Encouragement for Today - September 3, 2012


Melanie Chitwood

September 3, 2012

Making the Hard Choice
Melanie Chitwood

"'Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.'" Isaiah 43:18-19 (NAS)

Several years after a friend weathered a huge storm in her marriage, I asked her, "How do you not remember and not get angry all over again when you're reminded of the hurt your husband caused you?"

Her answer was simple but not easy: "I choose to believe that God loves me, my husband, and my children. And I choose to trust God."

The key word here is "choose." Today's key verse from Isaiah 43:18-19 is also about choosing. In our marriages, we can choose to remember the hurtful times, or we can choose not "to call to mind the former things."

Let's look at some real-life examples where we can choose to look ahead rather than behind:

I can choose ...
to forgive my husband for forgetting my birthday.
not to repeat in my mind the hurtful words my husband said in the heat of an argument.
to appreciate my husband for what he does now, rather than wishing he'd send me flowers like he did in the beginning of our marriage.
to be merciful and gracious when my husband loses money in an unwise investment.
not to hold grudges.
to forgive my husband for unfaithfulness.
not to wonder if I married the right man.

We can make choices like these every day in our marriages, and as we do, I believe we will see God do something new and miraculous in our marriages. After all, He's the God who makes a "roadway in the wilderness" and "rivers in the desert" as Isaiah 43:18-19 says.

I saw my friend choose to trust God during the storm in her marriage. Then, over and over again, I've seen her choose to look ahead to the new things God promises to do in her marriage, rather than dwell on the hurts of the past.

I'm inspired by my friend's ability to rejoice over the new life God brought to her marriage. As our conversation concluded she said, "What we went through was absolutely heartbreaking, but I prayed to see it through God's eyes. I believe that God can make all things new, that God can work all things to our good if we believe in Him. God transformed our marriage as I rested in Him and trusted Him."

He did it for my friend and her marriage. He can do it for you and your marriage too.

Dear Lord, I rejoice that You make all things new! You can even raise a dead marriage to new life. I choose to look ahead, not behind, in my marriage. I choose not to call to mind hurt from the past. I can't wait to see what good things You bring to my marriage as I trust and obey You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

What a Husband Needs from His Wife and What a Wife Needs from Her Husband by Melanie Chitwood

Reflect and Respond:
Right now, what hurt or anger can you leave behind so God can do something new in your marriage? Pray now, confessing to God that you've been holding on to hurts of the past, and ask Him to begin a new work in your marriage.

What role does fear play in your inability to look ahead in your marriage?

Do you trust God to do something new in your marriage?

Power Verses:
Matthew 19:26, "...Jesus said to them, 'With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" (NAS)

Ephesians 4:22, 23, "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, ... to be made new in the attitude of your minds." (NIV 1984)

Ephesians 4:32, "Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." (NLT)

© 2012 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Originally published Monday, 03 September 2012.