Enjoying Cheer and Joy with Someone Who Cares
Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33
Joy, cheer, and courage have their origin in one ultimate victory, and that is Christ's victory over hell and the grave. The Old Testament saints looked forward to it, and the New Testament church looks back upon it. True happiness rests in the certainty that God cares—not just a little, but a lot; not with a small sacrifice on our behalf, but with the ultimate sacrifice.
When it comes to my marriage, it's always good for me (David) to remain mindful of this type of sacrifice. You see, Teresa seems to enjoy our time together most when it involves a sacrifice on my part. Giving her my "leftover" time doesn't make her feel special.
Only recently have I come to enjoy more of God's intended blessing that comes from sacrificial giving. This happened when I spent time just walking with Teresa. Now, walking will never appear on my list of the top one hundred things to do for enjoyment. The sentence "I enjoy walking" will never leave my mouth. Those occasional times when I gave in to Teresa's pressure and went walking with her brought me lots of perspiration but no joy.
Gradually, however, the Lord impressed me with this simple truth about walks with Teresa: "This is not about walking. It's about Teresa's longing not to be alone and to share this part of her life with you."
Little by little, the Spirit's work within me turned my reluctant participation in the walks into joyful, sacrificial giving. The perspiration is still there, but now there is true joy to go with it. I can still truthfully say, "I don't enjoy walking.” But now I can just as truthfully say, "I enjoy walking with Teresa.”
In what way can you begin sacrificially giving to your spouse today?
Remind me, Father, of the joy in giving that other might be blessed.
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