(My devotions will focus on marriage for the month of February. If you’re not married, I encourage you to read them anyway! If you have a heart…then this one is for you tooJ And while you’re reading, pray for your friends that are married. Believe me, they will appreciate it. Also, give a special blessing by passing these devotions along to them! Here we go…)
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many,” (Hebrews 12:15 NLT).
One of the most common reasons for a wife to withhold love and affection from her husband is unforgiveness. [tweetherder][/tweetherder]A seed of resentment can grow into a well established root of bitterness that produces hurtful words and destroys a marriage like kudzu on a beautiful hillside. Maybe you’ve been hurt. Maybe you feel that your husband doesn’t deserve encouraging words or affectionate touches. After all, what’s he done to encourage you lately?
A young lady went to my friend, Florence Littaeur, with a tale of hostility toward her husband. As she poured out all his misdeeds, they seemed so trivial that Florence asked her when her feelings of hatred had started. She replied quickly, “I was mad at him before we even got married.”
She went on to explain that her fiancé had written a letter instructing her to find a car for their honeymoon trip. She had answered that it was his responsibility to provide transportation and besides, his family had three cars while hers had only one. He made it clear: “If you want to marry me, you had better find a car!” She found a car, but she vowed she would never forget his injustice.
She looked up at Florence with bitterness lining her face and said, “In case you don’t believe me, I’ll show you the letter he wrote.” She reached into her handbag and pulled out a worn and tattered envelope that had moved from bag to bag for ten years. As she handed it to Florence she said, “I always carry it with me so I won’t forget.”
I doubt that any of us carry around a letter in our purses or our pockets, but I wonder how many of us carry around a letter in our hearts – the real love pocket. The writer of Hebrews warns, “Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many,” (Hebrews 12:15 NLT). A bitter root is one that produces bitter fruit. A bitter heart is one that produces a bitter woman with bitter words.
Jesus reminds us: “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briars. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:43). [tweetherder][/tweetherder]What determines the fruit of a tree? The root – bitter or sweet.
So, what’s in your “love pocket?” What’s in your heart? Do you have any list of wrongs that need to be destroyed? Any past offense that needs to be tossed? Any sin against you that needs to be tossed into the deepest of seas where God has tossed yours? It’s time to clean out your pockets. Are you willing to let it go?
Lord, my love pocket is full of old messy stuff. That’s just the best way to describe it. I’m cleaning it out today. Just like my purse gets full of gum wrappers, receipts, and to-do lists, my heart gets full of bitterness and resentment. So today, I’m cleaning it out. Particularly, I am cleaning out any resentment I’ve stored up against my husband – great or small. Out it goes. Hallelujah! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What do you Think?
Just for fun, clean out your purse today. As you look at all that trash, envision cleaning out your heart.
Look up the following verses and note what you learn about forgiveness and unforgiveness.
Just for fun, click over to my blog page and tell me what trash you cleaned out of your purse at www.localhost/sjold. I’ll go first: gum wrappers (I’m a big gum chewer!), old grocery lists, 4 receipts that needed to be filed away.
February is the month of love and a wonderful time to contemplate our marriages. Do you want to become the woman of your husband’s dreams? The woman who makes him sorry to leave in the morning and eager to come home at night? Then you’ll want to read Becoming the Woman of His Dreams for an insightful look at the wonderful, unique, and God-ordained role only you have in your husband’s life. But today’s devotion doesn’t just pertain to marriage, it pertains to life! For more on the scope of forgiveness, see Your Scars are Beautiful to God to learn more about how to let go of past pain and embrace the present purpose.
And if you want to add a little spark to your marriage, join me for my 14-day Romancing Your Man Challenge. Click here to learn more, sign up, and to start receiving your 14-day challenge!