Living on mission seems a bit more difficult when we're flooded with bad habits, don't you think? Part of really living out the Great Commission requires us to face our junk and learn to stop living out of our flesh.
I think about the times I have wanted to serve Jesus and it just seems harder because of mistakes and bad habits I have trapped myself in. Especially in marriage.
(P.S. The "how-to's" here are applicable to most of life, just FYI.)
Confession: I can be a terrible communicator in marriage. Just awful. Here comes my scary heart for you all today! Watch out...
I have been known to yell, give looks, have sassy tones, and be generally disrespectful. (Do you ever compose a sentence and imagine it emblazoned for the world to see when you, say, run for President? Me either.)
This sinful communication habit was really destructive for a variety of reasons. How can my sweet husband grow, let alone live on mission to the glory of God, with me when I'm acting like this??
I knew I needed to make some meaningful, serious changes and FAST!
By God's grace He placed an older godly lady in my life and she began to disciple me. (Read this post to find your own spiritual mentor.) In our first few hours together she gave me clear action steps to rearrange my heart, get my marriage back on mission, and make much of the Lord despite my obvious and destructive sin.
When Jesus gave the go ahead to spread the gospel world-wide, I don't think he was looking for us to be perfect first. But certainly we are expected to face our sin so we can live more purposefully and freely.
Here are 3 straightforward, action steps my spiritual discipler gave me to overcome bad habits and live more fully on mission in marriage:
3 Steps to Overcoming Bad Habits in Marriage
1) Confession (Psalm 38:18)
Literally get on your face and come to God. Give him complete vulnerability to confess sin, the muck, the mess, the ways you fall short. Apologize and repent with a broken heart.
2) Submission (James 4:7)
There is another literal piece of this. Go to your bathroom, bedroom wherever! Get on your face (see #1) and submit. Cry out to God that you want him to make your choices and follow His will instead of your unreliable emotions. Say out loud, "God you have the control!"
3) Renewal (Ephesians 4:22-24)
Find scriptures to wash over the old patterns/thoughts/lies with the new. Refresh your mind and heart daily with applicable scripture and in my discipler's words, "BATHE your mind daily to keep truth fresh and bad habits at bay"
Our broken stories are an oddly useful piece to glorifying God. It points to our imperfection and His perfect glory. How many disciples will be made in the world because we shared our testimonies being covered by a radical grace-giving God?
It's scary and an honor to share with you the ways God is stretching me (often painfully) to live differently. These biblical steps have turned my heart around and re-focused my communication shortcomings into a way to rely on Jesus and brag on God for making our marriage gospel-centered.
I pray you live authentically on mission to glorify God with your marriage.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Carly is a husband-swooning, health-inspired, simplicity-loving, Jesus-follower. She and her hunky husband Ryan adventure wherever the Lord takes them and most recently that has been into the often scary world of chronic illness. Connect with Carly on her personal blog,Pinterest and at Reaching For Fringe, a resource for chronic illness and marriage. Very nice to meet you!
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