Enjoying The New Birth, After A New Birth

There are few things more joyful and fulfilling than the birth of a new baby into a family. But it also naturally changes relationships within that family, as husband and wife, with their attention fully focused on caring for a brand new life, begin to want for attention from one another, or to feel neglected or marginalized. New parents are often stressed, usually tired, and always busy. Feelings get hurt, and resentment builds. What is a couple to do?

This is a challenge faced by every young family. Ironically, what brings heights of joy and fulfillment – a brand new child – can also torpedo the love which, between husband and wife, begat the child in the first place.

This is not only ironic but also destructive, especially if not nipped in the bud. For many husbands and wives, interpersonal conflicts arriving with their first child can last decades.

They key to resolving the matter is Jesus Christ. When he is living in us, as he is in every true Christian, we not only have supernatural resources at our disposal, but those resources are Christ-shaped resources, which means they are most effective precisely in times of difficulty.

As people in whom Christ dwells, we are capable of miraculous self-giving love at the very moment when circumstances make us feel selfish and self-centered. Most of us are unaware of this capability. We limp along, offended by our spouse’s indifference or distraction or depression, when in fact because of the indwelling power of Christ we are able to spring to life with an amazingly selfless love.

Think about it . . . when did Christ’s love come to its fullest expression? At the most unlikely moment, on a treacherous cross. He gave himself fully to people who were tormenting him.

We need to look at the difficult moments of marriage, such as when the pressure of a new baby seems to pull husband and wife apart, as magnificent opportunities for Christ to be shaped fully within us. These are times to become who we are, at the deepest level: people indwelled by Christ. These are times to let him live within us, producing his fruit in our marriage. Christ-like love was meant for the difficult times. It was made for crosses. It was made for hurt feelings. It was made for a sense of marginalization.

In these moments, we need to remember who we are in Christ, dismiss any voice to the contrary, claim our spiritual birthright, and, with surprising joy, move forward with supernatural expressions of self-giving love.

‘We have been crucified with Christ to the world and the world has been crucified to us, and it is no longer we who live but Christ lives in us.’ (Galatians 2 and 6).

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