Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
In her book Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter, Janet Thompson describes the anguish she and her husband, Dave, faced with a daughter in crisis. Out of their experiences came blessings, for the Lord knows how to bless us amid our burdens; and one of those blessings was a closer marriage. “We can let a prodigal daughter be a bitter dividing force,” Janet wrote, “or she can actually draw us closer together when we realize that the same love that brought this child into our world—whether by birth or adoption—will see us through…. A prodigal doesn’t always negatively affect a couple. Any crisis my husband and I have gone through together has only strengthened our marriage and commitment to each other.”
Every marriage faces difficult days. How important to let the pressure push us together, to humbly confess our hurts, to pray together, and to seek to edify the other. Hard times can push us apart, but that’s not the best way. It’s not God’s way. Even in the most difficult times in marriage, we are capable of growing closer to each other in the Lord.
A Single Thought: Listen to others not to respond, but to understand.
The Habit of Keeping a Clear Conscience
…strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men. —Acts 24:16
God’s commands to us are actually given to the life of His Son in us. Consequently, to our human nature in which God’s Son has been formed (see Galatians 4:19), His commands are difficult. But they become divinely easy once we obey.
Conscience is that ability within me that attaches itself to the highest standard I know, and then continually reminds me of what that standard demands that I do. It is the eye of the soul which looks out either toward God or toward what we regard as the highest standard. This explains why conscience is different in different people. If I am in the habit of continually holding God’s standard in front of me, my conscience will always direct me to God’s perfect law and indicate what I should do. The question is, will I obey? I have to make an effort to keep my conscience so sensitive that I can live without any offense toward anyone. I should be living in such perfect harmony with God’s Son that the spirit of my mind is being renewed through every circumstance of life, and that I may be able to quickly “prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2 ; also see Ephesians 4:23).
God always instructs us down to the last detail. Is my ear sensitive enough to hear even the softest whisper of the Spirit, so that I know what I should do? “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…” (Ephesians 4:30). He does not speak with a voice like thunder— His voice is so gentle that it is easy for us to ignore. And the only thing that keeps our conscience sensitive to Him is the habit of being open to God on the inside. When you begin to debate, stop immediately. Don’t ask, “Why can’t I do this?” You are on the wrong track. There is no debating possible once your conscience speaks. Whatever it is— drop it, and see that you keep your inner vision clear.
The message of the prophets is that although they have forsaken God, it has not altered God. The Apostle Paul emphasizes the same truth, that God remains God even when we are unfaithful (see 2 Timothy 2:13). Never interpret God as changing with our changes. He never does; there is no variableness in Him. Notes on Ezekiel, 1477 L