Sometimes the Answer is Practical and Not Spiritual

The old joke in Sunday School is that the answer to every question is Jesus, the Bible or Prayer. I know this sounds sacrilegious, especially coming from a Pastor, but those are not the only viable answers. In fact, quite often the answer is not even found in the Bible.

Let me explain. Through the years I have had numerous couples come into my office seeking marital counseling. Something has put them near the end of their rope. Usually, one person has made a mess of things for the final time and now with the end staring them in the face one of them finds religion. I ask them what that means for their marriage. Frequently I hear something about knowing they did wrong, attending Church, reading the Bible and prayer.

Each one of those actions is good in and of themselves. The problem is that they are not what the couple needs. What needs to happen is that the couple needs to make practical steps to deal with each other directly and begin making changes.

I offer this example. If I leave Adrian Missouri and head South, I will not end up in Kansas City because it is North. If I get out on the road and decide that I should be headed North, then I have made a great discovery. I can open an app or a map and see how I am headed the wrong direction. I can pull over to the side of the road and pray about the bad decision I have made that day. I can call Christian friends and ask them for advice on how to get to Kansas City. I can ask them to pray for me. I can cry out to Jesus in an honest voice for help to get to my desired destination. But if I do not turn around and actually drive North, none of those things will matter.

If people want a better marriage, then they need to change their schedule. They need to change their habits and their words. Switch to a new approach to everything. A change in action is the way to fix your mistakes in marriage.

Now, I do think there is power in prayer. I believe that God guides us, strengthens us and gives us grace for every day. I do believe that you need to read your Bible and attend Church. Those are essentials to the Christian journey. But those things will not turn your marriage around unless you begin to act differently.

You can apply this principle to your marriage, your parenting, your friendships and numerous other areas of your life. Don’t over-spiritualize everything. Allow your spiritual life to be the motivation and the power behind your change in action.

Those of us who follow Jesus make a mistake when we limit the transformation we need to the spiritual aspects of our lives. If it doesn’t affect your life in a very practical way, then you may have misunderstood what faith is all about.

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