting in stead of repeating. Pride usually takes the forefront. As a Christian your marriage should be different. God really is Omnipotent, He is right there! His Word is meant to be our life manual. When truly embraced fully and practiced, intimacy will alter how you interact and behave tremendously. You share mutual interests and your needs are met. You invite God in your circle. Of course you disagree at times but you learn to resolve most of your differences responsibly which further strengthens each of you as independent individuals, yet matures you as a couple.
Intimacy helps you to learn how to appreciate and to mutually respect one another, to entrust your inner self to your partner. This reinforces your union as a couple. You usually don’t impulsively just react when something or someone triggers you emotionally or “pushes your button”. You do not have to give them “a piece of your mind” all the time. I always say that I prefer to “keep my entire mind.” When put into practice you instead, learn to think first, and then responsively respond if and when necessary. The more you practice this principle you gain deeper insight and acquire calmness, inner peace and serenity. You do not just let others outwardly control you by remote. Be alert because you will be tested! “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires…” James 1 The peace of God brings much inner contentment. If you read on you will find that there really are spiritual benefits in learning how to bridle or control your tongue! God is AWESOME! Each of us has an innate God given unique temperament. “It is our temperament that determines how well we react to people, places and things. In short, it is how people react with their environment and the world around them.” (Creation Therapy by Dr. Richard & Phyllis Arno)
Our Creator knows what we need. The malleable brain, your mind God has given you has over 12 billion cells, and over 400 miles of capillaries within 100 sq ft. In other words it can store a lot of “stuff”. You know the saying “practice makes perfect” what we really should say is “practice makes permanent.” Be careful what you ……. Creativity and learning by building upon what you already know builds dendrites or increases learning which builds your mind. Spiritually digesting and applying God’s Word transfers into a stronger solid spiritual foundation. Intimacy with God works absolute wonders! God’s Word is spiritual food for your mind. He says we can be “transformed by the renewing of our minds…” Romans 12. Change is possible. Do you really believe His Word? God really does have a better way! This is why it is so important to consult the Lord and apply His Word. Since He created us He really does know what is best for us. “With God all things are possible!
Remember God has designed marriage for each of you to have a “helpmeet if desired.” Developing intimacy has to be a desired goal; it is not an automatic process. Rather than just “dump” on one another you create an environment where you can learn healthier relational dynamics. Intimacy also helps to release inner anxiety, allows free expression, frees your mind, and allows room instead for each of you to build an inner strength which stabilizes your relationship. The two becoming one is a spiritual principle of intrinsic value.
Marriage is supposed to be something that is cherished. It must be attended, nurtured and cared for in order to create an environment in which you both are able to mutually grow together both spiritually and emotionally. Each marriage is different and as two different individuals you both together are able to determine what your priorities are in your own marital relationship. It is important to respect, support, encourage, chastise and urge one another to be all they can be in life in order to grow and fulfill whatever their God given purpose may be. God wants to be a part of our lives each and everyday. Sometimes this requires a shifting or reprioritizing of what you think or perceive to be important. Ultimately instead of trying to fit God into our lives we should design our lives to center around Him.
Quite often when one thinks of intimacy they think only on terms of being physical. Many couples have and are experiencing physical relationships without any intimacy. They physically engage regularly with one another, without really getting to genuinely know one another. This may fill an immediate physical desire. However in the long run it hinders your ability to bond and develop a depth and significant security within your marriage that comes along with intimacy. There instead resides an insecure, unstable shallowness to the relationship just waiting to become unhinged. Intimacy is possible but it takes time and a mutual commitment to move towards a deeper transparent relational level in your marriage. “God’s Love endures forever.”