First Hurdle, Day 4
What motivates you? What keeps you going when you feel like giving up? What pushes you forward when you feel like turning back? It’s Day 4 and if you haven’t experienced a hurdle yet, you’re going to soon.
Yesterday, I mentioned the movie What About Bob? Late in the movie, psychiatric patient Bob invents a new technique (through the unintentional aid of Dr. Marvin) called Death Therapy. He realizes, under fear of death, real or imagined, he needs to untie his knots in order to break free.
You don’t need death as motivation, but you can put to death things holding you back. We, as Christians, have a habit of trying to earn salvation. We think we must do a series of “good, godly things” to truly be worthy. However, this lie ultimately traps us into feeling defeated every time we fail.
Each time we fail, we have an opportunity to recognize God’s grace, mercy, and love and to live in the freedom of His sacrifice.
Prepare yourself for difficult days by putting to death…
- negative labels [i.e. unworthy, stupid, coward, failure]
- defeatist attitudes [i.e. I’m not good enough. I can’t do this. I’m stuck.]
- unattainable goals [i.e. I need to be perfect. I can change overnight. I don’t need to work hard.]
Negativity will harm your chances at success at this challenge and damage your marriage. Untie the knots that these labels, attitudes, and thoughts that are holding you back from living freely.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (ESV).
Love your God, yourself, and your husband (and in turn, others) within the context of God’s gloriously freeing relationship with us.
Prepare yourself by taking steps to…
- love yourself (positive self-image and healthy confidence)
- love God (recognizing your worth and value in Jesus Christ and pursuing relationship with Him)
- love your husband (living out the Gospel message with your intimate life partner)
There was an unnamed woman in the Bible who had been living life as an outcast because she had been bleeding for 12 years. She came forward and touched the edge of Jesus’ garment knowing His power could heal her. She was instantly healed, but Jesus didn’t stop there. Jesus called her out and told her how he viewed her:
- Jesus didn’t allow her to hide in the safety of the crowd.
- Jesus spoke to her personally.
- Jesus lovingly addressed her by calling her daughter.
- Jesus commended her faith.
- Jesus granted her peace.
- Jesus freed her from suffering.
This is how God views you too – He wants you to be brave and confident. He loves you. He speaks to you personally. He wants to encourage you in your faith. He will give you peace. He frees you from your suffering. He unties your knots.
Today’s Challenge: 1) Pick a Bible passage (like Philippians 4:8) to memorize for and meditate on the days when you’re struggling. Write the verse in your journal. 2) Make a list of 3-5 negative labels, defeatist attitudes, or unattainable goals you have. For each one, write two words of truth and love God has for you. (i.e. defeated; victorious and strong – Romans 8:37). For each one, write down 1 small action step you can take to break free from these labels, attitudes, or goals. (i.e. When I feel defeated, I will ask my husband to pray with me.) 3) If you’re feeling brave, share with your husband your list from step 2 and ask him to pray with you.
Bible Passage: Mark 5:24-34
Additional Content: Visit the private Facebook page for Writing a Recipe for a Successful Marriage and How Self Esteem Impacts Your Marriage. Click here to sign-up.
Share with Us: What negative attitude, thought, emotion, or goal do you struggle with the most? How do you stay motivated when these crop up? How do these affect your marriage?