We’re learning to communicate God’s way as we work our way through a series intent on finding the areas in which we ruin marital communication, and re-aligning them with God’s desires. Today we’re going to discuss the importance of listening. Really listening. Not just to each other, but to God as well. Honestly, if we could all master just this one area of communication, what a difference it would make! But alas, we are a society that has forgotten how to listen. So, we must re-learn this lost virtue, and who better to learn from than our Creator?
This week we’re looking at the first half of Ephesians 2 and will be stepping back a bit to re-examine more deeply some of the truths we learned in week one – Who we were without Christ, and what it means to have been made alive in Christ. Today, we’re going to learn to understand what it means to be a new and beautiful creation in Jesus – His masterpiece!
The Bible tells a story of a woman – a widow who persistently sought justice from an evil judge. Jesus encouraged us to approach our Heavenly Father with that same kind of persistence in prayer, knowing He will surely grant us justice – and quickly! This is the story of my own persistent prayer.
Before we get into the specifics of communication, let’s prepare our hearts. It’s essential that our intentions as we proceed be in line with those of our Heavenly Father. This begins from a place of humility. It is only from there we can approach our spouse with any hope of improving our communication.
It’s human nature to read the kind of stuff we’re going to be addressing “for” someone else. Instead of taking the opportunity to honestly evaluate ourselves, we look for ammunition to load into the arsenal of judgement we’re building against our partners.
Friends, our goal is healing. The only person we have any power to heal is ourselves. So, with that in mind, let’s dive into our passage for this week.
A good place to start when we’re looking to re-write our identity is with an understanding of the nature of our existence. We need to know whether we’re just some cosmic accident, or the result of an intentional plan because the answer to that question will define our purpose.
All praise to God who tells us we are not, in fact, some fluke of nature. We are His own special creation: Chosen by Him before the beginning of time, purchased out of our state of slavery to sin by His very own blood, and adopted into His family forever. Let’s think about the ramifications of those three simple realities.
Being triggered is a very real, very natural, and very agonizing aspect of recovery from betrayal (or any other) trauma. The term refers to the moments when we are very suddenly and unexpectedly reminded of our pain and upheaval in a way that propels us back into the crippling state of shock experienced at the onset of the traumatic experience. Most of us didn’t expect the triggers, and therefore find ourselves completely unequipped to deal with and move past them. But there is hope!
Terrible communication is likely one of the most common roadblocks to healing in broken marriages. Unfortunately, we’re just really, really bad (like as a people) at communicating with each other. We’re selfish, we jump to conclusion, we’re rotten listeners, we assume and presume like nobody’s watching, we manipulate and lie, we spend all kinds of time looking at the faults of others while rarely looking inward to our own faults, and we’re just plain mean to each other. Often times, before we can even think of addressing the larger underlying issues in marriages, we have to first learn to start communicating according to the standards God has laid out for us in Scripture.
There are a million steps we have to work through in order to recover from intimate betrayal, but I believe the first (and most critical)
Sometimes we get so caught up in our own desire to be right, we miss out on being a part of God’s mercy. We choose judgement and misery over excitedly taking part in a miracle because we’ve forgotten how merciful He’s been to us! There is much we can learn from the Biblical account of the prophet Jonah.
It’s time to wrap up this Redeeming Thanksgiving series, and begin to prepare our hearts for Christmas. When we started the month out we asked God to set us ablaze with thanksgiving. We laid out the kindling and prepared the wood by committing to this study, and He cultivated that first spark with the promise of restoration. We learned how a thankful heart has the power to redeem for good what the enemy intended for evil. We fed that fire by learning how our gratitude leads to hope which fills us with the joy of the Lord, which is our strength. As the flames of His blessing spread, our praises grew and led us into the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.
Then, last week, that inferno reached a new height. No longer was it simply spreading God’s blessings throughout our own lives, but it began to consume what didn’t belong. The devouring fire of our God sent the enemy running. Our praises demolished strongholds while reminding us of the ultimate victory, which is as good as won. It is my hope that today, as we conclude this series, the flames of gratitude will blaze from us onto the lives of those still lost and ignite a magnificent explosion of blessing across the whole world!
There is an awesome story in the Bible about what happened when one king decided to praise God, even in the face of certain death. When King Jehoshaphat of Judah led his people with a spirit of thankfulness, the enemy turned and ran. We can learn to do the same thing today!
Several months ago I had the honor of being asked to make a guest appearance over at Faith Beyond Fear. Of course, I was eager to accept, and when we decided on a publication date of last week I realized it would fall right in the middle of our Redeeming Thanksgiving series. So, I decided to tie what I wrote into that topic.
Peace – it’s a “state of being” more coveted than any other. How we all long for peace! We’ve created prestigious prizes to honor those who have contributed to the world’s quest to secure it; but the sad truth is, peace is unattainable through human efforts. No striving, no program, no method will work if they do not include God. It is only His peace, the peace that exceeds anything we can understand that will provide lasting comfort. It is only God’s peace that promises to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!
It’s no secret that God wants his people to be joyful. In John 15:11, Jesus tells His disciples, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”
In Galatians 5, joy is listed second, behind only love as a product of the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of believers.
But sometimes life just sucks, and it can be really hard to be joyful at those times. Especially when our specific situations start to feel hopeless. So let’s learn how a little bit of thankfulness can help us reclaim our joy!
Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday for a long time, so when life made this time difficult, I had to learn to redeem what the enemy had broken. So, I’d love it if you’d join me through these weeks leading up to Thanksgiving here at His Dearly Loved Daughter as we focus in on cultivating a heart of thanksgiving. There really is great power in this one little discipline, so we’re going to reclaim what has been broken and hand it over to the Master Builder to be lovingly restored.
Are you a betrayed wife who is fiercely committed to seeking and following God as you heal? Are you looking for a community of like-minded women also recovering from betrayal trauma? Would you like to join our secret Facebook support group? Connect with Cherith on Facebook, and send me a private message to request to be added.
Or, contact me via email if you just need someone to talk to who understands and is committed to gently pointing you toward Jesus.