This week, we have a guest post by Alexi George, the pastor of the Adoor Vineyard. By following the references in blue you can open up more articles by Alexi.
Heads down, droopy eyed, they sat in my office completely shattered. They were holding on to a small thread of hope. From two different backgrounds, with so much going against them, they fell in love. After battling with their families for almost a year, they finally got married. Just a few months into the marriage, they realized that their struggles are too much for them to bear.
Not only did they come into the relationship with lots of baggage of their own, they also piled on more as they both fought with their families. In their minds they have done nothing wrong. All others are guilty of so much against these two.
I sat there and wished I could solve everything for them with a prayer, but I know it doesn’t work that way. There is a long road ahead of them, but there is certainly hope. There are three things that I believe that will help them. During my time with them, I tried my best to instill these practices into them, and to get started on those things.
- Clear the way
Many people struggle with issues that hinder and block their forward movement. I encouraged this couple to adopt a lifestyle of forgiveness. Genuinely forgive those who have hurt you in the past. If you have done wrong to others, ask for their forgiveness. This may take several days or weeks, but take the effort to begin clearing your past with forgiveness.
Do the same for the road ahead. You can clear many potential roadblocks up ahead by having a lifestyle of forgiveness. To describe such an attitude, I’ve used the term pre-forgiveness. When you deal with difficult people, go with the expectation that you will need to forgive that person. Thus you won’t be taken off guard. You are approaching the situation with the expectation that you will need to forgive. With this concept, I helped the couple to clear the way.
- Set some patterns
Next, I wanted them to get on track to hear God’s voice on a regular basis. I gave them a simple pattern for daily prayer and meditation. That pattern only has three steps. It’s simple and uncluttered. Anyone can do this by just spending ten minutes each day.
As you regularly spend time with God, the Holy Spirit will touch your heart and connect your Bible reading and prayer with the issues you face in life. This healthy combination will help you get on track with a solid foundation.
- Stay connected
Finally I insisted that they stay properly connected with the local church. They need to regularly hear the teaching that their pastor gives in the church. Learn to apply what you learn to your daily lives. In your times of personal meditation, God will speak to you, but He will also speak through spiritual leaders as well. This will provide sufficient balance for you in your walk.
The local church is also a great opportunity to receive care. This couple will face many challenges in their lives, but a well connected relationship with the local church will provide the care they need. The Christian life does not need to be a lonely life. it can be enriched with good connections through small groups.
I continue to remember and pray for that couple. Although they are part of another church, I have provided them with three important steps for ongoing spiritual health.
Join the discussion and add your thoughts. What have you learned?
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Books by Alexi George: