marriage minute | a soul filled with God

Today's Marriage Minute was inspired by a devotion Dustin and I shared earlier this week, titled "A Soul Filled with God." It began with Psalm 27:4, which says "One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple."

The devotion began with this sentence: "Personal worship is an absolute necessity for a strong marriage. It comes down to this: If I stop receiving from God, I start demanding from others. Instead of appreciating and loving and serving others, I become disappointed in them."
Have you ever experienced disappointment in your marriage? 
I know Dustin and I have gone through bouts of it from time to time, especially since Olivia was born. Because we had to care for, consider and think about another human being who was dependent on us for everything, it became harder to put ourselves as husband and wife first instead of just functioning in our role as parents. 

Throughout the course of our entire relationship, we've both experienced disappointment -- disappointment when our expectations of one another were not fulfilled, disappointment that plans we had together didn't go as we hoped, disappointment in something my husband did or said that hurt me or something that I did or said that hurt him. Because of the disappointment we were experiencing, Dustin and I would take our frustrations out on one another and blame each other for our lack of fulfillment. 

Why? Because we weren't devoting the time to God we needed to be. 
When our hearts get filled by God's love and acceptance, we are set free to love instead of worrying about being loved. 
Did you catch that? 
We become motivated to serve instead of becoming obsessed about whether we are being served. 

The triangle illustration above is one I encountered multiple times throughout college in various classes and again over the past two years of marriage. It is such a simple concept but makes a profound world of difference in a marriage. It shows that as we -- each individual as husband or wife -- strive to grow closer to God, to worship God and to seek God, we are naturally growing closer to one another. It's the best win-win situation there could be!

It is important to focus upon God, gaze upon Him and dwell with Him all the days of our life, placing our hopes and finding our fulfillment in Him. Whenever we place our happiness in the hands of another human being, we are virtually guaranteeing some degree of disappointment. 

That's why worship sets us free -- it meets our most basic need -- to rest in the fact that I am known and loved, that I have a purpose and that my eternal destiny and delight are secure. It's simply not fair to ask your spouse to fulfill you. No one can. If you expect your spouse to be God for you, your spouse will fail -- every day and on every account. 

But if you ask God to fulfill you -- and you draw near to him through worship, you will find that God is the only One that can love you with a perfect, constantly steady and giving love. 

When the "one thing" we seek is to dwell in God's house, to gaze upon His beauty and to seek Him in His temple, our soul's sense of desperate need is met in our heavenly Father's arms. Because that deep need is met, we find tremendous joy in giving, in loving, and in serving rather than in keeping close accounts as to whether we're being loved or being served. 

The best thing you can do for your marriage is to fill your soul with God. 
Start defining disappointment with your spouse as spiritual hunger, a cosmic call to worship. 
Marriage is wonderful, but still limited -- it can't replace God so we shouldn't ask it to.
I am learning that as I seek God and as I am fulfilled by Him, I desire to give to, serve and love my husband on an entirely different level. He experiences the same desire when he puts God first. And then what happens? Well, Dustin finds so many ways -- big and small - to bless me and to remind me how much he cherishes me, like bringing home a dozen roses for no reason at all.

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