Did your holidays bring home more than just irritating in-laws? Sometimes the stress of the holidays can magnify problems in your marriage that were on the backburner until now.
Perhaps you feel as if you are in the fight of your life to save your marriage.
First off, let’s consider …
3 Common Reactions to a “Messy Marriage”
1. Attack the Partner
When things go wrong, we look for someone to blame. It’s a simple law of nature that began as early as the Garden of Eden. We are drawn like a magnet to blame our spouse for the problem and overlook our own missteps and offenses. This is a slippery slope that once you’ve entered into it, it becomes increasingly more difficult to avoid.
2. Hide from the Problem
Second only to attacking the partner is hiding from the problem. This also involves a generous dose of denial. You’re afraid of conflict, so you lull yourself with the idea that things aren’t as bad as they seem. Or perhaps you see small improvements here and there and ignore the bigger problems that ravage the marriage foundation. At some point, you will not only feel that you’re hiding from the problem, but also your partner. You’ll avoid them at all costs, but this proves to only widen the chasm.
3. Run from the Partner to a Substitute Partner
I’m not just speaking of affairs here. As humans we are quite resourceful, latching onto just about anything that brings pleasure. This includes everything from workaholism, alcoholism, materialism to over-parenting or even over-involvement in church, just to name a few.
If there’s a passion in your life that pulls you away from the passion you should have for your spouse, it needs to be surrendered or brought back into balance.
The 3 reactions above are unhealthy. Instead we need to “respond” to our marriage problems by …
Fighting the Problem. In other words, we need to …
Fight for our marriages
How do we do that?
We become like any great warrior from the Bible. Let’s take King David for example. He did certain things that kept him or got him and his country back on track.
1. He prayed before going into battle.
Ask Christ to help you to stop seeing your spouse as the enemy and see the problems as the true enemies. Ask Him to reveal what those problems are. You may think you know, but you probably don’t see the problems you bring to the table. This requires humility and surrender, even as you fight.
2. He brought in godly advisors and counselors to help guide him.
Remember Nathan the prophet’s pointed words to David? (2 Samuel 12) He listened and took in the rebuke.
3. He took responsibility for his sins.
After Nathan’s corrective rebuke, David confessed his sin and changed his ways. He didn’t blame Bathsheba for tempting him with an alluring rooftop bath. He didn’t blame Uriah for being too busy for his beautiful wife. He simply accepted his responsibility and the painful consequences that came with his wrong actions.
4. He didn’t give up doing what was right, even when the battle was painful and confusing.
You’re going to feel weary of fighting for your marriage, but don’t give up and never quit relying on God’s strength to get you through to the other side—to victory.
Do you see yourself reacting in any of the 3 ways that I described above? If so, begin to respond this New Year by fighting for your marriage!
Photo by Indalo Art (Flickr)
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