A devotional for parents, featuring the New Living Translation
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New Living Translation - Women’s Devotional
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Wednesday August 15th, 2018
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8, NLT
The Bible doesn’t have a huge collection of verses about marriage. Ask couples who have tried to swerve from the tried and true Scripture passages in their wedding ceremony, and you will interview the survivors of a hopeless search. When Jesus was asked about marriage, he directed his listeners back to the beginning: “And he said, ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together” (Matthew 19:5-6). Most of us can explain the first clause of the verse Jesus quoted (Genesis 2:24). In marriage we leave Mom and Dad (at least until Thanksgiving and Christmas). Most newlyweds agree with a sly smile that they know what the “united into one” is all about. But since the last phrase covers the sex part of marriage (at least), then what’s the “joined together” all about? Perhaps more to the point is the question, “Where exactly does God fit in this relationship we call marriage?” Note that the application Jesus made of the verse had to do with God joining a couple.

Couples frequently report high levels of frustration in fostering a smooth and satisfying spiritual life together. Joint devotional times frequently don’t work or are difficult to schedule with regularity. Are you reading this alone or with your spouse?

The verse for today offers a simple outline for mutual spiritual jogging. Challenge each other to memorize the verse. Then make an exercise out of thinking out loud about the eight categories Paul lists: true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, worthy of praise. You may have to agree on some definitions. Help each other expand those words with illustrations.

It’s easy to fix our minds on complaints, problems, and fears. It takes intention to fix our thoughts on good things. But mentally jogging through this list can have a powerful drawing force. As you talk about these things that please God you will find yourselves being drawn together. Now guess who’s doing that!
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