Words of Wisdom, Email Newsletter
WoW 093: On the foundation of intimacy, Recovery, part 10
This is Part 10 in a series on Recovery. On Recovery, Part 1
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Last week we talked about the systemic dysfunction in a relationship caused by secret betrayal. When you lie, you destroy the chance for flourishing in a relationship.
So, other than telling the truth, how do you grow intimacy in your marriage? Let's look at the most fundamental focus.
The healthiest marriages I've ever seen have what might be a surprising focus.
The primary focus in a healthy marriage is not asking: how can I make myself happy? This is ultimately selfish and short-lived. When one's feelings towards their partner change, the marriage crumbles. It's also a setup for resentment. There's no way, extraordinary as your partner is, that they can make you happy. Not in the most profound sense of experiencing joy.
To the degree that you expect your partner to make you happy is the potential amount that you will be disappointed. This can lead to resentment, avoidance, and despair.
The primary focus in a healthy marriage is not asking: how can I make my partner happy? While very good, if this is your most important focus it is ultimately short-sighted. It doesn't appear like it on the surface, but it can put your partner on the throne and put you into a one-down position in the relationship. When one's focus is too subservient, there is no room for a healthy self.
The primary focus in a healthy marriage is asking: how can I love and serve God with every breath?
When the focus of each person in a relationship is first and foremost God, there is room for the healthiest of intimacy.
Align your priorities, clarify your values, and order your love correctly, and you will be free to relate to your spouse gloriously.
Put your highest priority on knowing and following God today. Above all, seek to serve Him and do His will every moment with courage and joy.
This is the proper use of your will. This is a life oriented to loving God no matter the cost. This is a life of worship.
It turns out that seeking God first changes everything.
- Worship reorients and recovers your most authentic self.
- Worship empowers you to surrender your will to God.
- Worship strengthens you to confess when you go astray.
- Worship transforms you to be gentle and treat your partner with respect.
- Worship is a feast, nourishing you to live boldly and with humble joy.
First, ground yourself in loving God, then you can love yourself and your spouse.
Recovery, fundamentally, is a deep and abiding connection to God, self, and others.
Seeking first God and His Kingdom means that you orient your entire life, all your choices, in joyful surrender to whatever God has for you. Seeking each moment to live out a loving and vibrant dance, prayerfully attending to the Divine Source, the living Christ.
How can you worship God today?
What is your tendency: to prioritize yourself or your partner instead of God?
In what ways are you not keeping God as your highest priority?
(Use these questions as a journal prompt and prayers this week)
"There will always, always be A place for you At my table Return to me Wondering where I might begin Hear a voice upon the wind She's singing faint but singing true, "Son, there ain't nothing you can do; But listen close and follow me; I'll take you where you meant to be; Just don't lose faith." So I put my hand upon the plow Wiped the sweat up from my brow Plant the good seed along the way As I look forward to the day When at last I'll see My father run to me, saying, "You know, my child." Come on home Home to me And I will hold you in my arms And joyful be There will always, always be A place for you At my table Return to me"
Josh Garrells, At the Table Listen to his beautiful song here.
" There is no such thing as “the one.” You don’t have a missing half, and you’re not incomplete. In reality, marriage is two broken people coming together to find healing in Jesus. And one broken person plus another broken person does not equal bliss! The math adds up in the opposite direction — twice as much brokenness. And guess what? That’s a good thing. Because the friction in a marriage exposes all the places where God is still at work in us. That’s a gift. Not only that, but in the wake of the fall, that’s one of the reasons for marriage — re-creation. The point of marriage isn’t to find our missing half. It’s to help each other become all that God intended. Our future, real selves. In marriage, two people partner to that end."
John Mark Comer, Loveology
Prioritizing worshiping God isn't all that it takes to have a flourishing marriage, but it is the best foundation.
Did someone send this to you? Do you want to cultivate more of the good, true, courageous, and beautiful in your life?
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