By J. B. & Shugie Collingsworth, Home Life Magazine
What is compassion?
What does it mean to be compassionate?
It refers to empathy, concern, or kindness. What can it mean in a marriage? Much!
We have compassion for children who live in terrible circumstances, people who are sick, people with disabilities, right?
[img_assist|nid=6128|title=Couples Compassion|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=75|height=100]The part compassion plays in our lives can be huge. It causes us to sponsor a child in a third world country for dollars per month, send money to missions, give to the needy in our own backyards, and makes us stop and think when we see the less fortunate.
The Necessary Nine
“Remember, LORD, Your compassion and Your faithful love, for they have existed from antiquity” (Psalm 25:6, HCSB).
Should we not be compassionate to people the same way that He, in His mercy, has given us so much more than any of us deserve?
Can compassion that comes from Him keep us going when we sometimes get to the end of our rope? Can it help us when we have no other way to go?
Why do spouses get so exasperated that they fight the very one they should love the most?
Is Satan having fun or what?
Yes, he is!
As the Bible tells us – he is seeking to devour all those who allow him to.
What do we do when all else fails?
We keep going. We keep plodding. We keep moving in the direction of wellness, and wholeness, and try to help our spouse find that also.
What about when our spouse is mistreating us, neglecting us, or not putting us first?
We just keep loving them. Many spouses are loved into the Kingdom and mentored and discipled into wholeness.
Our marriages take loving, regular maintenance. Unfortunately, many people today are cashing in their marriages. They are trading them in for newer models. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Our marriages should last a lifetime.
Tips for a Compassionate Marriage:
Be kind one to another. Is that a platitude or a “Be-Attitude?” Answer softly, speak gently, encourage heartily, lift up expectantly, give expecting nothing in return, share freely, cry and laugh together.
If we only realized how powerful it is to learn early, we’d grow old together joyfully!
Speak the truth in love. To be compassionate toward our mate, we must be willing to say what we want. Speak with your mate in such a way as to get them to hear your heart, not condemnation.
When your spouse does not respond, treat them as if they were sick! Every crisis can produce a silver lining in our lives. When the hard times come, we must endure.
Ask God for help in loving them when they are unlovable. When we reach an impass, that is the time God’s love kicks into overdrive.
Ask a Christian friend to help you. Often we see people inside the church fail in their marriages. Many times we have not made it easy or even okay for people to seek help, that’s why they often shy away from getting help and encouragement.
There is No Option!
I have always told couples not to go to people at work and hang out their dirty laundry—but sometimes they get more empathy from the bar than from our churches! Sad but true.
People who are not believers – as well as some believers – will spare the encouragement and tell you just go ahead and get a divorce!
Believers must stand in the gap and do whatever it takes to make a difference.
When we started our ministry a friend looked at us and said: “We have only been in this church for two years, but it is obvious to us that God has used you to make it okay for people to seek help when they need it in their marriage.”
That was one of the greatest compliments I have ever been paid, and all credit goes to God! We must help our churches become more intuitive, more caring, more concerned about others.
We really do not have an option!