Our thinking determines how we relate to everyone in our lives. It impacts how we view our marriage. It impacts how we view ourselves. It even impacts our relationship with God. In order to improve all of those relationships, we have to take our fallen thinking and conform it to biblical thinking.
In other words, we have to change our minds. There are three reasons this can be a huge challenge.
1⃣ First, the Word of God seems foolish to us. “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him” (1 Cor. 2:14). God’s Word offends our natural minds.
Consider the biblical ideas of sacrifice, submission, or forgiveness. Those things do not come easy to us because of our sinful state. The world simply doesn’t think the way God thinks.
Parenting a toddler reflects this reality. You can’t reason with a three-year-old about the necessity of picking up his toys or being nice to her brother. You’re telling them the truth, but they don’t buy it. It doesn’t make sense to them. They want to do things their own way. Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.
The Bible tells us to love our enemies. It tells husbands to sacrifice for their wives. It tells wives to honor their husbands. Sometimes these commands offend us, but they come from a loving God. We can be immature children living according to our limited understanding, or we can trust our Father who knows better.
2⃣ Second, the Word of God requires us to act against our feelings. Early in our marriage, Karen and I treated each other badly because we were both living in fear. Personally, I was afraid if I submitted to her—if I did what the Bible said—she would walk all over me. I didn’t think it would work. I didn’t have faith.
I had to learn to trust God’s plan. With faith and prayer, I began to believe what God said. I treated Karen the way God said to treat Karen. It ended up saving our marriage—but only after I acted contradictory to my feelings.
The Word of God doesn’t cater to our feelings. It challenges us, but when we honor it, God’s Word also heals us. Our fear becomes faith.
3⃣ Third, the Word of God contradicts what we believe is true. These may be deeply held beliefs. For instance, the Pharisees knew the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. They memorized it and quoted it all the time. But Jesus told them, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed” (John 8:31).
This shocked the Pharisees. They thought no one was more familiar with the Torah than them. If anyone was “abiding” in Scripture already, it was the Pharisees. Who was Jesus to tell them they needed more of the Word?
They didn’t understand. They were mean-spirited. They lacked love. Jesus told them they may know the Bible, but their lack of love indicated they didn’t understand the Truth.
These are challenges to changing our minds. In order to let God’s Word change your mind, you have to have a teachable spirit. Karen and I have been transformed by the Word of God because we sit at His feet, asking Him to teach us together. We’re not perfect. But we have changed—and so has our relationship.
Abide in His Word, together. Commit to it as the standard of truth in your lives and He will transform your thinking and your marriage.
Jimmy Evans // Marriage Today