2 Corinthians 10:5 – …take every thought captive to obey Christ…
Exodus 9:12 – But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had spoken to Moses.
This contains excerpts from the new book “Real Romance: Sex in the Song of Songs”. To purchase the book, click here, and to access the sermon series that accompanies these devos and this book, click here.
Everyone, no matter how godly they are, has a hard heart toward their spouse at some point. Being married to someone with an ongoing hard heart for a prolonged period is incredibly difficult because it seems that no matter what you say or do, it only makes their heart harder and their response meaner.
The legendary hard heart in the Bible belonged to Pharaoh. Roughly half of the time, the book of Exodus says God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and the other half of the time it says he hardened his own heart. Pharaoh is a case study in hard-heartedness – he continually hardened his heart against God and Moses. Every time God sent Moses to speak the truth to him kindly, warn him, and invite him to repent and have a change of heart, Pharaoh got more angry, defiant, and unyielding. The result was ‘od’s loving and patient grace further hardened Pharaoh’s hard heart.
The Bible is clear that becoming a Christian is getting a new heart. God can and does change hearts, so we need to bring our hearts to Him for spiritual heart surgery when they are hardened.
When someone has a hard heart, the relationship is back-to-back, adversarial and unsafe. When someone is hard hearted towards their spouse, it means they are also hard hearted toward their God. This is true because we’ve only got one spiritual heart, and from it all of life flows. (1)
When Abbi repents as they sit face-to-face in Song of Songs, Solomon sees that her heart is tender and not hard. When she sees the love in his eyes and forgiveness in his voice, she sees that his heart is tender and not hard.
Thankfully, our God has chosen to forgive our sin so we can have relationship with Him. He sent his Son so we could see the loving face of our Savior and know the heart of God that is always devoted to us. Our relationship with God is our most important relationship, and how God treats us is how He wants us to treat our spouses.
When have you had a hardened heart towards your spouse recently? Be honest and open with them, ask for their forgiveness, and pray together that the Lord would give you both soft hearts towards one another. You can also do a similar exercise with a close friendship or family member.
- Proverbs 4:23