As creatures designed to live life in community, it is no exaggeration to say that relationships have a profound impact on our lives. From the time we are born, it is the relationships with those around us, from parents to friends to coaches and mentors and teachers, that shape us into the people we are to become. For those who are married, there is no doubt that our relationship with our spouse can be a source of joy, struggle, happiness, bitterness, or fulfillment—and often it is a combination of these things. The relationship with our spouse is the most important human relationship in our life, yet can sometimes be one of the last things to receive our attention in an overpacked schedule. Regardless of where your marriage currently sits on the spectrum from “couldn’t be better” to “adequate” to “struggling” to “barely hanging on”, every couple can benefit from some encouragement and investment in their relationship.
I have recently become more aware of a way of living as a Christian that is far older than any ideas of mine on the subject. It is called the liturgical calendar. Basically, as I understand it, the church created a way to celebrate the life of Jesus throughout the year by means of different seasons, fasts, celebrations, and holidays. You probably know that as a part of this we have Christmas and Easter, but what I did not know is that throughout the course of one calendar year, the liturgy covers the entire life of Christ. The surprise for me was that there is a great intentionality behind it all. It wasn’t just the accumulated festivals and religiosity of the ages. Not only is there intentionality, but that intentionality is designed to where if you follow the calendar, you have over the course of one year recognized Jesus’s entire earthly ministry. I could talk more about this, and you can find a blog on it HERE, but what I really want to set the stage for is Lent.
To play out the “might happens” and “what ifs” time and again. To be consumed and strangled by thoughts of things that may never happen. To trade present joy for fearful, future, thoughts thus missing out on today.
These are the thoughts and feelings that I have when I worry, when I give into and become consumed by anxious thoughts.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the ruler, against the powers, against the world forces of the darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
Fighting against the spiritual forces of wickedness or evil. No wonder it’s so hard to fight against worry. Worry isn’t something that can be grasped and thrown away. It can’t be physically removed. It is a battle of the mind, where all sin starts, where Satan can hit the hardest, where he can create an entire world of false “truth” that affects our physical actions and our lives. This in turn ripples out and affects not only our lives but the lives and relationships of those around us. Tragically, the ones we love most end up getting the brunt of our false truth, our alternate reality.