“Adapt Yourselves One to Another”

Fresh Manna © by Pastor Tim Burt
http://www.freshmanna.org/ “Adapt Yourselves One to Another”

Eph 5:20-21 “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

Submit. To many married people – especially women – this is a scary word. It’s a word that people that don’t know God, don’t understand and that those that do, struggle with. They struggle because they often see this word as some kind of a permission slip to dominate and make someone subservient. That is not the heart of God at all in giving it to us.

Today’s Fresh Manna verse says, “Giving thanks always…. Submitting yourselves…” Few would be giving thanks if they were being made a slave or feeling dominated and treated like one! This verse is really teaching us that as husbands and wives, we need to learn “to adapt” to each other with whole-hearted respect out of love and reverence to each other and to God.

Let me share a some of Renee and my “adapting.” When Renee gets into bed at night, she does not go to sleep until after she has spent a fair amount of time reading. We’ll pray together and then she’ll usually read until she literally drops her book and passes out from being tired. She reads because she loves to but also to get her mind off of the many things going on in her life that engage her mind and work to keep her from having sweet sleep.

I grew up an insomniac. I laid awake night after night thinking and worrying about everything that could be thought of or worried about as a teenager. It was like my mind only new one position – the “on” position. It seemed like I always struggled to fall asleep at night. That led to my early years of drug and alcohol addiction prior to knowing the Lord. Alcohol and drugs became my crutch to help me pass out so I could sleep at night.

Upon becoming a Christian, one of the early lessons a great Bible teacher taught me was that I possessed authority over the thoughts of my mind. God had spoken to me early on as a young Christian and said, “Your mind belongs to you. I have given it to you to think on those things that are good, lovely and of me. It is not the devil’s playground. You take your thoughts captive and cast down whatever should not run through your mind!” The steps of how I learned this is another story to be told another day but the result that is still true to this day is this: I go to bed, lay my head down and usually fall asleep with 10 seconds.

Because I fall asleep quickly and she likes to read, we’ve adapted how we go to bed to work in such a way that it works perfectly for us. This is the process of respecting and adapting to each other.

When Renee wakes up in the morning, the wheels of her mind begin to turn immediately. It actually helps her wake up. She gets up, puts on the coffee and heads off to pray. She puts the thoughts of the pending day aside and instead focuses on the Word, prayer, and journaling her thoughts from the Lord.

When I wake up I am either immediately praying in tongues, or I begin to create a melody and song of worship to the Lord. It was something I purposed to learn to do many years ago that has become instinctive for me today. I do this while I am getting showered and ready for my day. I then head off to my place of prayer and spend my quiet time with the Lord. It’s from there I write Fresh Manna.

Once Renee has moved from her prayer time into the execution of her day, her mind again starts leaning toward the activities of the day. She might think of situations that need to be solved or taken care of. She used to come to me during my prayer time to discuss them. It was her way of knocking things off of her “to do” list or off her list of things we need to discuss. I would often be in my time with the Lord or writing Fresh Manna.

I’ve asked her not to bring me problems or things needed to be discussed in the morning before or while I am in my time with the Lord. Once I hear them, I seemed to become engaged in them. I am a problem solver and like to take care of problems immediately if I am able to. If I get distracted by these kinds of things, it’s that much harder to really focus back on the Lord in my prayer time. Instead I feel like I’ve been invaded with thoughts of things to do and take care of.

These are just a couple of a great many areas we’ve learned to adapt to, to help each other. We try not to talk about problems right before we go to bed so we don’t get our minds going in that direction and disturb the sleep we want to have. Likewise, I don’t like to get into them first thing in the morning – at least till after my time with the Lord and I have written my first draft of Fresh Manna. Then I am ready to talk. Renee is very respectful of that as I also try to be with her. It works!

That means we have to find other times to talk in the day to engage in light conversation as well as the issues of life that need to be taken care of. We do that. In order to adapt to and help each other, we try to understand what makes the other tick and how we can work toward helping each other succeed – not work against each other.

God does not expect anyone to adapt to rudeness, disrespect, or slothful habits. But, we all have our little idiosyncrasies that we formed over the years. Adapting, loving, and appreciating each other makes those more tolerable and defuses many potential battles that Satan would like to create. Be thankful for those God has given you and respectfully adapt where you can. You will find much more joy in your life.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim BurtCopyright© 2006

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