Again, I don’t believe in karma but I do believe that we reap what we show.
Galatians 6:7 (NASB)
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
The thing about reaping what you sow is that you cannot start sowing something new today and expect to be reaping that new something tomorrow, it takes time.
We talked about cycles of discontent spinning in our marriages in our last post. Usually those cycles have been spinning for years. Expecting them to stop just because you now recognize them for what they are is short-sighted. It’s going to take hard work to stop the cycles of discontent in your marriage and will take some time to reap the rewards of your hard work.
If you’ve been emotionally distant with your spouse for years do not expect your new emotional openness to magically change their behavior over-night. If you’ve been refusing your spouse sex for years, don’t expect all of the resentment and bitterness to disappear all at once. These things take time and often professional help. Don’t be afraid to ask for and get help if you need it.
While it is not unreasonable to expect our spouse to forgive us for our poor behavior it is unreasonable for us to expect to not have to face the consequences of our poor behavior. This is why I often say that Ephesians 4 has taught me more about being a good spouse than Ephesians 5.
Ephesians 4:22-32 (NIV)
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Changing poor behavior to loving, respectful and grace-filled behavior is the first step to reclaiming a new harvest in your marriage.