Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.
This is the season of MERRY—at least, it is supposed to be! The value of a merry heart to our body is like the value of a merry marriage to a family—to a culture. A happy home is one to be desired, always. However, sometimes in marriage, the hustle and busyness, the rush, the expectations, the schedule----all can make for potentially explosive situations. The merry alludes us---and especially this time of year when everything is in holiday season overdrive.
The differing personalities at home make for a challenge as well this time of year. Maybe you are Mr. and Mrs. Claus---buy for all, do all, be at all! OR, maybe you are Mr. and Mrs. Grinch---not in the mood for any of it! (Otherwise known as “The Joy Zappers”!) OR, maybe you are Frosty the Snowman-----living on the verge of a melt-down the whole season long.
So, how can we navigate the season of merry? The fact is----if the marriage stays merry, the family will follow. If the leaders are tense, stressed, and full of bad attitudes---then so goes the rest of the crew. So, if you are leading in the home, try these this holiday season-----
· Choose to be a team----Choose to be committed to your spouse in it all. The value of your relationship should always trump plans, expectations, and the Christmas list. There is much to come between us in the holidays it seems. So always choose to stay on the same team. A merry marriage is one where there’s unity. Division always brings destruction. Stay on the same page!
· Have a plan and plan together---- Where are we going? When are we going? How much are we spending? Are we using cash or a card? Are we dressing up or going casual? Decide and then, guard the plan! Stick to it. Amos 3:3---Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? A plan and agreement will make for a merry marriage and a merry holiday!
· Keep the focus right---- We know the reason for the season in our head, but keeping it translated to our actions is the challenge. Why all the fuss? Because HE CAME! That is the reason for it all. Hebrews talks about “laying aside everything that entangles” (that gets us off track) and then “fixing our eyes on Jesus.” No other time is it so easy to get “entangled”. We must remember Jesus---who He is, why He came, and why we celebrate. HE puts the merry in everything. We can’t afford to leave Him out of the holiday that He is the reason for.
· Keep your mouth and your emotions in check. All the events, busyness, and stress of the season can find us out of control in emotions and actions. But, we must maintain control. Self-control is a fruit of the spirit that CAN and WILL show up in our lives IF we will allow God to work in us---IF we will listen to Him and follow His lead instead of acting out of our own ugly emotions. This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. James 1:19-21 NASB
· Find a marriage moment-----a date, a ride to look at lights, a dinner---somewhere---just the 2 of you. Take time to make a memory, to do something you’ve never done before. Steal away, even if just for a short time. You need to come away from the busyness and the hustle to focus on one another, to find a place of intimacy, and to make sure that you don’t lose touch with one another in the craziness of it all. Everything in your home will flow out of the relationship that you have with one another as husband and wife. You can’t afford to lose each other in the season!
It is the season of MERRY! May the merry start at your house and flow out from your home to bring joy everywhere you go this season! MERRY CHRISTMAS!