New Mind, New Marriage And WW Linkup

Renew Your MindI’ve discovered over the years that one of the most potent ways to affect change in my heart, mind and marriage is through the process of “renewing my mind.” This is the ongoing work that the Holy Spirit does as I surrender my sinful ways to the Lord. Don’t be confused …

This doesn’t happen automatically when you become a Christian.

Even though we surrendered our hearts when we received Christ’s salvation, we must continually turn our hearts and lives over to Him daily to “work out our salvation” (see Phil. 2:12-13). The Holy Spirit works tirelessly to convict us, but we must also listen, respond and obey.

I believe there are an awful lot of flabby and struggling believers in the world, because they thought salvation was all they needed to experience the “abundant life” (see Romans 5:17 and 2 Cor. 9:8). And by “abundant life” I’m not talking about the abundance that our world provides. I’m talking about a deep and meaningful peace, contentment and joy in the Lord—even when the storms of life rage around us.

[Tweet “Trust me, I’ve been there, experienced that! #peaceinthestorm #Godisabundant”]

Here are some ways that I renew my mind …

1.  By continually reading and applying God’s word.
You won’t be able to run a marathon if you’ve never trained for one. It’s the same with our lives. And God’s word helps to train us in being Christ-like so that we can run that race before us (see Heb. 12:1-3).

If this feels overwhelming or uninteresting to you, then find a devotional or Bible study that addresses a particular need in your life. Realizing that God’s word addresses certain issues in your life can awaken your lagging motivation.

2.  By praying and praying some more!
This one is HUGE for me! I have many ways that I pray, which I’ll write about in a later post because it would take too long here. But one crucial way is through the process of praying Scripture according to certain needs in my life.

Let’s say I need to forgive someone (and who doesn’t?), then I use Scripture to guide me in crafting a prayer that includes key biblical concepts on “forgiveness.” Then I pray that prayer daily—renewing the way I think about that person in the light of Scripture day after day.

3.  By talking about my struggles with trusted friends.
Yes, this includes “confessing” especially to my husband. As I open up and share about my failures and weaknesses with my friends and in particular my husband, the fear, discouragement and shame I once felt like a noose around my neck falls to the ground.

I feel accepted and loved—warts and all!

That’s when I begin to experience the “freedom” that only comes through confession to God and other believers (see James 5:16).

[Tweet “We will fail if we try to do any spiritual exercises without our godly friendships! #renewmind”]

[Tweet “God created us to need Him, as well as, our Christian brothers and sisters! Gal. 6:2”]

If you are struggling in your marriage and feel as if nothing has worked so far, spend a season of time “renewing your mind.” And then consider whether this has positively impacted your attitude and marriage.

In fact, your spouse may wonder what’s up because you will be less self-consumed, less argumentative, less irritable, more kind, patient and merciful. That’s when your “fruits of the Spirit” will be showing … and that, my friends, can turn a marriage and life around! (Don’t get dizzy now!) 😉

What are some spiritual practices that have helped to renew your mind?

 

What is your biggest hindrance in doing some of the practices I’ve suggested?

 

Feel free to use the Character Flaw Inventory I’ve created to help you discover areas where you can work on yourself in relation to your mate.


I’d like to ask my readers and those who linkup here to please pray today for Andrew of Blessed are the Pure of Heart because he is in great pain and, if you don’t know already, is fighting a battle with a terminal condition.

Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, Wifey Wednesday, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart and Wholehearted Wednesday.

Join our Wedded Wednesday Linkup!
Add any links that are uplifting, helpful and encouraging to our spiritual lives, marriages and families! Be sure to add a link on your blog back to Wedded Wednesday or Messy Marriage as well. 😉

Messy Marriage

Find our other WW buttons and guidelines here.

Unfortunately, I’m moving into a very busy season and don’t have enough time to visit every blog that links up here. I will try to visit the blogs of those who comment here, but if I don’t, know that I appreciate the content you bring to the linkup! Thanks so much!

  • Thank you so much for this series. Staying in God’s word is a sure way of making my marriage better.

    • You’re welcome, Judith! And you are right! So many people might find this to be a pat answer, but they must try it before they decide it isn’t true. Thanks for commenting!

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  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Beth, I am here. I was able to post the links, but I have come to the end of what I can do now. I hope I will be back tomorrow, to visit other bloggers, and to comment on this excellent post.

    Did read and comprehend. Just not up to saying anything meaningful, I am sorry. It is bad now

    I don;t know how to do this, Beth. It hurts too much. Can you tell me?

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2015/09/joyride-blogbattle.html

    • I’m so sorry to hear this, Andrew. My husband and I are praying for you all throughout this day. Please let us know how you’re doing if you can later today.

      • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

        Beth, thank you so much…I’m doing the best I can, but it’s just bad, with little resiliency left. I don’t know how to keep doing this except moment by moment.

        Thank you for the prayers; they do mean a lot.

        http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2015/09/joyride-blogbattle.html

        • The only thing I know to do is pray, Andrew. I know you know that already and maybe praying right now is too hard to concentrate on, so then it is faith in the power God works through your friends prayers for you. We are surrounding You with prayer as are the arms of the Lord. He loves you deeply, my friend!

    • JosephPote

      Praying for you, Andrew! I don’t know what to say…but want you to know I do care and am praying for you.

    • I am praying for you Andrew. I don’t know how to do this…all I can say is to hold fast to Him. That’s all I know. You have many warriors lifting you up in prayer.

  • Once that fruit of the Spirit’s in full bloom, we’ll know it. Because it’ll be so unlike who we know we are deep inside without Christ. And we can be sure our nearest and dearest will take note, too … for they’ve too often seen that darker side.

    • Yes, ma’am! Sometimes it’s such a contrast to the way we operated and lived when trying to survive our marriages in our own strength that our spouses are bowled over. But I’ve also seen where the heat is only ratcheted up because the our spouse doesn’t believe it’s true. This too must draw us to our knees in total dependence on the Lord–persevering like never before! That’s why those godly friends are so very important! You know that though, don’t you, Linda! Because you are that godly friend in many people’s lives–including mine! Thanks always for your sweet encouragement. It means so much to me!

  • Very true Beth! Our perspective in life affects everything in our lives. When we get our minds right via the word of God, our marriages will experience and upward turn. I read and speak God’s word to myself a lot of times in my marriage and this helps me act like I should towards my spouse and my marriage.
    Now, while reading it I discovered a grey area I need to work on in my mind…
    Thanks a lot Beth for inspiring us once again.
    Have a super blessed rest of week!
    Love

    • Isn’t it amazing how simply sitting down to read God’s word or pray God’s word can have such an immediate and dramatic effect on softening our hearts and encouraging us in life and marriage, Ugochi?! Where would we be without the Lord? I know I would be divorced! Thankfully, that’s a path the Lord protected me from–healing my marriage in huge ways. Thanks so much for your encouragement, my friend!

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  • Mary Flaherty

    I started running and am training (with the guidance of an app on my phone) for a 5K. Maybe not a huge feat to some, but considering that I HATED running, it’s a crazy reality for me! Anyway, I noticed the other day as I moved into all running and no walking that when I first begin, I tire quickly, and I want to quit. But I press on, to coin Paul’s phrase, and suddenly, my breathing becomes more even, my pace finds a rhythm, and I’m not struggling so much. I find my momentum. Renewing my mind is like that-like you say, if something seems boring, change it up-find a devotional that speaks to you. You want to quit in the beginning because it’s hard or boring or you hate it, but if you press on, you find your momentum. It’s truly a discipline. Thanks for this, dear friend.

    • Yes, runners truly get some of the facets of “working out our salvation” and spiritual disciplines like no other people can, Mary. I do enough exercise (a bit of treadmill walking, since I’ve got a bum knee) and know what you are saying about pushing through the moments when it feels too hard. Just the other day I had a workout like that and, honestly, I also had a “workout of my faith” recently as well! I am finding greater strength and encouragement though as I meditate on God’s word, pray for all the good things He is always doing in my life and surround myself with praying friends. I’m glad I’m not running this race alone! Thanks, dear friend!

  • Mary

    The key to all is working on our relationship with God because that leads us to a renewed sense of purpose that flows out into our other relationships. I am thankful that God will provide the grace I need and in turn I need to refresh myself with His words and truths. I have mentioned before that my marriage would have turned out differently if we put God first in our lives and chose His truths to guide us through the struggles. Your words today are a good reminder anytime and are ones I need to practice consistently in my life.

    • You bring up a great point, Mary and I’d like to reverse it a bit. When we don’t renew our minds, we experience some of the troubles you probably experienced in your past marriage. We must remember the payoff for these efforts to renew our minds do not stop at our marriages. We strengthen our children, we encourage our churches, we reach more people for the Lord! There is an awful lot riding on us simply bending our knees to the Lord! Okay, I feel like I need to step off my soapbox! Got on a bit of a tare! ha! Love ya, my sweet Mary!

  • Thank you, Beth, for always sharing such great marital advice and helpful suggestions for making marriage stronger. What helps us in our marriage is obeying the Commands of Christ…not just knowing them but truly living them. HARD sometimes but so very worth it producing a sweeter, stronger union. Blessings and hugs my dear friend. xxoo

    • Yes, applying what we’ve studied is so important. We cannot look into a mirror and then walk away forgetting what we look like! Hmm, wonder who said that? 😉 Yes, it is hard–but you know that though, don’t you, Sheila! You are living proof that devotion to God is so very worth it! Love ya!

  • JosephPote

    Our relationship with Christ truly does impact every other relationship. Submitting our will to His in prayerful request that our minds be renewed and conformed to His image…that’s a prayer He is faithful to answer…and will always impact every other relationship.

    Whether it that impact deepens or distances a given relationship depends largely on the other person’s response.

    Great post, Beth!

    • You bring up a good point, Joe. This isn’t a fool-proof plan to improve your marriage. As I said to Linda below, it often can make it harder because your spouse wants to test you or topple you. And sometimes our spouses are not won over by our loving gestures, but I do believe that it’s still so very worth it because of what it does for my attitude in marriage. And if a marriage ends, you take that improved attitude into a new marriage–making it that much stronger and better! In my view, it’s a total win-win! Thanks for coming by and also for reaching out and praying for Andrew!

      • JosephPote

        Yes, asking Christ to renew our minds and transform us to His image is ALWAYS worth it!

        Thank you, Beth!

  • There is always that trap of when we are in the good times, we neglect our Bible studies and prayer life. I have been guilty of this myself. And then turning to God when times get tough. This is not good. I was not trained for the battle. It is during the ‘down times’ (if there truly are any down time) that I must be in training and preparing for battle so that when the enemy strikes, the first thing I do is turn to God in prayer and meditate on His word. That is what I have learned…the hard way;)

    • Great point, Aimee! It truly is best to prepare for these tough times when things are quiet and we have the presence of mind and emotional space to take it all in. However, humans almost always learn things the hard way! I was able to deepen my walk with the Lord in the middle of the storms and in time (more time than I expected or wanted it to take) God brought healing to my heart and marriage. It certainly is not for the faint of heart! But then we have a BIG God who is strong in our weaknesses, don’t we?! Thanks for joining the conversation, my sweet friend!

  • Beth, I agree that renewing your mind is essential to enjoying a vibrant faith. God’s Word washes away the worldly influences on our thinking, renews my hope, refreshes my faith and reminds me that God loves me. A healthy marriage is made up of two healthy people. We need to tend our souls.

    • That’s a great way to put it, Debbie–tending to our souls. We cannot hope to better the health of our marriages if we are remaining stuck in our sins and unhealthy patterns.

      And btw, the link on your Disqus profile must be old, since it doesn’t work. I just though you might want to know. Thanks so much for coming by and joining the conversation, my friend.

      • Thanks for letting me know about the link not working. It was an old one. 🙂

  • This is such a great post Beth! imagine that! It’s not (always) my husband that needs “renewing”, it’s my mind! Ha. Something to #Selah over this evening 🙂 Thanks for great tips, love the image!

    • Thank you, Ngina! I love the way you put that! Might make a good infographic you could create! 😉 Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging me!

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