Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Matthew 8:23-27 (NIV)
The presence of the storm does not mean the absence of God. This passage mirrors the storms we experience in life. When we face trials, we may be tempted to panic, but if we have Jesus in our boat with us, he models peace in the midst of the storm. He does not expect us to calm the storm; he only expects us to put our faith and trust in him.
If we do not have him in the boat with us, then we have the opportunity to invite him in as we face storms and choose to trust his power and receive his peace.
Question #1: How do I respond when I tell my spouse what my needs are and they choose not to listen to them?
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. - Ephesians 5:25 (MSG)
Rather than focusing on what you are not getting out of your relationship, turn your attention to the needs that you can meet for your partner. Christ modeled love for us as the kind that is marked by giving, not getting. If you feel your needs are not being met, first look for ways to serve and sow good seeds to affect the change you want to see within your relationship.
Question #2: What should the focus be for singles who want to start dating but have not found a person who captivates them?
God took the Man and set him down in the Garden of Eden to work the ground and keep it in order. - Genesis 2:15 (MSG)
We must first be faithful with what we have been entrusted. We need to work and cause the ground around us to be fruitful and flourish. Relationships cannot thrive in an atmosphere that lacks peace and safety, so we must create order in our lives so our relationships can thrive.
Question #3: Can you speak on 2 Corinthians 6:14 and the concept of being unequally yoked?
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? - 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV)
God’s grace is sufficient but he does not eliminate the natural consequence of our actions.
When oxen are yoked together, if their strengths are not comparable, one ox’s faster pace may cause the weaker one to stumble. As the stronger ox carries on, the yoke may cause injury or even death to the weaker one. This gives us a picture of what can happen when you partner with someone who is at a different level of strength than you in any area of life. This principle is about protecting people from the harm that can happen through unequally yoked relationships.
Question #4: How do you rebuild broken trust within a relationship or marriage?
It is impossible to have a healthy relationship without trust. God understands how it feels to be in a broken relationship - even He broke his covenant with Israel because of their unfaithfulness (Jeremiah 3:8).
Adultery, abuse, and abandonment are the scriptural justifications for divorce; however it is also possible to rebuild a relationship through the power of Christ, even after such great betrayals of trust.
Should you find yourself in a relationship where trust has been broken, take refuge in God first, not man (Psalm 118:8). Learn to acknowledge God, lean not on your own understanding, and allow him to direct your path back to righteousness (Proverbs 3:5-6). Extend grace to the other person and trust in God to rebuild the relationship; do not attempt to rebuild trust on your own terms and timing.
Reconciliation does not automatically mean trust. However, God can heal and restore any relationship where trust may have been broken. Sometimes bones that have been broken can heal to become even stronger than they were before the break.
When we experience pain, rejection or betrayal from other people, we have the opportunity to choose: we can either be buried in the pain, or stand on top of it to rise up. The same power that resurrected Christ from the cross lives in us.
Action Items: Think about any residual rejection or hurt which you may be carrying, and ask Jesus to restore you so that you can stand on top of your pain as an overcomer.