Happiness in the Here and Now
Trust . . . in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17
A common pattern in many marriages is the seeming inability to live in the present. It's great to have special memories and to make big plans, but we need to remember that happiness takes place in the present, not in the past and not in the future.
When Jesus promised His believers abundant life (John 10:10), He was referring to this present life. Teresa and I have enjoyed Christ's abundance in the past, and we have the promise of abundant life in the future. But we've learned that the key to abundant happiness in our marriage is to live in the present.
In that same verse, Christ warned His followers that "the thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy" (NASB). How does the thief do that in our marriages? By keeping us in bondage to the past through hurt, anger, and guilt, or by keeping us in bondage to the future through fear, anxiety, and worry.
For too many years in our marriage, the thief robbed us of God's abundance. Gradually, however, through our times of confession and forgiveness, the Lord did a healing work in our relationship. As time went on, fewer and fewer of our conversations focused on questions concerning what we did or didn't do in the past. Likewise, less and less of our conversation concerned what each of us needed to do in the future.
Commonly we challenge couples to go out for a time to talk, with this ground rule: No talking about anything in the past or in the future, only about the present. We tell them to talk about sunsets and stars, about their love and appreciation for one another. Mostly, we encourage them to learn to live in and enjoy the "now."
What about each day and each moment can you and your spouse focus on and enjoy?
Father, remind my spouse and me to see each day, each moment, as a gift from You for us to enjoy.
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