Who are you a Bond-Servant to?

I once posed a question on our Facebook page, “Who or what are you a Bond-Servant/Slave to?”  After a week, I have only received 2 comments.  My prayer is that the question would stir up thoughts and emotions and make someone think.  It did me.

To fully understand this question, we must define Bond-Servant.  It is the Greek word, doulos(1401), which means servant or slave.  One who voluntarily gives himself up to another’s will, devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interest. 

Great picture from that definition.  Paul refers to himself as a Bond-Servant to Christ five times in his letters.  Spiritual leaders of the New Testament; John, Peter, James, take the title of Bond-Servant.
So let’s again approach the question, “Who or what are you a Bond-Servant to?”  What are you a slave to? There are the worldly desires that we can be a slave to that many times sound justifiable.  “I need to put in those long hours so as to support my family.”  “All these practices and activities are going to help my child become better rounded.” “I only drink so as to help unwind from the day, I don’t have a problem, and I am still in control.”  “I really deserve this (place in here any major expense that will place a financial strain on the family).”   See how easy it is to become a slave to work, money, our children, even alcohol?

Then, for some, it comes in the form of emotional desires; lust, anger, deceit, pride, negative expressions.  Do you find yourself frequently apologizing for your actions or at least having to explain why you reacted in that manner?  Is there the pull to give your emotions and feelings to someone other than your spouse? Are you one who needs to make sure your feelings of injustice are heard rather than allowing His will to unfold?
Jesus Christ is the only One to whom we should become a Bond-Servant.  The key is to be totally devoted to should voluntary submission to Him. When one says that he or she will serve Him, that they do it without regards to their own interests or selfish wants and desires.
It starts with the command that Jesus gives us, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”  Luke 9:23 NASB emphasis mine   We must deny our motives and agenda, voluntarily submit our lives to Jesus daily, and begin walking with Him.
He, Himself, states, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5 NASB   It is a daily walk with our Lord and Savior.  It starts with repentance, turning from sin and turning to God, and then maintaining this relationship through obedience and faith. You must abide. 

Again, ask for God to reveal to you what you are allowing yourself to be a slave to. Things of this world or things of God?  When God shows you the unrighteousness in your life, start practicing the Truth, step into the Light and let your deeds be manifested as being wrought by God. 

Refocus Your Focus

Since the beginning of the school year, without even realizing it, Kerry and I have been making more time for the two of us to be together. With Samantha and Ryne starting their lives together and Baylee becoming more independent and preparing for her Senior year as a “still guided by her parents” adult, we have discovered that we are entering into a new and exciting chapter in our lives. We are reclaiming “Our Time” again as husband and wife! 

We are starting a C25K workout, that’s a “couch to 5K” style workout to slowly increase our endurance to run a 5K in its entirety. We have also found time to team teach our adult Sunday School class these past weeks. And we still are doing our best to have our weekly “date night” with each other. In other words, it’s our time again. 

We do not want to wake up some morning in the future and look at each other and wonder what we do now…the girls are grown up, they have moved out of the house…and now what? That is a scary place to be in a marriage of 20 plus years. It takes preventive measures and steps as a husband and wife. We realize how important it is to not only build, but maintain that foundation of our marriage. It did not happen over night, it took years of making it a priority. So with that key word here are just a few ideas on how to refocus your focus on each other.

1. Prioritize Your Marriage: Make sure your kids know what we’re doing to plant that seed in their young minds that their Mommy and Daddy love each other and make their marriage a priority. Through your words, actions, and deeds towards one another, do your children see your marriage as a priority or as a chore?

2. Laughter: The amount of laughter in your marriage is like the fuel needle on a car telling you how full your tank is. Early on in a relationship, there’s usually all kinds of laughter, but as the stresses of life set in, that laughter is often replaced with silence and sometimes even apathy. Life can be hard sometimes, and there are moments when crying together is the only appropriate response, but make laughter a priority and you’ll find that fun fuels a marriage!  Seriously, find time to laugh and enjoy each other’s sense of humor.

3. Put Down the Social Media: Take time to enjoy the “moments” together and make those moments become “memories.” Too often we are focused on our phones and all that is happening in the world that we neglect those within our reach. Turn them off, put them down, and look into each other’s eyes as you communicate to each other…which leads into the next one.

4. Communicate: Most women measure the health of the relationship by the frequency of the communication. Couples that prioritize conversations and minimize the distractions that keep them apart tend to be a whole lot stronger. Set apart time each day to turn off the cell phones and carve out time to talk. Maybe it’s over a cup of coffee, a walk around the neighborhood, or even some quiet time on the couch. The whole idea is to stop, make eye contact with each other, do not let yourselves be distracted and talk.
5. Sex: Yes, that’s right…sex. Most men measure the health of their marriage by the frequency of sex. Granted, there’s a lot more to a marriage than sex, but couples that prioritize what happens the bedroom tend to be a lot stronger in all aspects of the relationship. Don’t be afraid to schedule time for making love. It sounds like it takes the spontaneous moments away, but in the busy seasons of life, you’ve got to schedule everything that’s important or it usually won’t happen. There will still be plenty of opportunities to be spontaneous!

6. Stay God-Centered: The more you love God, the more capacity you will have to love your spouse, your kids and yourself. Make your relationship with Him the foundation of your life and everything else will fall into place. Take time to grow in your relationship with Him. Start first with the Bond that God is the center of your relationship…Holiness, and then the union between you and your spouse will be blessed. 

These are just some of our thoughts. Do you have any to add?

Enjoy the blessings of your God-ordained marriage!