Challenges, For Men, For Women

Ignored Convictions

Lately, God has been convicting me about my convictions (if that makes sense?). Primarily, what convictions I’ve been ignoring and why.

What do I mean? Well, they usually pop up when I’m frustrated with my husband, because he did or didn’t do this, that or the other… For example, when Ryan and I are in the middle of an argument and I ignore God’s voice – that little check or warning in my spirit saying I wouldn’t say that to him if I were you! And yep, I say it. Not only did I say it, but I said it as hurtful, sassy and frustrated as I could.Learning to love is less about perfection and more about progress.

Those are a few of the moments I’m talking about. Those ignored convictions that lead me straight down the path of more frustration and tension, eventually leading to sin if I continue ignoring them.

Other times it’s that book on marriage or that devotional you know you should be reading, but instead you default to scrolling through social media on your phone late at night. Maybe it’s something deeper like an addiction or struggle (e.g. porn, alcohol, financial debt) that you, or your spouse, can’t seem to overcome. It could even be how you deal with anger and frustration…for some of us, we turn into the Hulk (myself included on occasion) when everything hits the fan.

What God Has Been Teaching Me

Friends, the lesson God has been imprinting on my heart is that these convictions are the yellow lights in the intersections of our lives. They are blinking at us, heeding us to be cautious, to slow down and look out for the upcoming hazards.

Simply put, they are the doorway to God’s path towards freedom and life. All too often, however, we are compelled the other way. We see them as burdens or rigid rules to follow…We ignore them; put our foot on the gas, and give in to the frustration while ignoring the conviction.

And no matter how hard we try to white-knuckle our way through our struggles, albeit through positive thinking, self-reliance, or enslaving ourselves to facades in order to appear like we’ve got it all together… The truth is, we never do; and by our own strength we never will. Let all that you do be done in love.

Peel back the layers of any marriage and you will quickly see how none of us have it together.

Praise God for this! Why? Because He never expects us to have it all together. We aren’t the ones who are suppose to save ourselves from the sin that our convictions are warning us about. Jesus is! His life, death and resurrection not only provide us with eternal life, but also freedom in this current life.

Responding to Convictions Brings Freedom

Often the weight we feel our marriages being crushed by began with the convictions we ignored and sin we indulged in. The hard-pressed, and endless moments spent fighting with our spouse could have been avoided had we heard His voice and responded.

All of us have experienced these burdens of sin in our marriage. The bible says we have all fallen short (Romans 3:23) but thankfully God remains sovereign and loving towards us.

His grace is deep and His mercies are new, thus in our weak, feeble moments of forgetting who He is, we can go to His Word (the Bible) and be reminded of the gospel. We can get down on our knees and ask for His help and counsel when we feel convicted. His Presence never leaves us (Hebrews 13:5).

How to Respond to Convictions

When convictions arise in your marriage, follow His voice. Fix your eyes on him (Hebrews 12:2) because He is good, loving and sovereign, not because you want a good marriage. God is not a means to our end; He is our Savior King.

When we respond out of His love and out of the powerful message of the gospel, the result is not simply a good marriage, but to have a Godly marriage. One that lives in freedom, security, acceptance, fullness, love and confidence in the faithfulness of who He is and the work He is doing in our hearts.A marriage built on Christ is a marriage built to last.

These are a result of seeking Him first  (Matthew 6:33) – of pursuing Him and not the things He gives us.

FM family, it’s time we start living out of God’s grace and by His strength. How? By not ignoring the convictions He’s placing on our souls. By responding to His voice that is leading you to speak the truth in love to your spouse; or to humbly submit and extend grace when they inevitably let you down. Trust Him…trust His Word.

Question: What’s a conviction you’ve been ignoring lately?

 

[Header Image by Jeff Marsh]

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