Receiving, A Way Of Life Part 2
by Annette Schwab
(Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)
Want to read part 1 of this lesson on receiving? Click here!
We all have different ways of responding to receiving and sometimes that response varies depending on what it is we are receiving.
My responses vary depending upon a few things. Some of this may be how am I feeling about me:
Am I seeing myself how Jesus sees me or am I thinking about my past?
If I am thinking about my past then the odds are pretty good I am not going to receive my present or even future very well. If I am feeling secure and confident that Jesus and my husband love me then I will more than likely be a better receiver.
Sometimes it also depends on what I am having to receive.
I personally find it difficult at times to receive correction. The reason for this is I am tempted to not see myself how Jesus sees me. The problem is there is one item I am being corrected on and 10 items that I am feeling guilty for. So, when Jesus or someone who loves me comes to correct me on the one item, I am in overload because there are 9 other things that Jesus or my husband are not unhappy with.
I am unhappy because I am being too hard on myself.
If we do not look at ourselves rightly we miss opportunities to work on the issues that are really important. Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV) says it well "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
If the burden is heavy and unbearable it is probably not His burden. It is not to say that Jesus does not give us hard things to do, but He gives us grace for our difficulties so that even in difficulty He will make our yoke or the pulling weight of the load easy and our burden light. When we are taking on more than Jesus intended, we are putting on a yoke or burden we were not intended to carry.
We will find as we learn to receive better from others they will receive better from us. There is a scripture in Galatians 6:7 (NIV) that talks about this. It says "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows."
I believe If you sow submission you will reap submission but if you sow discord you will reap discord.
If we want our children to receive love and correction from us, the best
way to assist with this is to be good examples by receiving from Jesus and our husbands as well as other authority figures in our life.
What do you do when you are faced with opportunities to receive? Do you shrink back from them or do you walk confidently towards these opportunities?
To pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ, we must receive His free gift of salvation as something He is giving to us because He loves us, Not something to be earned. There is nothing we can do to deserve such a precious gift, and aside from rejecting it, there is nothing we can do to mess up this gift or make it invalid.
After we receive His gift of salvation we are called to receive Him as Lord, meaning to give every area of our life over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. A great scripture that describes our new life in Christ is Galatians 2:20 (NIV) which says "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
Receiving should be a way of life.
If we are not receiving from the people who love us, we are not showing respect to them. If we did not grow up in a home where receiving was a way of life we might find it tough to start receiving. This may be difficult for us, but not impossible.
Also there may be some things we receive better than others. For instance, some of us may feel more comfortable receiving gifts than we do encouragement or we might receive encouragement better than correction. Over all, Jesus wants us to be able to receive anything He chooses to offer us.
He uses the people closest to us to help us see our strengths and our weaknesses.
In marriage, receiving from our spouse is a way to show respect. It is not always easy to receive from those closest to us because those individuals are usually the most willing to be brutally honest with us. This can sometimes hurt, but also is very necessary.
Proverbs 27:6 (NIV) says "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." In order to grow we do not need people who just candy coat things, we need people that will tell us the truth even if it hurts.Some questions to ponder:
- Are there certain things you receive better than others?
- What could you do differently to be a better receiver?
- Is there something that you have hesitated to receive from God or your husband?
Receiving, A Way Of Life Part 1 of 2
by Annette Schwab
I believe receiving is a very important part of any relationship, especially in marriage. We need to receive and value our husbands. One way to honor our husbands is to receive from them. I know we are sometimes taught men are tough and in need of nothing but they were created by the same God we were and though their physical and emotional make up is very different, there are also quite a few similarities. Some of those similarities are they want to be valued and accepted. Accepting our husbands is a form of receiving.
You may be thinking, " but how can I receive from my husband, he is not even a Christian?" God gives those who are in authority over us wisdom and so even a unsaved or unconvinced husband can still be head of the household and still worthy of receiving from. Also, If we would treat our unsaved husbands with love and respect we can even evidentially win them over to Christ. I don't mean win them over by hitting them over the head with a Bible or arguing with them. What I am talking about is explained in 1 Peter 3:1-2 (Amplified Bible) "IN LIKE manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them, so that even if any do not obey the Word of God, they may be won over not by discussion but by the godly lives of their wives, When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him--to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband". So we as wives have an awesome responsibility not to be taken lightly.
Recently I received a brutally honest answer to a question I asked my husband, Mark. We were talking about gifts for Christmas, etc. My husband replied that you are the gift I want for Christmas or any occasion. I want you to believe the best about you. This means he wants me to see myself the way God sees me and wants me to look at my past, present, and future the way God looks at it. When I do this, he will have all of me which is what he really wants.
When we are harboring guilt, unforgiveness, or bitterness, we end up not showing the real us to those around us. We end up carrying excess baggage which was never Jesus' intention for us.
I really have to give Mark an I.O.U. this year for this gift but it has got me thinking what ways I am not seeing myself the way the Lord sees me? What ways am I not believing the best? What parts of me have I not surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and my husband? I am not talking instant success here but rather a change of heart and attitude. I believe one of the best gifts you can give your husband is to receive from him. Acts 20:35 (NIV) says "It is more blessed to give than to receive." How well do you give? If you want to be a better giver you must first become a better receiver because you cannot give away what you don't have.
Questions to ponder:
How well do you receive from Jesus, your spouse, and others?
What changes can you make in your life to help you become a better receiver?