Tuesday, February 10, 2015


When some people enter a room, no one pays any attention. Others though, when they enter a situation people take notice. Conversations pause, eyes follow, even if only briefly. That person is said to have “presence." John Maxwell, author and leadership guru named "most influential person on the planet" by Inc. magazine recently discussed the idea of "presence" in his "Minute with Maxwell" video blog. His conclusion was that presence had more to do with a person's confidence than any other factor. Confidence can come from many places. You can be confident in who you are, you can be confident in your purpose, whether in a specific situation or in general. Knowing your surroundings, being comfortable with a group of people, being familiar with a scenario, these can all lead to confidence. As Christians, we should all strive for the confidence that comes with knowing who we are: children of God! As Paul says in Romans 8:14

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

When we know who we are in Him, we are free to stop seeking approval or acceptance from people. In marriage, this knowledge frees us to take pressure off our spouse to validate us or to “complete us.” Those are God’s jobs, and thus are beyond any person to accomplish. If we are seeking that from anyone, including (especially!) the person we married, we have set ourselves up for serious disappointment. This may seem unromantic - after all, it goes against every rom com movie we’ve seen and love song we’ve ever heard. Remember Rose in Titanic, talking about Jack? “He saved me in every way a person can be saved…” When we take the onus of completing us off of our spouses shoulders, they are free to just love us, and we are free to do the same. Little mistakes we make are no longer earth shattering, and when we goof up, their self worth and identity is not adversely affected. We love, we accept, and show grace.

As our relationship with God grows, we should also find confidence in our purpose, for he has put each of us here intentionally. He has bought each of us at a price, and we are not our own. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)There is work for His kingdom that no one else can do but us. Each of our jobs, though unique, has the same purpose, revealed in Isaiah 44:8

Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago? You are my witnesses!

We can rest in that truth, and act accordingly, outside the concern of what anyone else thinks, or how they will react. We can act with confidence.

One of the hallmarks of confidence is enthusiasm. When you know who you are, and are sure what you’re doing is glorifying God and fulfilling His purpose for your life, you tackle those tasks with gusto. You are excited to wake up each day and get to the work He has set before you. Enthusiasm is contagious. In life, people will want to follow you, and will be inspired to seek their own purpose and identity. In marriage, your purpose is loving your spouse unconditionally, and the way they want and need to be loved. Do that enthusiastically, and your spouse may just feel led to reciprocate.

What presence do you bring into your marriage relationship? Consider it. When we know who we are, know our purpose, we do everything for God’s glory. (1 Corinthians 10:31) How might that mindset change how you live out your marriage?