John 15: 7-13
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Have you ever ran so hard in the circle of life that you find yourself really missing your spouse? You and your spouse may work multiple jobs, one or both may travel, and you may even experience opposing schedules. While you may be "rubbing shoulders" (so to speak) during a brief connection in the hallway of the house or a quick text, you would hardly say that you deeply connect with your more than significant other.
My spouse and I have the luxury of working together, what's even better is that we are in full-time ministry working in the same office... couldn't get better than that, right? Then, why did I text her and say "I really miss you?" We see each other most of the day; we work together to make an impact for Christ and His mission, yet we at times experience brief feelings that we are "strangers" simply traveling the same road.
What I found to be missing is the intentional mutual focus on Christ which leads us to each other. If we are abiding in Christ as scripture commands, then the healthy outpouring of this relationship will begin to manifest in our marriage.
I need to STOP!! While the word "Stop" probably won't be inducted into the "Hall of fame of Spiritual Disciplines." It is a vital component that must be exercised so that a spiritually disciplined life can be exercised. So it is with abiding in Christ. ...we have to "Stop" whatever we have planned, whatever we think is important, or whatever is expected out of us. Unless we stop we are like the child we are trying to talk to who is so distracted that they can’t sit still long enough to hear what we are saying….frustrating…right?
When I find myself distracted by life and really missing Him or my spouse, I need to evaluate the “Why” behind this feeling… It is either birthed out of our own flesh and power that we may find ourselves unintentionally being blamed on our “fast paced schedule,” or it is birthed out of an abiding relationship with Him.
“I really miss you” was my personal wake up call.
Accountability & Steps for Change
- I need to Stop. If He isn't so busy that we need to check with His schedule to connect, then we need to make sure Christ isn't scheduled into ours. Stop whatever we feel is important, let the world keep moving without us as we exercise an abiding relationship with our Savior.
- I need to be dependent on Him. What would our lives be like if we truly abided in Him? If we fight for our privilege to abide in Him and make Him the priority before we even attempt to set our earthly priorities we will begin the 1st step in “Abiding in Him.”
- I need to own my part. He wants us to spend time with Him and has cleared His schedule (John 15:7 - Abide or Remain). Take today and meditate on the word Abide (remain). How is our relationship with Christ? Do we feel like sending a text message that says "I really miss you?" If we do, then we probably need to re-evaluate what it looks like to abide in Him.
- Exercising an abiding discipline in Christ will be reflected in our marriages. We will begin to be a reflection of our walk with Him. We together will flourish under the banner of a dependent Abiding relationship in Him. We will find less texts that reveal our brokenness in Him.
“I really Miss you" will turn to "I love you and enjoyed our time together…" I love doing LIFE Together…