How ready are you for Christmas? What about within your heart? When you’re with others, do they see Christ? How about within your marriage? Do you interact with your spouse in such a way that others, including your spouse, is given the opportunity to see God at work (without your blocking the way?
Are you communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ with AND without words? Do others (including your spouse) experience the grace of God while they’re with you?
A few years ago we came upon the following poem by an unknown author and adapted it for this Christmas Marriage Message. We pray it will speak to your heart as it has ours:
“Ready for Christmas!” she said with a sigh,
As she gave a last touch to the gifts piled high;
Then wearily sat for a moment and read
till soon, very soon, she was nodding her head.
Then quickly spoke a voice in her dream,
“Ready for Christmas? What do you mean?
Ready for CHRIST, when only this week
not one nice thing to your spouse did you speak.”
“Ready for Christmas, while holding a grudge?
Why, how can the CHRIST-CHILD come and abide
in a heart that is selfish and filled with pride?
Ready for Christmas, when only today
your spouse needed love and you turned him away—
without even a smile to show that you cared?
The little he asked — it could have been spared.
Ready for Christmas, your circle’s too small
why, you’re not ready for Christmas at all!”
She awoke with a start, and a cry of despair,
“There’s so little time I have left to prepare!
Oh FATHER, forgive me; I see what you mean.
To be ready means more
than a house that’s swept clean.”
Yes, more than the giving of gifts and a tree,
it’s the heart swept clean that HE wants to see,
a heart that is free from bitterness and sin,
ready for Christmas — and ready for HIM!
Think about whether you’re truly ready for the Christmas. If you have bitterness in your heart, you aren’t ready. If you have self-centeredness in your attitude, you aren’t ready.
It tells us in the Bible that we’re to have the same attitude “as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).
Do you have this same attitude?
The greatest gift you can give your spouse and everyone you’re with during this Christmas (and throughout the year) is giving them the gift of the Love of Christ. If you don’t know Him in a personal way, there’s an Internet site we encourage you to visit: NeedHim.org. It will help you to know the One who is the REAL reason for this season, and every day of the year.
In closing we’d like to leave you with the following words from The Message by Eugene Peterson giving a paraphrase from the Bible found in Ephesians, Chapter 5:
“Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another. Wives understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not domineering by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership wives should likewise submit to their husbands.
“Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already ‘one’ in marriage.
“No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become ‘one flesh.’ This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.”
During this season of remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ, and from this day forward, we encourage you to remember to give each other the gift of loving and honoring each other “as unto the Lord.” These gifts, will bless not only your hearts, but God’s as well!
Have a truly blessed Christmas!
Steve and Cindy Wright
— ALSO —
You may find it helpful to read something else we have posted on our web site. You can do so by clicking into:
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