Pastor Phil Ayres from Kingdomcity joins Mel and Jeziel in the studio to share wisdom on marriage and relationships. Phil has a passion for growing strong families, and is a goldmine of knowledge and advice. Phil says his passion stems from enduring many difficult years of marriage. After weathering the storm, his marriage is now stronger than ever, and he loves to share his expertise on marriage, relationships, and healthy homes.
Last week we looked at supernatural marriage, and the key postures of the heart that attract God’s help in our relationships. This week Phil brought us the idea of “happy heart, healthy home”.
From Proverbs 4:23 TPT
“So above all, guard of the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life”
Often we think that life functions due to external circumstances. People, events and situations that happen to you. but this verse explains that life comes from the overflow from what is in your heart. So you must guard your heart. More importantly, you must be the guardian of our attitudes. It’s not your spouse’s responsibility to look after that. Even if you’re experiencing trying circumstances, it’s not that you can’t respond, you just need to remember you need to own it.
What are the factors that harden my heart?
- Our own human nature
- Familiarity and entitlement
- Being offended
When we look at human nature, our instinct is to protect ourselves. We unconsciously put ourselves first in most situations. It takes intentional development to fight against that. Form James 4:2 MSG:
“… you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves…”
A marriage requires the couple to prefer the other person before themselves. So guarding your emotions when dealing with conflict helps to stop you from reacting out of instinctive self focus.
Familiarity and Entitlement
Having a sense of familiarity or entitlement gives us permission to function without seeing the consequences. Conversely, it also stops us from seeing the value of the person you’re acting that way towards. Consequently, you function from your rights, rather than your relationship. But what does that mean, your “rights”? This verse from 1 Corinthians 10:23 NKJV may shed some light on it:
“‘I am allowed to do anything’ – but not everything is good for you, or beneficial”
Sure, you have a right to act like that, but you shouldn’t.
Feeling that you have a right to be offended, or to use anger to punish the other person. It’s an offence that narrows out ability to be objective to resolve problems. When in doubt, look to Proverbs 17:9 NLT
“Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends”
So here’s some questions to reflect on:
- Am I the guardian of my heart? Or do I tend to blame my spouse?
- Do I choose forgiveness instead of letting go?
- Am I putting my relationship before my rights?
For all of Ps. Phil’s advice, check out the podcast: