Both love and godly communication are keys to any good relationship. Whether the relationship is with your spouse, your children, your parents, your friends, your co-workers, your neighbors, your enemies, or even God, all relationships need love and clear communication to flourish. This is where self-control comes in. Self-control is a spiritual gift we all desperately need, yet constantly struggle with. So often in our relationships, we want the other person to love more deeply, communicate more clearly, control their actions…first. The truth is that this begins with controlling our own actions; the practice of self-control.
When we accepted Jesus, we made a commitment to follow him wholeheartedly. A major part of being a disciple of Jesus is that we love God and others. True love requires that we keep our word, that we build one another up, and that we are trustworthy. None of this can be accomplished without self-control. God wants us to speak truth in love and gentleness and encourage one another with our words. (Ephesians 4:2, 15; 1 Thessalonians 5:11). Following through on our promises show the other person that we can be trusted and that we really do love and care about building a good relationship.
God intends for us to exhibit self-control out of love for our spouse because our marriages are a reflection of the relationship of Christ and the Church. Husbands must show self-control to be the Christ-figure in our marriage and serve our wife as Christ served to the point of death. Wives must show self-control by submitting ourselves to our husband. We must ALL practice self-control by submitting to one another (Ephesians 5:21-33).
In order for us, the church, to show the world we are one with each other and one with Christ, we must exhibit self-control in our words, actions, and in all areas of our lives, so that the world may see and give glory to God. Let us all ask God to bless us with the gift of self-control in all our relationships!