June 29, 2020
Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. – Matthew 23:23
Most of the time I went to church by myself – well, just me and the kids. This particular Sunday, my husband went with me. We argued all the way to church.
All. The. Way.
I was crying by the time we got there. I was embarassed. I was upset.
But I wiped my face and walked right into the church as if nothing was wrong. I put on my fake smile, and my “praise the Lord” – “I’m blessed and highly favored” attitude and pretended everything was ok.
I stood at the appropriate times. I lifted my hands at the appropriate times. I said amen at the appropriate times, but inside I was an absolute wreck.
You ever been there? You know the place, where you fix the outside so that you can look right but everything inside of you feels totally wrong?
Pretending. Faking. Not being 100. I was pretending that we were a happily married couple. At that point, we weren’t.
I probably fooled a few people that day years ago (probably not as many as I thought), but I never fooled God, and for all the pretty on the outside the inside was a hot mess.
Listen, Sis, God is not interested in maintaining an image of your marriage. He will not promote a lie. He will not endorse a lie. He deals in truth.
He wants your marriage to be as good as you pretend it is. Actually, He wants it to be better, but that is an inside job. He wants to deal with the issues of your heart, your thoughts, and your attitudes. That’s where change begins. Your marriage will grow as you grow, and that is from the inside out.
I had heart issues. I had unrealistic expectations. I was prideful. John had issues too, but those were between him and God. I had to be vulnerable enough (and bold enough) to let God deal with me, and I had to trust that God was big enough to work on John without my interference.
You do not have to pretend that everything is perfect in your marriage. We all know that it isn’t. Lay that weight down, Sis. Instead, have an honest talk with God (and your husband) about what needs improvement. Face the truth about your own issues, and allow God to lead you into wholeness in those areas.
Clean the inside of the cup as our scripture says today. We can’t be like the Pharisees who were more concerned about how they looked than how they really were.
Our marriages (and our lives) will flourish from the inside out as we are true to hearing and obeying God’s leading. A great marriage really is an inside job.
What area do you feel God prompting you to address? What step of faith will you take in response? Let me know in the comments.