Yielding to Others for Their Benefit
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21, NIV
Deferring to another means that my (David's) heart is yielded to the Holy Spirit's work. It means that I am willing to give up my agenda, my preferences, and my schedules for the benefit of someone else. Deference means that my needs are not always my top priority. Deferring to my spouse means that I submit myself to God and then become aware of and caring about her needs.
It's important to note what deference is not. Deference is never a one-way street. God doesn't appoint some to submit and some to "lord it over" others. Deference is not relinquishing all my desires and becoming a "doormat?' God intends for us to give as well as receive. We need one another.
After too many years of marriage, I finally began to see the wisdom of paying deference to Teresa's impressions concerning our children's needs. Many times I was sure that the kids just needed a little more love or a few more fun things to do. My sweet wife, however, believed that our kids needed more structure, more routine, and more involvement with Dad. At first, I was reluctant to accept her impressions, but the Holy Spirit brought to my mind today's Scripture verse and challenged me to submit to Teresa, knowing that she too was hearing from the Lord. Our home environment changed dramatically. After I had implemented several of Teresa's suggestions and became more involved in parenting myself, our home was more calm and peaceful.
It's impossible to maintain a submissive attitude in marriage apart from the Holy Spirit's work. We can trust the Lord to bring the peace of oneness to two hearts as He forges a common bond of deference.
In what specific areas do you need to defer to your spouse today?
Father, give me the grace to yield to You and, therefore, to my spouse.
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