Got Issues With My Spouse?
By Garrett Drew Ellis
My brother used to hate my wife. And when I say hate, I really mean hate. He adored her before we got married; but when we announced our new found faith in God and our engagement, he let it clearly be known how much he disliked her and our decisions. He loudly cursed both of us, and although he came to the wedding, he said absolutely nothing to me the entire time.
Choosing between my brother and the woman God had given me was the hardest, most hurtful thing I had ever been made to do. Here I had two people I loved dearly; the brother I had known and loved all my life and the godly woman who had stolen my heart. The ultimatum to choose one or the other was not an easy task.
After a lot of tears, prayer and anger, I chose my wife. I married her despite the opposition. Although I was confused and hurt, I decided to place my trust in the fact that God was the center of my life and this marriage, and that I was making the right decision, even if that meant losing my brother forever.
The scriptures I depended on during this time were Matthew 10:35-37 which talk about Christ’s dividing of mother and daughter, father and son, and of our need to make Him first priority even over family members.
But what really got me was verse 38. After talking about all of this division, it says:
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (NIV).
Well, in humility, I let the Lord know that I was definitely losing my life (or at least a major part of it) for His sake, and that if He would, I needed His help to find it.
Here’s the testimony: about a year and a half into our marriage and after seeing how whoever this God that we served was prospering my wife and I, my brother came around. He lost all of his hostility and let me know how scared he was, that I had made a rash decision and that it was hard for him to let me go. He even apologized (something my brother does not do), to both me and my wife. Today, they spend more time talking than him and I do. He is constantly telling her how glad he is to have her as a sister-in-law and how she is the best thing that ever happened to me.
This is what can happen when God becomes the radical priority in our lives. I lost time - a year and a half of a relationship - because I wasn’t willing to compromise my faith or love for my wife. But because of that dedication to Christ, He helped me to “find my life,” giving me the relationship with my brother I desired.
Now every situation may not conclude like this one, but the Word of God says that if we put God and His Kingdom in the forefront of our lives, He will supply all the things we need (Matthew 6:33).
Wow. Losing a life in order to find one. Putting Christ first in order to gain the righteous desires of my heart. Amazing concept. How do I know it works? Because I can now keep my faith, my wife and still give my brother a call.
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