God’s Working People
The Work of Keeping Peace in Relationships – Part III
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:21-26
Key Verses: Matthew 5:23-24
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”
In yesterday’s devotional, we began talking about the biblical principles that every couple must practice if they want a healthy relationship. Forgiveness was the first principle we discussed.
Today, I want to study the second principle, that of sacrifice.
Selfishness is a great killer of relationships; that is, people demanding their way. Two people build a marriage with willingness to sacrifice their individual wants and desires so they can find a compromise. There are so many people that I have met over the years that wanted to get married but did not want to sacrifice their wants so they can have a healthy relationship.
Though sacrifice is an essential part of any healthy relationship, it does not mean that one person in the relationship loses their “self”. In other words, each person must give the other permission to express their desires; they both deserve to be heard by the other.
If one person is doing all the sacrificing, then bitterness eventually grows.
If you sense that your partner is doing all the sacrificing, that may seem good to you, since you are getting everything that you want. However, if you want your partner to like you and you do not want their love for you to die, then getting your own way all the time is not a good thing. In fact, if you are married to a very meek and quiet person, it would serve you well to make sure they are getting their way as much as you are.
Several years ago, someone told me that they never argue in their marriage. She thought that would impress me, but it worried me. I worried that the reason they never argued was because one person was calling all the shots and getting their way all the time. Arguing, without heated emotions, is a good thing; it means that each person feels free to share their opinions and their desires.
It might be your experience that “heated emotions” are always part of the arguments that you have. If so, let me suggest that both people vow to state their case but not make their case! What I mean by that is, do not try to convince your partner that you are right, and that they are wrong… that almost always leads to “heated emotions”. Rather, keep in mind that a “good” argument is when both state their thoughts and their wants without any emotional pressure for the other one to agree. Once this type of argument happens, then it is possible to find a compromise.
Father, help me to value my relationships enough to sacrifice to keep them healthy. I ask this in Jesus’s Name, amen.