Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cheap Substitutes

We are living in a dayof synthetics. Imitations, counterfeits, and artificial abound. Unfortunately, it fits in our plastic world. Let's face it, we've grown accustomed to cheap substitutes. Synthetic materials have become so perfected they are often actually preferred by many! The phone appears so real you have to examine closely or you're fooled. But when the bottom line is drawn, the genuine is always more valuable than any substitute.

We're going to look at a set of substitutes that are damaging to marriages. Things that are put on the outside to cover up what's missing on the inside. Cheap substitutes that wives and husbands are tempted to use instead of genuine qualities thatmake a marriage strong and stable.

Substitutes Wives Often Use (we'll go over in detail in the future):

Manipulation - to control or play upon by unfair or insidious means, especially to one's own advantage or to serve one's own purpose.

Unattractive adornment - substituting external appeal for internal beauty.

Learning rather than doing - learning more truth is a poor and cheap substitute for stopping and putting into action the truth already learned.

Substitutes Men Often Use (we'll go over in detail in the future):

Enter provider... exit lover - providing a living instead of sharing a life.

The intimidator - demanding instead of managing.

The great smother-up - smothering instead of honoring.

A checklist - how can you tell if you're using substitutes?

To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit, not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3)

That's an inspired checklist from God. Substitutes disrupt harmony. if there is irritation and disharmony, you are probably substituting. Substituting stops the flow of sympathy, resentment builds up in its place. Kindness ceases and hurts begin. Humility is replaced with selfishness. Insults occur as arguments increase. Ultimately instead of building up each other, an erosion in the marriage transpires as cheap substitutes finally take their toll...

Challenge: Look at any cheap substitutes you may have bought into or fallen into and get back to the things that really matter. Take an honest inventory of where you need to sacrificially invest into your partner's life or talk about things even if they're unpleasant to move forward and make your marriage the awesome marriage God wants it to be!

Recommended reading and where this excerpt is from:
Strike the Original Match, Chuck Swindoll

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great blog! It's so important to always be looking to find ways to "better" your marriage, and I'm so glad you have this. I look forward to to reading your words of wisdom. Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I am truly, truly blessed!