The Holy Spirit’s gift to a marriage

I’d love to see my wife blossom, but I fear I hold her back. I don’t have in me what brings out the best in her personality, her humour, her gifts, or her love. I feel like I’m limiting her potential, and I’ve often wondered how much she would have blossomed in the company of a man more suited to her needs, her interests and her personality.

But then I realized it’s not me or my powers that bring out the best in her, it’s the Holy Spirit. It’s the Spirit’s job to transform us into something lovely. Without the Spirit we’re helpless victims of our own limited strengths and questionnable motives. A man can be most charming, for instance, but without the Spirit it could all be just self-aggrandizing gush and mouthwash, because you can’t help asking, “What he’s really after?”

But the Spirit goes right to the core of our being, that “old self, corrupted by its deceitful desires,” Ephesians 4:22, and creates a “new self, created to be like God,” verse 24. Out goes all that deceitful mouthwash designed to gratify self, and in comes a whole new attitude of mind motivated entirely by love (verse 23).

And it’s this love given to us by the Holy Spirit that transcends all differences. Two people can be vastly different in personally and interests, but the Spirit gives them a love for each other that doesn’t even see the differences. It doesn’t matter if the other person isn’t like you, or that you haven’t got it in you as a husband to make a wife blossom into her best. In Ephesians 2, Jews and Gentiles, who were always bringing out the worst in each other, suddenly became the best of friends when they received the Holy Spirit. Because that’s the Spirit’s speciality, enabling people to get along despite their differences.

My wife may be stuck with my limited personality and help, but that doesn’t hinder the Spirit enabling her to blossom into her best. I’m not letting my wife down, therefore, because of my inadequacies and lacks – and I don’t have to feel bad that my limitations are holding her back either – because the Spirit can make “one new person out of two,” Ephesians 2:15, no matter how different those two people are.

God designed males and females to want to marry and spend their lifetimes together. Later on in marriage, however, husband and wife may suddenly realize how different they are, and wonder what might have been had they married someone else. But all that’s irrelevant to the Holy Spirit, who can make two into one in any marriage.

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