What is diligence? Is it persistence? Is it focus? Is it effort? Each and every time I come to the same conclusion that it’s all three working together. For me it’s faith-focused determination.
It’s the effort we put into nurturing our families because we know this brings glory to God. It’s the attention we give to our marriage as we bring ourselves into submission to His will. It’s turning our back on sin and our eyes upon Jesus. Everything we do is pointing to one thing–His will for our lives.
In Acts chapter 27 we read about Paul’s voyage to Italy under the supervision of Julias the centurion. The story parallels the storms we go through in life, reminding us to cast off anything that is dragging us down. If you have time this week, I encourage you to read that chapter. Consider anything that might be standing in the way of your marriage or hindering your walk with the Lord.
Too often we don’t realize that our ship is sinking until passengers make their way to the life boats.
About fifteen years ago my husband’s brother won $25,ooo from one of those scratch and win cards. I don’t remember the details all that well, but I do remember this: the night that he won, he slept with the ticket under his pillow. He had to wait until morning to take the ticket downtown to the lottery building, and he wasn’t taking any chances on losing the ticket or having it stolen.
It makes sense that someone would guard a treasure like that, I probably would too. What doesn’t make sense is when we don’t guard our marriage. Perhaps we don’t realize how quickly it can be taken away or how easily friendship can be lost when we don’t care for another the way that we should.
What weighs down a marriage, and what can we do to combat it? Of course there are many heavy weights out there, but let’s look at five that appear to be common:
1. Electronics – Television, cell phones, video games, and the internet can all be consuming. Enjoy them, but be careful that you don’t let them distract you from what is important.
2. Complacency – We’ve talked about this one before. Don’t take each other for granted.
3. Pride – Don’t let your pride destroy a good thing. Humility goes a lot further than winning an argument ever will.
4. Greed – It’s one thing to have dreams for your future and to work together to reach them. What’s not so good is when we want riches so desperately that they become more important than our relationships. Strive for contentment.
5. Lust – Whether we’re flirting, or sneaking a peek at things that we shouldn’t, we’re being drawn away from the Lord, not to mention that we’re disrespecting the holy covenant on which marriage is based. Appreciate your husband and respect him enough to draw boundaries.
Diligence is a virtue, and if we want to strengthen that virtue we must be persistent, courageous and focused. We have to be willing to turn away from the world and toss away anything that stands in the way of our faith or threatens our family.
You are loved by an Almighty God,
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