Agape Marriages and Kingdom Relationships – A Real Life Personal Story
King Arthur is credited with saying, “In serving each other we become free.” This is not only one of the core principles of Camelot; it is the truth for every disciple of Christ and in every marriage, family, and relationship as we build the currency of His Kingdom.
As I’ve mentioned throughout these posts and messages, serving and loving others is an overflow of our relationship with Christ and all in line with His Covenant Order. We are blessed as we live this out in the priorities as they are reflected in all our relationships and decisions about life and family. It begins in our discipleship relationship with Christ. From there it is to be evident in our marriages and families to build stronger churches in fellowship with one another in Him. Then we are able to show a lost and dying world what His love is really all about.
I learned this early in our marriage and the simple lesson has impacted many others. Ami came from a divorced family and, as is very common, there are deeper issues of trust and distrust. We discussed this often and prayed and worked diligently to both be aware of the issues and circumstances that would trigger thoughts of distrust as well as those that would build trust.
About three years into our marriage, she called one evening as I was in my office late. I could hear the pain in her voice. You see my job was athletic director and head basketball coach with a small private Christian school that owned none of the fields, gyms, or facilities that we used to practice and compete. At any moment we could lose use of a facility and the schedule would need to be reworked. That meant making calls to the schools we were competing against, referees, and parents.
Most of the time I was given enough lead time to make the changes, but I would fairly often need to work late to have the schedule set for the next day.
That brings us back to Ami’s call. She explained what we’d talked about many times before, that whenever I didn’t show up at or near the appointed time, distrust would rear its ugly head. This happened too many times as I got caught up in getting things in order and failed to give her a call and let her know.
She said, “If you would just give me a call and let me know what’s going on and reassure me that all is well, it would help me a lot.”
Now, as I’ve shared this with many men and couples, the typical response in our pride as a man is, “She’s just checking up on me and I don’t need another Momma! She just needs to trust me.” I have to admit that knowing I was doing nothing wrong or worthy of distrust, I entertained the same thoughts and response.
However, before I said anything to her, I said a quick prayer and in that moment The Holy Spirit simply prompted me to think, “Pride (Proverbs 16:18-19) or humility (Proverbs 15:33; 18:12; Matthew 23:12; Philippians 2:3; James 4:6, 10)? Your choice.” (Also see Proverbs 11:2; 29:23)
I asked Ami what she needed and she said, “If you’d just call once or twice a day, especially if something happens and you know your schedule is going to change, that would help me so much.”
Simple, right? I either bow my back and tell her to get over it and trust me, or I do something to help her build more trust in me. The Holy Spirit’s prompting came to me again and it really was simple. Pride puts the burden on her and would continue to lead to distrust. Humility put the burden on me to do all I could to show her that she could trust me.
I began the next day and have not missed a day of calling or texting her in the 25-plus years since. Distrust faded and trust became her default as God directed me to think of her above myself and I obeyed instead of giving into my pride. With that trust came an ever-growing peace in our marriage and family. Totally worth it!
Seems like a ‘no-brainer’ to me, but as the Holy Spirit said to me, “it’s your choice.”
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Make it a great day and God bless in Christ!
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – The greatest way to overcome pride is to recognize the reason for our selfish thoughts and instead think of and respond to others before self. How are my actions helping me and hurting others or how are they helping others? The answer and corresponding actions to this question reveals that we are either prideful or humble.
Love and Lordship…Action Item(s) – 1) When someone asks something of you or you recognize their need, ask yourself if your response is in your best interest or theirs? 2) Look for situations where you have been intentionally or unintentionally prideful and ask The Lord to help you change in this/these area(s); 3) Ask God to forgive you for your pride and selfishness and be more aware of and willing to respond to others in humility; 4) Ask and look for ways to humbly and intentionally respond and do what’s in the best interest for others.