If you are striving toward happiness, you may not get there. But if your goal is to make your mate happy, you might be well on your way. God can use that kind of selfless stuff to make you holy, which will feel very satisfying to your soul. Happiness (or joy) is a by-product of seeking holiness. Remember when we talked about abiding and how that would cause us to bear fruit? Well, I guess you know what the fruit is, right? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.
Those fruit sound appetizing to me, but they come only from making deliberate choices to serve another and not self. I’m going to assume they sound pretty appetizing to you, too, but I can promise you won’t achieve them by merely wanting them.
I’d like to lose ten pounds. Reading the diet book and understanding the exercise program is the easy part. I can do that with a bag of chips in my hand. I can even agree that those two things would be beneficial to enact in working toward my weight loss goal. I can even want it intensely. But all of these, even when added together, are not enough to get me to my goal.
I have to employ them. I have to actually do it. I’m not suggesting you muster up the strength to do all the things you know to do in your marriage from somewhere deep within. I’m asking you to abide in Christ, cling to Him, trust Him with your marriage, your attitudes, your behavior, your past habits that need a shift, and your mate.
Forget the feeling. You have to make a commitment. One to press in to Jesus like never before in this area of your life with the expectation that God will change you (not your spouse). Then bear the fruit that will inevitably be produced by the Holy Spirit within. It’s gonna make you feel great.
Take Home: Do you need a new strategy? Can you press in to Jesus and rest? Do you trust the results to Him?