Will You Please Just Do It For Me?

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Simon returned to doing what seemed to be monotonous and unproductive, just because Jesus told him to. And look what happened!

“Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’” Luke 5:5 (NIV)

Macey is a school counselor who goes above and beyond in her position. As she listens to students and administers tests, she makes a concerted effort to develop respectful and loving relationships with her kids — even the most difficult students — recognizing many of them misbehave due to troubling situations outside of school.

Recently, one such child was in trouble. He was given the chance to remain in school after an incident, as long as he agreed to go to in-school suspension and take his discipline. This included writing out the rules of in-school suspension by hand. He was not cooperating at all. That is, until Miss Macey showed up.

She knew of this student’s life struggles. She realized he could likely get volatile and blow up, also blowing any chances of staying in school since then he would be expelled.

But she had an idea she believed might work.

Firmly but lovingly looking at this troubled boy, she assured him she totally understood writing sentences was a drag. However, she had a trick up her sleeve — one that could save him heartache and prevent him from being kicked out.

“Look, I know you don’t want to do this. Writing out rules by hand is no fun. But will you do something? Will you please just do it for me?”

He thought about it for a few seconds. Soon his pencil was making its way across the paper. He had no desire to write out rules, cramping his hand. But he did it for the person who took the time to notice his situation and love him, despite his behavior.

Just like teaching the next generation is a challenge, relationships (especially marriage) can be hard work. Doing it right sometimes cramps our style. It hurts. And some days, we just don’t feel like doing it. However, I find inspiration from reading the words of Peter in today’s key verse.

After a long night’s attempt at fishing, Simon (also called Peter) grew exasperated because he and his co-workers hadn’t been able to snag a single fish. But then, Jesus showed up on the scene. He instructed Simon to put the boat out into deep water and let down the net for a catch. When Simon heard Jesus direct him to return to doing the very thing he’d been fruitlessly doing for the past several hours, he voiced his discouragement to the Lord. Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything,’” he bemoaned. But then, he hitched a verbal disclaimer to his near-protest. “But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

Simon returned to doing what seemed to be monotonous and unproductive, just because Jesus told him to.

If you want to give up on that difficult friend or co-worker, or bail on your family or spouse … or stay married but become emotionally distant … if you want to stop trying to live in harmony with that person who may at times aggravate and infuriate you … if everything in you longs to stop showing up, and wants to just walk away and be done with it …

Listen to Jesus. The One who sees your situation and takes note of your struggles, the One who, despite your bad behavior, loves you regardless. The One who models how to display love, show grace and grant forgiveness even when we don’t deserve it.

He is lovingly looking us in the eye today and saying, “Look, I know you don’t want to do this. But — tell you what — will you do something? Will you please just do it for Me?”

Father, at times being married is no fun. It can be hard work. Please grant me a renewed perspective and a fresh resolve to keep working on my marriage in a way that honors You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Corinthians 13:4a, “Love suffers long and is kind …” (NKJV)

Ephesians 4:2, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (NIV)

1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
If you could use some encouragement to show love, display grace and grant forgiveness in your marriage, check out Karen Ehman’s new book, releasing today, Keep Showing Up: How to Stay Crazy in Love When Your Love Drives You Crazy. You’ll receive a special bonus when you order from our Proverbs 31 bookstore.

Save the date! Keep Showing Up will be our next P31 Online Bible Study, launching April 1. More details to come!

CONNECT:
It’s release day for Keep Showing Up: How to Stay Crazy in Love When Your Love Drives You Crazy! To celebrate, Karen is giving away an ultimate date night prize package worth over $500. To be entered to win, join her on her blog by clicking here.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
How might your perspective shift if you viewed doing the difficult relational work required in marriage — displaying love, showing grace and granting forgiveness — as something you pursue because Jesus asks you to, rather than because your spouse deserves it?

We’d love to pray for your marriage as you put love and grace into action. Please share in the comments below your name and your spouse’s name.

{Editor’s Note: Today’s devotion is meant to encourage anyone facing typical frustrations within a healthy marriage. However, we’re mindful that 1 in 4 women report facing domestic violence or abuse. To get confidential, anonymous help or practical next steps to help a friend, call 1-800-799-7233 (-SAFE) or visit this website.}

© 2019 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

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