Last week during my quiet time the Lord began to talk to me about identity in Christ, and how it helps me become a better wife.
I don’t become a better wife because I work hard at it (though work is good). I become a better wife when I rest in the revelation of what Christ has already accomplished for me, when I understand who I am in Him already.
Jesus already set the foundation for everything I am supposed to become.
My deepest desire should be “Lord help me understand who I am in you” For once I know who I am in Him, I can overcome challenges because I have a solid foundation.I don't become a better wife because I work hard at it (though work is good). I become a better wife when I rest in the revelation of what Christ has already accomplished for me, when I understand who I am in Him already.
Looking to my husband to help define my identity in Christ as a wife
However, somewhere between the beautiful courtship and the excitement of the early days, wives start looking at their husbands as their primary source of worth and identity. We rarely notice the gradual slide until hubby stops responding the way we want him to.
It’s frustrating, trying to get your worth from a fellow human being because humans don’t have the capacity to fill another human. Only God can.
Then there’s the enemy of our souls who capitalizes on our real human need for love and affirmation.
Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Identifying the lies about my identity in Christ
As I prayed last week, I thought about the issues we face in marriage and life and how they can be traced back to a failure to rest in our identity as God’s children.
We believe lies about our identity in Christ as wives and they diminish our ability to have a Christ centered marriage.
Here are examples we tell ourselves and what God says.
The lie: I will never get the hang of marriage..
But the Bible says
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control 2 Timothy 1:7
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
I am nothing..
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
I have no future..
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
God has forsaken me, I will always struggle..
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
God does not love me..
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
I have blown it, my sin is unpardonable..
Romans 8: 38 – 39
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I cannot overcome temptation and sin..
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
My marriage will fail..
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
Isaiah 55: 11
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;it shall not return to me empty,but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
I cannot forgive my husband..
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Alongside the Word
God reveals our identity through His Word. And then it’s up to us to take the Word and run with it. In other words, align our lives according to the Word so the Word bears fruit.
Here are ways to run with the Word of God.
1. Watch your environment.
e.g If you are trying to overcome low self-esteem, poring over glossy fashion magazines and watching TV shows will not help your cause.
So alongside reading the Word, you must remove certain things from your life.
AND add things that help you believe the Word. Like good positive (Biblical) music, good books, good friends, attending church and fellowship e.t.c.
2. Be intentional
Create time to read the Word – study it, memorize it, write it down and then keep it near. Stick it on the door of your fridge or wall or somewhere close for quick reference. Sometimes we want God to move but we’ll not even move our own feet!Sometimes we want God to move but we'll not even move our own feet!
3. Use the Word as my weapon.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.” 2 Corinthians 10: 3 When the lies come, resist the temptation to fight back in your own power.
I have found it to be extremely powerful, that whenever a thought that contradicts God’s promise to me enters my mind (e.g “You will never build schools or healthcare facilities, you will never have the resources, people will laugh at you”) to absolutely refuse to debate with it.
I simply find the verses I wrote down about the promise of God and speak them aloud. Use the Word, That word you read in the morning, speak it out aloud.
Our fight isn’t against flesh and blood – you can’t defeat the enemy with peppy positive thoughts. You can’t debate with him because that’s all he does – debate, find little cracks to plant the seed of doubt.
So speak the Word of God instead. Aloud. So you can hear it.
4. Form alliances
One person might receive healing after praying in a room while someone else will need to see a doctor to receive the same healing.
It’s the same Word at work, delivered differently. Don’t question God, just be obedient and talk to the people God wants you to talk to – pastors, mentors, medical professionals.
My self image issues
I need to rest in the identity I have as a child of God.
I need the reminder as much as you do. I was in the middle of writing this post last week when I pulled my husband in front of a mirror and asked him
“Babe, I am fat aren’t I?”
I have added a few extra pounds the last few months (poor eating, hormones ).
I pinched and turned and posed, emphasizing – in case he hadn’t noticed – how much weight I had gained. My husband didn’t know what to say. Or he was just wise enough to think through what I was actually asking. (Yes, it’s the latter).
As I waited to hear from my husband, the Spirit of God caught up with me.
Facts don’t always communicate the whole truth. I might be a little chubby but I am still loved by God and my sweet man with the same sweet love.
My heart lurched and I dragged my husband back in front of the mirror. I point at my reflection and declare “Babe, I am fearfully and wonderfully made!“.
My husband laughed, encouraged me, we (let me say, he) moved on.
So there’s a behind-the-scenes look at my life! I need to remember who God says I am so I can stand strong in the face of challenges..and life!
Confused about what it means to be Christ-centered woman seeking to build a Christ-centered marriage? Let me help you! Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After In The Early Years will set you on that road. Buy it here Amazon Paperback I Kindle I Barnes & Noble I PDF I UK/Europe PDF . Or Click here to go to the book page.