Holy Motives

“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” 
John 15:10

During Jesus’ time on earth, He was the epitome of love and compassion—yet He was also surrounded by conflict. He didn’t hesitate to set the Pharisees straight when they spoke or acted against God’s will. Jesus even rebuked Peter when His disciple rejected the prophecy that Christ would suffer and die (Mark 8:31–33). But Jesus’ motives were pure and perfect. He never intended His words to harm His listeners; rather, He spoke from a heart of love for His children.

We urge you to consider your motives when the temptation arises to do battle with your mate. Is your aim to lovingly enlighten, or to prove you are “right”? Are you reacting to another problem that has nothing to do with your partner? Is this really an important issue, or are you just blowing off steam at the expense of your spouse?

As long as we remember Christ’s motives for conflict and follow His example, we will “remain in his love,” and our marriages will move down the right path.

Just between us . . .

• During our last dispute, did you feel that my goal was to “lovingly enlighten,” or to win the battle?
• During conflicts in our marriage, how can we be more like Jesus?
• Have I wounded your spirit during times of disagreement? If so, will you forgive me?

Lord Jesus, You were no stranger to the challenges of conflict, and we thank You for Your inspiring example. How much we want to be like You and to do Your will. Show us Your wisdom in new ways as we seek to mature in this area. Amen.

Listen to today's broadcast of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk at OnePlace.com.  For more from Dr. Dobson, visit the resource center at drjamesdobson.org.

This devotional is taken from Night Light for Couples. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.