Do you feel a sense of darkness in your marriage? Does it seem that you can see no light at the end of a long tunnel of marriage problems that have been causing a separation between you and your spouse? No matter how dark it gets, remember that:
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and PRAISE your FATHER IN HEAVEN“ (Matthew 4:14-16).
Poking Holes in the Darkness
As followers of Jesus Christ, we have before us the mission to be lamp lighters. We are to poke holes in the darkness that the enemy of our faith tries to perpetuate. May we continually remember this mission. We don’t want to contribute to God’s light to be dimmed or “hidden” because:
“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus sake.
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ“ (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).
Throughout the year, every one of us will have many opportunities to make choices that could affect whether we cause God’s “light“ to “shine before men“ or whether we diminish or hide His light somehow. We encourage you to pray that each of us will make wise choices as God would have us.
Are You Poking Holes in the Darkness?
Listed below are just a few opportunities to shine God’s light in the darkness before others:
• Be a “light“ within your marriage and your home.
As you saw above from the Bible verses in Matthew 4, we are called to live in such a way that we give “light to everyone in the house.“ Is that how you are living your life? Is the light of the Lord coming through in the way you interact with your spouse and family members? Or is the way you are living distracting you from LIVING CHRIST? “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).
• Live out your faith in increasing measure.
“Make every effort to add to your faith goodness. And to goodness, add knowledge. To knowledge, add self-control. And to self-control, add perseverance. To perseverance, add godliness. And to godliness, add brotherly kindness. To brotherly kindness, add love.
“For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.“ (2 Peter 1:5-9)
Do you notice that we are to add “kindness” to how we live out our faith? Keep in mind that if we are too busy to be kind, we’re TOO BUSY. All of us will go through seasons of busyness. But when our schedules are so full that we’re finding ourselves feeling “cornered” and we lash out at our spouse and family, it’s time to do some adjusting of our attitudes and/or our schedule.
Talk to the Lord concerning the pressure you’re feeling. Ask Him to show you what can be done so kindness shines through again. To help you in this mission we have a few articles on our web site that you may find helpful. One is titled “Martha Syndrome: Confessions of a Woman on the Whirl.” It’s posted in the “For Married Women” topic. Another article we recommend you read is titled When a Job Steals Time from the Marriage and Family. It is posted in the “Assorted Marriage Issues” topic.
• Look for opportunities to allow the light of Christ to shine in and through you.
Whether or not you are one who celebrates Christmas as a holiday (we’ve heard from some of you that don’t), this is a time when many throughout the world, who do not know Christ in a personal way, are more open to Biblical matters. Ask the Lord to show you how you can participate with Him in extending His love and grace to those He brings you way.
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone“ (Colossians 3:11).
Many of you will be going to family gatherings and parties with those you associate and work with and go to church with. Don’t forget that you are ambassadors of Christ wherever you go.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these put on love, which binds them all together in perfect harmony. …And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him“ (See Colossians 3:12-17).
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ“ (Philippians 1:27).
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe“ (Philippians 2:14-15).
• Don’t hide the light of Christ or “put it under a bowl.”
This can pertain especially to having a poor attitude. Poke holes in the darkness. Make sure your words as well as you actions communicate the gospel at all times. And look for opportunities to bless others with God’s love and grace.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers“ (Galatians 6:9-10).
• Pray for one another.
There are problems all over the world. That is why WE NEED TO PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER! Pray that God will help His followers to bring light and positive change to those around them.
Jesus prayed, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one“ (John 17:15). Let us join Him in praying this also.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints“ (Ephesians 6:18).
It would be good to pray on the behalf of other believers in the same way the apostle Paul requested prayer:
“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
May we never forget to pray for one another that God’s light will shine through us! May He use each of us to fearlessly poke holes in the darkness!
Steve and Cindy Wright
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