Today I’m sharing some simple thoughts that I had as I read this passage from Colossians today – a simple encouragement to be Christlike in our marriage.

Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe  yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience.  Be tolerant of one another and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint against another.  Just as the Lord has forgiven you, you also should forgive.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which ties everything together in unity.

What a powerful scripture to keep in mind when talking about marital issues.  So often we separate scripture into verses about relationships and verses about marriage.  Marriage is a relationship and every verse in the Bible that addresses relational issues first and foremost addresses marriage.  These verses are full of wisdom:  put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.  I remember telling my kids “put on….” It is a choice.  Same goes with me.

Compassion, kindness: Compassion is a heart felt concern for people’s needs, and Kindness is putting that concern into action.  Heart and actions together.  And in this case – towards our spouse.  Do we see the needs and are we moved to acts of kindness to help our spouse?

Meekness, humility:  Meekness is about seeing my place in the world – it isn’t all about me – and what is about me, I can only do because others have contributed to my life.  This attitude stops us from demanding our rights, and helps us focus on the rights and needs of others.

Patience:  Patience is about accepting the time it takes for whatever you are doing.  We need patience towards people (in particular – our spouse) and we need patience when we are sorting out situations or circumstances.  The opposite of patience is having a time frame and demanding everyone works towards that – this of course creates impatience and frustration.

Be tolerant of one another – don’t we teach our kids to be tolerant – to accept that someone else is at a different place, to be gracious, loving and kind.  Same goes for our spouse – be tolerant.

Forgive.  I actually encourage my kids to forgive even if the other hasn’t apologised.  This would wipe out lots of marriage stuff if we were true enough to do that!

Clothe yourself with love – agape love gives love without expecting anything in return.  This love ties us together in unity.  Unity – truly that should represent marriage – but I wonder if we let other things get in and split that unity – and here the Bible says love – will bring that unity back.  Not a self gratifying love but a love that loves the other person, wants the best for the other person regardless of what is coming my way.

Lots to think about there!

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