A few weeks ago, I received a message from a relative asking if my brother and I had any plans set to celebrate my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary. I could've lied and said yes, but that wouldn't be very Christ-like. So, I gulped and bowed my head in embarrassment and said, "No - I didn't know it was their 50th..." Guess who is no longer in the running for son-of-the-year?!? You will be happy to know we did come up with a great plan, and my parents are on board and are excited.
I've been alive 49 of those 50 years, and as I started to think back over all the years I marveled at how far God has brought them. Most of those years, my dad wasn't even a Christian and definitely wasn't nice. There were times that I knew they weren't getting along, and there were other times where I wondered if they would even stay together. Thankfully, though, The Lord specializes in cases like this and He can make all things new - especially people. He certainly did that work in my dad's life and now he is a gentle, loving, follower of Jesus who models Christlikeness to all who come in contact with him. I think that is what the Bible means and aims for us to strive for in a passage near the beginning of Genesis:
"...That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh." (Genesis 2:24)
Have you ever looked at your own life and noticed how God has helped you become who you are? Maybe there was time in the past that He took you through something hard to help you become stronger or maybe God is taking you through this process right now. Either way, that whole becoming process is hard but necessary to help us grow. So here are a few things to consider and help you become who God wants you to be. These are definitely needed in a marriage relationship, but work just as well in our relationships with others.
Becoming is hard work
Becoming who God wants you to be means you have to be willing to make the changes God wants you to make. He will not make you change, though. In fact, He is more than willing to sit and wait on you to come to that conclusion yourself. If you don't want to do the hard work, you won't have to. But if you're ready, He will meet you there to point you in the right direction.
Becoming is humbling
Going down this road means you will have to "look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Philippians 2:4). This means that there will be times that you can't demand your own way, and it may also mean that your way might be the wrong way. So, you have to be willing to do a lot of sacrificing your own individual needs for the good of the other. If you are going to become who God wants you to be, you are going to have to stop demanding your own way all of the time.
Becoming means forgiving others
Forgiving someone is easier if they ask for it, but what if they don't ask?!? Guess what - you still have to forgive! Over and over, the Bible challenges you to do this and tells you how to do it and when to do it and why you should do it. When you forgive, you don't get to control how the other person will respond...but you do get to control how you will respond.
So whether you have been at this for almost 50 years or just a few months, hopefully you are becoming more like Jesus along the way. As you pray this week, ask God to help you look in the mirror of your own life and see how He is doing that. Then, you will be in a prime position to be used to pray the same for others.