In this series on relationship priorities we looked at the first two elements necessary to grow great relationships (model Christ and focus on other people). In this, the final post in this series we will examine the third and final element of our priority list.
3. Focus on yourself. It’s amazing how when you initiate the first two priorities, the attitude about the third changes drastically. When you demonstrate Christ and put others first, what you get back in the contentment of joy carries you through most of your other trials. Joy is the confident assurance and trust of God in our lives. Throughout his letter to the Philippians, Paul explains how his joy carried him through some pretty intense tribulation. Read through Philippians and discover for yourself the difference between happiness and joy.
Do what is “right” and let the appropriate emotions follow the behavior.
It’s exciting to see how the confidence and security of right actions affect our emotional state. I always refer to the Bible in determining that “right” position. Imagine having a tough day, traffic was terrible and you almost got into an accident, you got into an argument with one of your co-workers, your head has been aching all day and to top it all off you leave work only to be greeted by a flat tire! It stinks, right?! Now finally you get home, emotionally you are frustrated to say the least. You have a decision to make. In choosing to do what is right and behave in a loving fashion toward your wife and family you will have a direct impact on what you will receive from them. Loving behavior is usually reciprocated thereby affecting your negative emotional state. It can directly affect your well-being. You will begin to feel better because of the consequences of right behavior.
Live intentionally. As I stated in the introduction, the Scriptures are a guidebook to life, written by the one who created us. You benefit by living with intention and making decisions that guide the path of your life, with God’s direction, rather than living haphazardly, just letting life happen to you. Understand that none of us is perfect, not by a long shot! But if we make selflessness our goal rather than serving our own self-interest, the odds of receiving God’s best in our lives increases tremendously. Mark sums up our priorities the best.
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” -Mark 12:28-31
By modeling and loving God and investing in others, the impact that behavior has on YOUR well-being will lead to personal peace, satisfaction and joy. Be Blessed!
©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design
Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.