What you believe vs what you think you believe

What beliefs are influencing your relationship with your beloved?

We live in a highly advertised secular culture. Do you ever wonder how much you’ve been influenced by the world’s ideas of romance and marriage and family? As followers of Christ, we think we’re resistant to bad influences. We don’t buy into the beliefs that the non-Christian world sells as “good”. Right?

What influences you? - believe or what you think you believeConsider a product you’ve bought that you first learned about from an advertisement. For example, toothpaste. Of the different brands you could choose from, and the different iterations of that brand, did you choose the one that makes your teeth whiter (for example) because having whiter teeth truly makes your life better? Or because the ads resonated with you?

We don’t think we’ve been manipulated by good marketing. We believe, instead, that we are smart and made a good choice.

So, too, with much bigger issues, such as whether or not romance always includes sex, whether or not children are a burden, whether or not divorce is an option.

Good advertising never feels like manipulation. We are all vulnerable to outside influences. As soon as this self-awareness kicks in, it’s possible to be more discerning about what we believe and why.

Christ’s influence nurtures us to become the best persons that God designed us to be, reaching our fullest potential, enjoying the greatest, most faithful love: His. Christ’s influence in our marriage bonds us to each other in the most enduring and endearing relationship. And he does this without manipulation; he respects our free will. 

When both husband and wife truly believe that Christ’s ways are the best ways, we have the best marriage — not perfect, because we give each other our flaws as well as our virtues. But the best possible. And, with Christ, our best keeps getting better.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What are my favorite advertisements? Why do I enjoy them? What does this tell me about my life?
  2. In the last big purchase my sweetheart made, what influenced him/her to choose it?

Strengthen your relationship:
Share how important to you it is to be a follower of Christ. Why is it important? Is it because others influenced you into believing in Jesus? Did you ever make a conscious decision in your personal relationship with Christ that changed your life? Explain what motivated you. End with a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to increase in you the gift of discernment.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
© 2018 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries

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