What you value in life determines your character and your character defines who you are...
Here are 10 Core Values of Jesus as defined by himself in Matthew 6-7
1. Do the Right Things for the Right Reasons: Is your heart to be noticed by what you do by others, or by Jesus? You can do all the good works you want and if your works is based on your ego being elevated...than that is your reward.
2. Pray God's agenda...not your own! Are you asking God for your agenda to be accomplished or his?
3. The relationship you keep will make you or break you. You just might have to let go some friends that are keeping you from moving to the next step of faith and glory. Imagine if Abraham would have listened to his friends and stayed instead of listening to God and going. Your very relationships could be what is keeping you stationary and not experiencing all that God is.
4. Keep your persepective on eternal things...not temoral things. Are you more worried about the water bill than the creator of the water itself. We so often get focused on the things here and now, and those things take up our attention instead of God.
5. Don't sweat the small stuff. Are you worrying about tomorrow and what it has to offer instead of living in today?
6. God's kindgom is paramount...seek it first above all else.
7. Judge yourself before you decide to judge others. You are not perfect! Judging yourself keeps you humble and compassionate.
8. If you need something ask. If you have something give it! Try asking God for what you want...he wants to give it to you. He also wants you to be willing to give what you have! When you heart is set on him and not your stuff, you vision is clear. When you heart is set on your stuff you vision is focused on the stuff.
9. Stay true to your convictions.
10. Obdedience to God is the only sure foundation.
What do you focus on in your marriage? Your rights or your responsibilities? So many of us find ourselves focusing on our rights. It's all about what we want, what we disire and expect from our spouse. Our unmet expectations is often the source of our greatest conflicts. My wife isn't living up to what I expected of her.... my husband has let me down....so often I hear statmentst like these from couples whose marriages aren't living up to what they each expected it would. How about you? Is your marriage living up to what you dreamed. Is it meeting all your expectations? Notice how questions like these cause us to think and spotlight our desires and not those of Jesus.
Here's a question... is your marriage living up to what Jesus wants? The fact that there is next to no difference in the divorce rate of "Christians" and "non-Christians" is appalling! So why is this the case? Because our marriages don't reflect the compassion of Christ...instead they embody the conflict of Satan. Marraige quickly becomes all about me and less about what the other person wants. We are quick to anger and slow to forgive and forget...and it's because we lack the compassion and humility of Christ.
Here are some thoughts from Philippians 2:1-11
1. How do you encourage each other in the marriage? Show me a man that is encouraged by his wife who thinks he can do anything, and I will show you man that can conquer the world. On the flip side, show me a woman who is not lifted up by her husband, and I will show you a woman who is defeated. Christ has got to be the center of your encouragement in your marriage for your marriage to make it. PERIOD!
2. How do you fellowship with one another? Are you spending more time away from your wife and talking about your wife to your friends than you are her? Women, are you spending more time at your prayer group talking to them about your husband instead of talking to him? Men, what have you placed as priority in front of your wife? Women, are you children top priority over your husband? Just because you may be a mother doesn't mean you stop being a wife. God first, Husband & Marriage second, Kids third....so many marriages are destroyed because of the priority of the kids have become first...Let me just ask this question...do you really want your kids to grow up in a broken marriage so they can learn from your example? Is that the priority you want for your children? If your marriage is going to make it you have to fellowship with one another. Jesus own words...where two or more are gathered in my name I am THERE...
3. How much compassion do you show? The real question is how forgiving are you...or do you hold your spouses mistakes over their head? Do you create an expectation of your spouse that they can't never live up to and thats why it seems they are always letting you down? Here is a reality check. If you were to stand next to Jesus would you be mistaken for his twin? NOT AT ALL!!! You are not that great! Humility creates compassion. Remembering how you have been forgiven causes humility. If you marriage is going to make it you need to have the compassion and the forgiveness of Christ as your focus.
4. Are you seeking your ambitions or your spouses? At the end of the day most marriages look like this...one person has given up his or her dream for the other person. They put their ambitions on the back bunner, and here's the reality...most people will hold resentment as a result. Men... 9 times out of 10, your spouse is not that interested in watching you do something like fishing or playing video games. She may say with a smile on her face she is...but she is BORED out of her mind. Women....men don't want to want to do the dishes. When both spouses are seeking each others ambitions its amazing how those ambitions seem to open up to Jesus. Your spouse is your help mate and you have a purpose that Jesus has set before you. Always remember that.