The Road to Freedom

Last week I shared some eye opening statistics about pornography.  We all have a “thorn in our side” that may hinder our relationship with God and with our spouse; many not as obvious as the problem of pornography.  It may get in the way of God’s plan for our lives -- anything that comes before God like pornography, television, electronic devices, alcohol, drugs, sex and so on.  How do we find the freedom to live our life according to God’s plan for us?  The freedom that will also bring us the healthy, satisfying marriage we desire?

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.  Each tree is recognized by its own fruit.  People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers.  The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”

“Each tree is recognized by its own fruit.”
  You can’t hide the real fruit in your life.  Other people will eventually notice what kind of fruit you bear, but your spouse already knows.

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.”  
What does your heart look like?

Proverbs 4:23 (NKJ version) says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”  The NIV version says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Below are the Five Ways to Know If Your Spiritual Heart Needs Healing,  an article by Guy Finley from the following website:

Does your heart need spiritual healing? Ask yourself if any of the following is true for you:

1. We spend most of our time thinking only about ourselves.

2. Our thoughts dwell on dark and gloomy imaginings, or we experience varying states of despair, defeat, or anxious doubt.

3. We’re likely to agree with, or give ourselves over to fiery feelings. We consent to states of conflict, becoming identified with angry or resentful vibrations as they make their way through us.

4. We never see the choice to put the interests of someone else before we consider those of our own.

5. Our principal sense of contentment and well-being is derived only from pleasures that we give to ourselves. 

What do you have stored up in your heart?

“For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” - Luke 6:45

We are often unaware of the negative thoughts, resentments, unforgiveness, etc. that we hold in our hearts.  Most of it comes from our experiences as children, and so we don’t realize how unhealthy the “evil stored up in our heart” can be.  That’s all we’ve ever known.

Have you ever been around a negative person that seems to have nothing positive to say about anything?  It’s exhausting.  Imagine how it must be to live in a negative world like that.

The things stored up in our hearts greatly affect our relationship with God and our relationship with our spouse.

For example, when Rick and I were first married, I didn’t realize I had a right to my own opinions about choices we made in our marriage.  I thought it was up to Rick.  That’s how I was raised.  My father made all the decisions, and I grew up thinking my opinion, and my mothers, didn’t matter.

In our early years of marriage, Rick never told me that only he would determine any decisions needed to be made.  I assumed that because of the relationship between my parents.  I quickly began to resent not having a say in our marriage.  Whatever Rick wanted was what we did because I said nothing.

This lack of communication, on my part, became a huge obstacle that almost destroyed our marriage.  I had to learn to speak out.  Through God, I discovered that my opinion did count and marriage was an equal partnership.  I wasn’t doing my share!

The “evil stored in our heart” is usually part of the baggage we carry from our childhoods or from a traumatic experience.  We need to learn to, first, figure out what the issues are and face them.  Sometimes it helps to talk about it to a trusted friend, or even better, your spouse.  Sharing these issues with your spouse can bring a deeper level of intimacy.  Baring your soul with the person you love brings a sacred bond that only enhances the marriage relationship.

Once you talk about the problem and get it out on the open, then you can turn it over to God.  Pray with your spouse about it.  Ask God to take this burden that it will never infringe on the good you desire in your heart.


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