Day Four: Living in Paradise
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Philippians 2:5
In the beginning, couples work at their relationships—even though it doesn’t feel like work. They work hard to impress and please each other. They show consideration by being sensitive and courteous to each other. They spend hours having long conversations about their lives, dreams and experiences, and care about what the other person has to say. Everything is all ooey and gooey, full of passion and excitement. It’s paradise, and they fall in love.
Adam and Eve’s relationship started out the same way—living in paradise. The strolled together hand-in-hand through a beautiful garden where God intended them to live a peaceful and abundant life. Then one day they allowed the enemy to slither his way into their lives, and their relationship changed forever.
When the honeymoon phase of a marriage comes to a close, things change. They begin to take each other for granted and lose the passion they once had for each other. Meaningful conversations turn to a lack of interest in what the other is saying. Complements turn into sarcastic retorts. Over time, they become lazy and begin to turn their attention to other things such as work, friends and the pursuit of happiness. The result can be frustration, hurt feelings, and constant fighting.
Every marriage has problems and requires hard work and sacrifice for success. Some couples are convinced that if they have to work too hard in marriage, there must be something wrong. I like to think that since God designed men and women differently, that Adam and Eve had differences—even before the fall.
The good news is this: couples can find their way back to paradise. But it will take both parties to willingly roll up their sleeves and do work. But when you do, marriage becomes the most fulfilling, spiritual relationships in life.
In Philippians 2, Paul tells us that we need to have the attitude of Christ. This attitude should be displayed in all our relationships, but especially in marriage. We can begin by showing Christ- like love and humility. Taking responsibility for our actions and apologizing for any damaging behavior in our marriage is absolutely crucial. But before we can do this we need to be ready to forgive our spouses for their actions. When Adam & Eve ate the apple, they refused to accept responsibility for it. (Gen. 3) They blamed the enemy and were unwilling to admit their own faults and actions. Taking responsibility—and apologizing—helps create a foundation in your marriage that begins to build up a level of trust and commitment.
Treat your spouse with love and respect in a manner that honors God. If you apply grace and show the love of Christ to each other, you can go from surviving to thriving—living in paradise.
For her: What can you do for your husband to help bring your relationship back to the dating days?
For him: What can you do for your wife to help bring your relationship back to the dating days?
For us: Reminisce back to the time when you were dating. Remember some of the fun things you liked to do together. Then put aside some time in the next week to go out and do something fun!
Used by permission. Cornerstone Christian Fellowship