Whether you are married or engaged or single, but preparing, the following thoughts penned by Relationship Coach and Pastoral counselor Don Bailey, can be a helpful challenge to consider:
“Do you believe your destiny is predetermined? Maybe you believe it is put in place by God (See: Jeremiah 29:11). I personally believe God has a perfect plan for us in all aspects of our life, but we have the power to mess up the plan as He allows our free will to be at work. I recently found a writing (author unknown) which I believe makes our part in defining our destiny clear.
Watch your thoughts,
They define your words.
Watch your words,
They define your actions.
Watch your actions,
They define your habits,
Watch your habits,
They define your character.
Watch your character,
It defines your destiny.
“Now, let’s apply this to our relationships.
“First, THOUGHTS… Do you think positively about your mate or date? Or do you find yourself thinking about their faults more than their strengths? Do you think about your relationship with commitment or as one that is on the brink of shattering with every upset? Proverbs 23:7 KJV says, ‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.’ That makes it pretty clear that the destiny of our relationships begins with our thoughts.
“Now, what about the WORDS we speak? Remember, they are defined by our thoughts. We have a choice of what we say and how we say it. Proverbs 15:1-2 NIV says, ‘A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.’ It is clear that our words have a dramatic impact on the actions of our mate or date. Managing our tongue to speak truth with a soft tone produces the best result. Seldom are we forced to use angry words to accomplish our purpose.
“What about your ACTIONS? So often we’d like to blame them on someone else such as our date or mate or even ‘the devil made me do it.’ Just like with our words and thoughts, our actions are made through our choice. Unfortunately, we may not stop to make a choice, but we react based on our emotions.
“It will be much easier to make a choice about our actions if we are managing our thoughts and words. Psalm 1:1-2 gives us some insight as to how to do this. ‘Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.’
“Well, we’re getting closer to our destiny. Now we need to consider our HABITS. They are defined by our actions and are a matter of conditioning. I believe I’ve heard that repeating an action twenty-one times causes it to become a habit. Some of us may be more resistant to change so it may take 30, or 40, or 50 times. The key is that we are making a choice to change our habits. Why? The reason is because it defines our character.
“What is CHARACTER? Well, it’s who you are. I’ve heard that it is what you do when no one is watching. It’s who we are when all of the masks are removed and our vulnerabilities, as well as our strengths are seen by our mate or date. Hopefully, it is the greatest factor on which they make a decision about whether you are worthy of a relationship with them. And let’s face it; it is defined by our thoughts, words, actions and our habits.
“Well, here we are at our DESTINY in relationships. What we want is to be happy, to be loving, to be committed, to be caring, to be empathetic, and to be emotionally healthy. The list goes on and on as we consider who we want to be to our self and others. We are forced to make choices which lead to a destiny in our relationships and the quality of our life.
“So, we reach the end; our destiny. It’s based on our choices and we are responsible for it. We can’t blame anyone else. But, now, we must go back to the beginning and start out again as life is constantly changing and we are presented with new choices. What a challenge it is! But now we know how we got to where we are and how to get to a better place in our future.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future‘” (Jeremiah 29:11).
It is our prayer that you will consider the message that Don Bailey gave us and choose this day and for the rest of your lives to live by the values and guidelines God has given us throughout the Bible. And that you will live out the words Joshua proclaimed to those around him:
“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness… Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (from Joshua 24:14-15).
May God bless your marriage abundantly,
Cindy and Steve Wright
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