What does Spring mean to you? To me, springtime means new beginnings, blooming tulips, hearing the cheers in the stands echo from the ballpark across the street, and an increased motivation to do an annual deep clean. This June marks eleven months of being married to my best friend and we realized how crucial it is to take inventory of the clutter that accumulated in our tiny 600 square foot apartment. As we were finding junk in our closet to donate to goodwill, we began discussing the junk that clutters our hearts when we don’t address it, sin. It’s plain and simple, we don’t have room for it and we need to throw that garbage away. Sin, like dirty laundry, makes me claustrophobic. In the midst of a busy schedule, it is easy to lose sight of who we are in Christ and our sin is very sneaky and creeps under piles of dirty laundry…Satan loves that. This month, Lucas and I decided to address our junk and release it to the Lord.
Romans 5:8 is our hope and we rejoice over the truth that Christ saved us while we were still sinners by His grace alone, not by our doing, and we are made new in Him. Just because Christ saved us doesn’t mean we aren’t going to slip up and fall back into our old ways daily. Thankfully, we have the power of the Holy Spirit nudging us in the right direction when we fall off the tracks. As Christians we are called to be set apart and live a life that looks differently and points to our Savior to give Him the glory. Therefore, it is of utmost importance not to live in habitual sin.
Similar to deciding which room to start cleaning in a messy home, scrubbing our heart issues can be quite overwhelming. For Lucas and I, we started with a list and then we narrowed it down based off of what was wearing on our marriage the most. A few things I found in my closet that were in desperate need of being deep cleaned were jealousy, bitterness, and being quick to anger (trust me the list was a lot longer).
Once we opened up with one another, we each took time to find Scripture to meditate on that would combat our sinful ways when the mess started creeping back into our lives. This month when I found myself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram for hours stalking the #royalwedding or some blogger I found on the popular page, I stopped and reflected on James 3:16. I asked Lucas to kindly remind me about these verses. When I started bringing up something that hurt me in the past, aka holding a grudge, he reminded me what Colossians 3:13 says so eloquently: “ Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” When I have a short fuse, which is way too often, James 1:19. If you are a wife that struggles with anger, check out this blog post for further reading: https://fiercemarriage.com/me-my-anger-my-marriage.
L and I found there is something powerful about admitting what you are struggling with to your spouse and asking them to come alongside you to pray for you and to hold you accountable. I will admit, it kind of sucks being called out on your sin in the moment, but after the fact I am always thankful for his spiritual leadership. Ryan Frederick, author of Fierce Marriage, writes “Every time you love your spouse when it’s hard, you reflect the unrelenting love of God in Christ. Every time you uphold your covenant despite wanting to give up, you mirror God’s unfailing promise to redeem his people.” Spouses, when you are holding each other accountable, do it with a gentle and loving tone, not a demeaning tone, we’ve found this very helpful.
I think the most challenging part about cleaning out our own spiritual closet is the shame of our sin, however, the neatest thing about being love by God is knowing He loves us at our darkest. Often I try to ignore the fact that He is all-knowing because I think He will be disappointed in my actions. But my hope is restored when I dwell on the truth that He has unending grace and finds joy when we seek repentance! The Word says it everywhere and 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 is one of my favorites: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.