God has been working on me on this subject for a few weeks now. Fighting FOR your marriage.
The Bible says in Matthew 8:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Most people do not really know how STRONG the bond between a husband and a wife really is.
There is POWER when two are together, UNITED, for Christ!
Many also DO NOT know or realize that this MARRIAGE will be ATTACKED! Why? Why would the devil want to attack this union? The question is more like why would he not? A marriage binds two together where they can pray together, believe together, encourage each other, love each other. They can do ALL of the things the devil hates.
What we need to do is learn what these attacks look like? Horror movies have engraved in our heads that when the devil comes around, he has a pitchfork in his hand and horns on his head. What many do not realize is that the devil does not look like that. Issues are not presented in the form that Hollywood has taught us to look for. Issues that can attack your marriage start in your thoughts.
It starts like a seed that is planted in your thoughts.
Now, one may be able to recognize WHO dropped that seed (if your eyes have been enlightened by God’s word). Many, unfortunately, do not recognize that it is a foreign seed that should be thrown out. Instead, they embrace the seed and think that because they have thought it, then it must be there’s.
Let me give you an example. In my own marriage to my loving husband, we have had amazing highs and we have also had a few struggles as well. During those struggles, we grew together and came out even stronger. But, what if during this time, a thought would have come to me to “just get a divorce because all we ever do is fight”. Now, I could choose to say, No, we don’t always fight. We have a wonderful marriage. We may be going through a rough patch that is very temporary. OR, I could choose to think on it.
Now, when we think on something, it grows in us whether we want it to or not.
So, let’s say I chose to think on it. Now, every time we disagree on an issue, what do you think will come up again in my thoughts? “Just get a divorce, all you ever do is fight.” This little disagreement would begin to justify the wrong thought. And the thought would begin to grow within me. And the next disagreement, would again feed the wrong thought even more. You can see how this can get out of hand, VERY QUICKLY. But how did it all start? It started with one single thought.
That is how our marriages are being attacked. The devil doesn’t come and poke you and your spouse with his pitchfork. He uses thoughts against it.
And then let’s the two of you GO FIGHT EACH OTHER.
Instead of fighting each other, we should be fighting to keep it together and others OUT! I heard great marriage advice recently from an unexpected source. Pretend you lived in the 1800’s and you lived in a fort with your spouse. Imagine a circle around your entire fort. You and your spouse are in the fort, together. Together, you protect that fort from anything that may try to hurt, steal, or penetrate that fort. Away from the fort arises an issue (to the left of the fort, completely separated from your fort). Husband and wife need to come TOGETHER to decide how they want to deal with this issue. There is an issue there. Not in your fort. NOT IN YOUR MARRIAGE. The issue just needs to be addressed, but so many times we begin to attack each other instead of FIGHTING TOGETHER!
We need to fight to keep our marriages together. FOREVER. Not for a few more years, until the kids are old enough, or whatever deadline you may have secretly given your marriage. You made a promise and that meant forever. YES, you will need to FORGIVE. YES, you will need to FORGET!
The unity of marriage CAN BE HEAVEN ON EARTH, if you allow God in it.
The answer to almost any issue in a marriage is LOVE. What do I do if my husband does this? Love. What do I do if my wife says that? Love. Then, seek the Lord about how to stop the bad cycles.
Personally, I have had to OVERCOME in this area. Especially since my previous marriage had so much verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. I was a “good” wife and sat there and took it. But what God keeps prompting in my heart is that he has called us to be Meek, Not Weak.
Not only can I be a good wife, but I have learned how to be an even better wife by setting BOUNDARIES so I know in my heart that I am being respected (as God wants for us) and so OTHERS know how to treat me. If I never spoke up when something hurt my soul or really bothered me, that would make me a doormat to be mistreated on. God has not called us to be doormats. He has called us to be His people and to do His work here on earth. You are His daughter and sons in Christ. With that being said, what PARENT would want to see their kids mistreated? No human parent would. And our heavenly Father would not want to see it either.
So, how can you stop certain behaviors from happening? Great question. Let’s start with 3 things you can remember.
1. Pray. Always Pray. Pray when you wake up. Pray continuously throughout the day. When you ASK God, He has the right to move on your behalf. He is a gentleman and will never push himself into your life. So, you HAVE TO ASK! (Please remember that this is not a complaining session. This is when you make your requests known to the Lord. For example, “Lord, please show me what I can do in this situation.”)
2. Next, purchase a good Christian book on Setting Boundaries. I was gifted one and continuously read it to remind myself of the wisdom it contains. I highly recommend you do the same. Keep it by your bedside. I learned that I personally never really had boundaries and no one had ever taught me that a person should establish these. Because I didn’t recognize that “healthy” boundaries had been broken, the behavior not only continued by grew worse. I also learned how to politely let someone know that I did not appreciate being treated a certain way and how to let them know that there will be consequences if the actions continued. For example, please stop yelling at me or I will go ahead and go into the other room until you calm down. Then, I would DO it. I would go into the other room. If the person followed me and continued to yell, then I would calmly ask again, Please stop yelling at me. If you continue, I will leave for a few hours. Then, I would do it if needed. This establishes respect for both parties. There is no disrespectful behavior from your part. This will probably be done a few times before the other party realizes that you will follow through and learns to change THEIR behavior.
3. Don’t let it MOVE you! So much easier said then done, right! BUT it can be DONE! Just because someone is mad at you, YOU MUST LEARN NOT TO LET IT GET TO YOU! I’m not saying, sit there and take it 24 hours a day. No, please don’t do that. You can learn how to disconnect your behaviors, your attitude, your feelings and emotions from an abusive or unhealthy situation. Personally, after so much abuse I honestly forgot that I had my own set of emotions. My own set of goals and wishes and dreams. I was my own person. If they were upset, then THEY were upset. I didn’t have to get SUCKED into it. They could deal with their issues because they were indeed adults as well. (This was the realization that literally allowed me to break free from hell). I was able to get strong enough to realize that I didn’t have to deal with an abusers emotions. I didn’t have to get sucked into the endless trap of their unhappiness.
Please pray this outloud: “Dear God, I come before you now in the name of Jesus Christ, and I ASK you Lord to open the eyes of my understanding. Teach me Lord how to LOVE the way you Love. Teach me how to be unmovable, unshakable. Let me do your will today and every day, and not my own will. Show me the areas that I need to change within my own heart and life. Show me how to make those adjustments. Show me how to be a blessing to my spouse. Show me how to serve others wanting nothing in return. Let others see Your goodness in me. I submit my entire life to you, Lord. Use me to do great things for YOU. In your word Lord, you said that if I asked you for wisdom then you would give it to me and so I ask you Lord for more wisdom, grace, mercy, and favor! In Jesus name I pray, Amen!”
(If you have never heard of Joey and Rory before, please watch their documentary. He writes the lyrics and she sings the songs. The love that they have for each other is so amazing to watch. I pray that these bless you as much or more than it has blessed me!