Fear of getting hurt. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of death. Fear of uncertainty. I had all of it. I tried to fit in by not letting it show, but it was a challenge. I remember being with friends at the pool. They were doing cannonballs and diving off the high dive. I remember standing at the edge, looking down and being scared half to death to even jump.
Fear binds you up and prevents you from fully experiencing life and marriage. We must fight fear with grace and trust. Here's a couple of things I've found helpful over the years in order to try and live more by faith.
Grace fights fear.
First, give yourself grace and know God is pleased with you, is with you, and will help you. There is no condemnation in Christ. Lean on Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Trust fights fear.
Second, trust God and face the fears. Pray and ask God to help you conquer challenges. Remember: if you are in Christ, worst case, you die and go to be with Jesus. Pretty good worst case if you ask me!
Acting in faith allows life to be an exciting adventure. Being controlled by fear binds you up and you just try to make it through each day.
Conquering a fear brings life and is a huge adrenaline rush. I remember one of my daughters was scared to wake-board at the lake. She decided she would try it once. Scared half to death, she kept trying to get up. Then, she did it. Watching her smile and her face beam with energy was amazing. Conquering this fear opened up so many doors for her. Now, she rides rollercoasters and even did the sling-shot ride at Daytona Beach.
When I left the law practice to launch Grace Marriage, fears came at me from every direction. I was leaving a stable, well-paying career to launch a start-up marriage ministry. I read the stats on new businesses that succeeded. I accused myself of neglecting my family to pursue a hobby I loved. You name it. I tried every excuse to myself!
Then, my wife stepped in and went to war for me. She said “you know what God has called you to do for marriages. You are good at it and can help many people. Quit looking back and wasting our energy!” It was like she grabbed me and jumped off the high dive with me.
So, we can be controlled by fears or we can fight them. We can look down at our spouse or help them overcome their fears. Here's my encouragement for you today: when you hit a crossroads, act in faith not fear. And, as you can, help your spouse do the same.
Grace Marriage Mission.
Discuss with your spouse a time when you acted in fear and didn't do something that—looking back—you probably should have. Then, discuss a time when you acted in faith. Have fun thinking back on how God has worked over the days, weeks, months, years in your marriage.
Brad Rhoads is co-founder of Grace Marriage.