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Wednesday, March 30, 2016
You have the chance to agree with heaven's definition of who your spouse is.
By the title, of course, I don't mean whose name appears on your marriage license. I mean do you know who they really are; who God created them to be? Can you see him or her the way heaven does?
This is a follow up to last week's "Who Are You?" post.
So why spend time discussing identity on a marriage blog? It's because identity is one of those hidden forces that affects your marriage every day. It's foundational.
Your identity affects how you view yourself and others. It affects how you (or how you don't) express and receive love. Believing lies about your identity will hold you back in your marriage, your career, parenting, ministry and every other dimension of your life in which God wishes you to thrive.
Who is Your Spouse?
Yes, it's important to understand who God says you are. It's also really important to understand who God says your spouse is.
Do you look at your spouse as God does? Who is he/she at the core of their being? It's a hugely important question.
Your spouse's identity affects the way you interact with each other on a daily basis.
- What says "I love you" to him or her.
- What are his or her aspirations and dreams?
- What makes him or her feel joy?
- What causes him or her to feel valued and appreciated?
Seeking to Change and Control
I'll come right out and say this, because it's important. Identity fraud doesn't just come from the enemy. It can also come from our own spouse.
There is a natural tendency in marriage to try and change or control our spouses so they conform to who we want them to be. We all do it from time to time. Most often this revolves around trying to get our needs met in some way or to get him or her to love us in the way we want to be loved.
We've probably all heard that trying to change your spouse is mostly futile. You can't actually control someone else. You may be successful at manipulating their behavior to suit your expectations and wants for a short time, but in the long term it's just not sustainable, and it isn't love.
More than likely, in truth, trying to control or change our spouses will often produce the very opposite of what we want.
Agreeing with God
Ultimately, your goal should be to agree with the true identity God has placed in your spouse.
I wrote last time about the two kinds of truth we want to agree with. There are those important universal truths that describes our identity in Christ as believers. And then there are the truths about your spouse as an individual. It's important to have an understanding of both.
There's more to tapping into your spouse's identity than just being a careful observer. Sure that can help, but if that is all your rely on, it equates behavior with identity, and we all know that we sometimes act out of an immature expression of our identity. When you know who your spouse really is at the core of their being, you have the opportunity to spur him or her on to walk in their true identity.
Knowing your spouse's true identity is what allows you to have grace toward them when their actions fail to line up with who they really are.
You have the opportunity to be a powerful ally with heaven in reminding your spouse of the truth.
Here is a great song about identity by Jason Gray, "Remind Me Who I Am."
Can't see the video? Watch it here.
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