Scripture Texts: Romans 14:13-23; Romans 15:1-13
We are not that far removed from the season of Lent. Often during that time we hear of people giving up something as a spiritual discipline. More often than not we find people in America giving up a food of some sort. Some people do in fact find a deep spiritual journey in denying themselves of a food, while others simply do not. Then we get the words of Paul in Romans 14, "The Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
Perhaps the issue is not what foods we eat or deny. The bigger issue is found in the life we live. Does giving up a food for lent help us live a more godly life? Better yet does living a more godly life depend on what we eat? Paul would tell us stop worrying about food and pay attention to your attitude.
When we look at our marriage, are we worried about the right things? The biggest concern is not about the external things, food and the like, it is about how we are living our lives together. Is our marriage marked by goodness and peace? Is there joy in the Holy Spirit? We can get all the external things right and still miss out on the marriage God longs for us to experience by not living a life of goodness, peace and joy.
To cultivate a life of goodness, peace and joy we must be willing to seek these things. Goodness does not happen by accident, it is found in our daily choices in how we treat each other. Peace is not found by happenstance, it is found when we choose to live at peace with God and others. Joy is a choice as well. We can choose joy no matter what life brings our way. What we choose in the area of goodness, peace and joy determines the quality of our life and marriage far more than what is on our dinner plate.