And said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 18:3
Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter. - Luke 18:17
Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. -Matthew 18:4
What is Jesus telling us to do in the above text? Regarding your relationship with God what would this look like? Regarding your relationship to your husband, what would this look like?
One of my favorite things to witness is a couple who has been together for many years enjoying each others company like children do. When I'm in a restaurant I always notice when there is an older couple and I can tell right away if they have a playful relationship. It always does my heart good to see them still enjoying each others company as if they are young again and still in love.
What are some positive changes that have taken place in you since your relationship with your husband began? What about your husband, what positive changes has he made? Have you ever tried to change something about each other? How did that work?
One of first things God pressed on me when we were struggling in our marriage was that I could no longer focus on my husband and how he needed to change? I needed to focus on myself and get out of God's way. If God needed my husband to change in anyway, He was in charge of making that happen. I was not. I needed to move myself out of the way and learn to be softer and quieter, more childlike in my approach to him. Not to lower myself, but so that God could be heard over me. I was the voice in my husbands ear far too many times when God was trying to be the voice.
I needed to learn to have that childlike faith in the Father. I needed to learn to be humble and trusting. I needed to get myself out of the way and focus on my relationship with God first. I humbled myself like a child and handed my husband over as well. If I wanted to see a real change in our relationship, I had to trust that God would do right by us both.
My fondest memories of my husband are when he does act like a child. I don't mean he thinks like a child and makes decisions like a child. I mean he loves me with a pure love that is free. When he scoops me up in his arms, knowing I'll wiggle a little because my love language isn't touch and his is. He holds on tight and while it makes me a bit uncomfortable, it's when I give in that he's at his sweetest. Just the other day he was aggravating me and I pretended to karate chop at him. He wrapped his arms tight around me and I put my hand up like a blade to his neck and said, 'watch out, I've got a mean throat punch" and as my hand touched his neck he laughed and said, "that tickles, if that is what your throat punches feel like you can do it more often." I swear he sounded like a 7 year old but I got tickled at his playfulness. Sometimes, we just need to be like little children with each other, pretending or playing in such a fashion that it makes the stress of the world disappear. My favorite thing to do is to make him laugh, I don't know why he thinks I'm so funny but sometimes he just laughs. Those moments are the ones that mean the most to us.
The Lord has been speaking to me a great deal lately on being more childlike in my relationships with my husband and my children. It's hard to be childlike with my kids and be the adult in charge because I am their parent, I handle their lives as if they are the most important thing in the world but nothing matters more to my children than the moments when I get down on their level and play. I get to know them best on their level of play and thinking. They get to see the child in me that is still there. With all that, their respect grows for me because they know I care about them on a level that is deeper than just being "mom". The same goes for my husband. Inside of him is that little boy who didn't have it so easy growing up. Inside of my husband, that big man, that great man of God, is a boy who loved his big wheel, cherished his hot wheels, loved to fish, and loved to explore nature. Inside of me is that little girl who loved her dolls, loved to climb trees and build things, loved to pretend and play. Sometimes those children just need to play together.
Inside you and your husband, there is the same. I would be willing to bet that guards would come down, stress levels would decrease, and tension would melt away if we could all, for a moment, be like little children. As wives, we can humble ourselves and let God work on our husbands. In the meantime, we need to be His child. We need to let Him love us, and us Him the way children should love and be loved. We need to trust and have faith in such a pure way that we can see only the love our Father has for us. He loves our husbands the same way. Pray with me.
Daddy God, thank you. Thank You for loving us the way a Father is supposed to love. Thank You for loving us so much that You created us to be loved. My husband and I are both Your children. Lord, show us and teach us what it means to be children in Your kingdom. Show us how to do Your work here in this life journey as adults but also to love each other with such a pure love. Show us how to enjoy each others company and spirits. Give us wisdom to understand the child that is inside each of us. Help us to approach each other with the kind of love that mimics Your own for us. Helps us to be forgiving and understand. Help us to be resilient when we are hurt. Help us to give each other the kind of love that we both deserve to experience in this life together. Jesus thank you for being our friend and showing us how important our relationship is in the Kingdom work here. We know that we can not save the marriages of others, but we certainly can be an example of what is possible when a couple clings to you like children cling to their Father or Mother. Spirit impart on us wisdom and grace, give us discernment for each others needs. Thank you for all that you have provided. I claim your healing power over my marriage today. In Jesus Mighty name, Amen.
I am married to my high school sweetheart. We've been pressing ahead together for over 24 years. We have 5 beautiful children; 3 by my own body and 2 through foster to adopt. I wrote this Bible study in 2009, years ago, for myself and shared it on my blog. It is very dear to my heart. It's been tweaked and edited many times and I'm proud to be bringing it back to you. Over the years I received countless emails from women who credited this study with changing their marriage for the better. Since removing it from my old blog I have received just as many emails asking when it would return. I hope you enjoy spending your time in God's Word with me.