Jesus Culture or My Culture

by montejosmemorials on June 10, 2014

When my husband and I married, we both had an individual choice to make. "Will I follow Jesus culture or my culture?"

For us that took on a whole new meaning because we were not only combining the culture of his family and my family, but we were also combining the culture of his country and my country, Guatemala and the United States.

Culture is basically the behavior we have learned from our family, friends, country, that we pretty much consider tradition and pass on from generation to generation. Some of these behaviors are so ingrained in us, we can’t see any other way.

This particular article combines many facets of culture. One of the descriptions of culture it mentions is ethnocentrism. What it boils down to is the belief that my culture is right and yours is wrong. My culture’s beliefs are superior to yours.

Carry this over into marriage and there are big problems! Combine language differences, food differences, expectations of what your spouse should or shouldn’t do or be, child training differences, etc. and there are lots of battles to fight.

Then on top of all of that, we had some separations due to getting the paperwork right between Guatemala and here, a baby our first year of marriage, an elderly father I cared for and a myriad of other things. It could have been a recipe for disaster!

So after we were a little into our second year of struggling, I suggested we go for counsel. For any of you that know Spanish, counsel and cancel sound similar, lol. After we got it worked out that I wanted counsel and not to cancel our marriage, we were on the right track!

We had incredible Pastors at the time who were from Puerto Rico. They gave us the best advice we could have ever received. "Follow Jesus Culture, not your own. See what the Bible says about your struggles and do it, without considering your own culture. "  Then her final advice to me was to learn to cook the food my husband liked. 😉 She explained to me that even though she and her husband were from the same country, they were from different places and liked different things, so she too had to learn a different style of cooking. We are not exempt just because we are from the same place.

In a way this advice seemed simplistic. It definitely took out the battles over his way or my way, and who was right or wrong. It sent us right to God’s word! That’s where the simplicity ended. Then we had to submit to what it said. Some of those hard verses like considering others more important than ourselves, and treating others how we want to be treated. It seemed like God’s word always brought me back to me and what I could do. Whew! That’s hard stuff!

Thankfully even though we didn’t always obey God’s word the first time, through praying and continuing to strengthen ourselves individually in Jesus culture, our own culture began to change and desires to please God more than ourselves started to emerge and the battles that used to overwhelm us, began to fall away. It certainly didn’t mean we were without problems, but God was teaching us His way to solve them instead of relying on our own ways.

I am so thankful for Godly counsel (not cancel) and a husband who wanted to follow God. If you are in a place where you don’t have these things, but need to change the culture of your marriage, don’t underestimate the power of prayer. I have seen God work miracles in our lives through prayer when our fleshly efforts had been exhausted and we finally turned things over to God.

Strengthen yourself in God’s word and encouraging worship music, and a body of believers who will cheer you on in the things of God.  Build your own Jesus culture and everything around you will change! I also would be honored to pray and believe with you.

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.… Jeremiah 29:11-13

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Please check out these other great blogs I may have shared with.




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