As a pastor, I’m in an interesting position. I counsel and pray for people in their marriage and family issues, but it’s not because I’ve mastered this wisdom. Rather, it’s because I know the source of wisdom is found in God’s word and the source of strength is in God’s Spirit. And because of this, I am able to offer guidance, encouragement, and hope for those who need it (which is all of us). And because I want to love better, I am always seeking to learn and grow. So when I recently read yet another article on marital counsel, two thoughts hit me:
First: these are good, foundational reminders.
And second: this is great counsel not only for marriages, but for families. And friendships.
Ready? Here they are:
- Find your source of satisfaction in God, not in others. In Psalm 90:14, Moses prays, “O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” No human can fully satisfy another. When you realize this, and find your satisfaction in God’s love through a regular intake of His word, prayer, obedience, and trust, it will free you to then pour that great love into others.
- Seek to be the biggest servant in the relationship. Jesus modeled this for us, coming as a servant (Mark 10:45). There is a unique joy in this, as Proverbs 11:25 says: “He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Pray that you may be a better servant in your relationship.
- Be quick to forgive. Conflict will happen in the best of relationships. In fact, the closer the relationship, the more potential there is for misunderstanding and hurt. That’s why forgiveness is so important, forgiving one another with kindness and compassion as Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32), which brings God’s restoration, healing, and peace. This is not always easy, but the Lord will give grace as you seek to obey His word.
Obviously, Scripture has much more to say about relationships and love. But these are three key, foundational pieces of wisdom that go a long way in glorifying God and enjoying the relationships He has given you in life.