One thing that saves a marriage.....
As I enter into my 13th year of marriage, I look around and I still feel like a newborn baby in marriage. That is, compared to the amazing couples and relationships my husband and I look up to. We have wonderful marriages and wonderful families surrounding us.
But as I enter into my 13th year of marriage, I am reflecting on the many days my own marriage could have dissolved. The statistics are so high and the notion to make ourselves happy, during days of hardship, is what kills the marriage. It kills the family. For me, those days seem to no longer exist. But if we can be truthful, at some point all marriages have an open window to that exact misery.
There is one thing that can save a marriage. ......It's prayer.
This year my advice may be different than the next year, but I can assure you that this advice this year-- helps save a marriage.
The enemy is Satan. The enemy hates marriage. He hates families and he hates the master plan God laid out before us for husbands and wives (Genesis). He hates joy in the home. He hates spouses who are best friends, he hates mothers who are selfless in the home and he hates fathers who are committed. He hates loyalty and he hates boundaries. Satan hates communication and he hates the hedge we can build in our lives that keeps him out and our family protected... that hedge is prayer.
The enemy is Satan. The enemy loves conflict. Actually, I'm not sure the enemy "loves" since God is love (1 John 4:8). But for the sake of reading and understanding what I am writing here, the word "love" here in this contexts means: 'he takes pleasure in'. Satan loves our hearts to be broken. He loves our marriages to be dissolved, our children to be damaged, broken, scared and for our home to be a house of pain.
We know that even before an issue takes place in our marriage and home.... we know that an issue could be coming. We know that no one is left without conflict in marriage. Conflict can be silence. Conflict can be loud. Conflict can be separation. The enemy creates division.
My best advice I have, as I spend time in prayer and ask the Lord to reveal to me what has helped most this far ...as a daughter of His, He whispers and I hear Him...... it's been prayer. It's preparing for the battle long before the battle arrives. Often times these days you see a bride and a groom holding hands praying as each stand around a corner with their eye's closed, right before the wedding ceremony. There’s a lot that goes into that representation. Many spouses forget to go back to that corner and pray over their marriage after the photographer has left. Prayer is a real weapon the Bible says. It is inviting heavenly hosts. We fight a spiritual battle as married couples (Ephesians 6:12).
•••We pray for our marriage even before the attack begins.•••
There is not one single human that is immune to making one bad choice that can ruin their marriage or even ruin their home. We need to understand that we are all one choice away.
We pray to stay humble. The proud one is the one who entangles themselves in destruction. My mom used to explain sin to us growing-up. She would tell us how it starts with just a little toe nail of sin, pretty soon the devil has your leg, then you wake-up one day and he's got his arm around you like a good ole' friend. Our sin convinces us, when we are proud, that we have a right to act foolish in marriage. We will not even know we are acting foolish or selfish because the enemy is the one whispering deception to us in our actions.
I was sharing with our 18 year old daughter last month that I pray in the good times. In the good times I'm praying a shield over my heart and my actions and my marriage. I don't want to wake-up one day and be the blinded fool with my arm around the devil. I don't want my proud heart or baby sin to be the reason why my marriage is a sinking ship one day. We stand blindly in the ships we are sinking and don’t even know it sometimes.
Individuals hardly ever go out and seek destruction for themselves. But, very often individuals seek pleasure for themselves and end-up hurting those around them. Without the hedge of prayer, the father of lies leads us to deception in all our actions. Our deception is run by feelings and non-truths. We are not big enough, strong enough, or spiritually capable of going into battle with Satan without a hedge of protection. Even Jesus himself prayed for help prior to his battle on the cross. We prepare for the battle in our marriage now, because even Jesus himself spent time in the garden praying for himself before the attack had begun in his life. Temptation is a real physical thing. The spirit within us is greater and we need to pray for that power in our marriages.
Matthew 14:38 "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Apostle Paul says: Make no provision for the flesh. In marriage there are many times we have to practice living beyond the pursuit of happiness. That could be in any area: guarding our tongues, serving our spouse, setting boundaries, or fleeing from those who give us attention (from those who are not our spouse).
There are many things that kill a marriage. There is one thing that can save it.... It's prayer.
My prayer is for the Lord to keep me humble. I pray my eyes are never blinded to my husband's love and to my children's security in this home. I pray my eyes are not deceived by the enemy which whispers lies into the mind and hearts of so many. Self centeredness is what robs EVERY marriage at some point and time. We are all sinful. We will all fail. The Lord is our refuge and strength. PRAY.
5 Things to pray for in marriage:
1). Guard our hearts - everything flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)
2). Guard our mouths- it controls the whole body. (James 3)
3). Guard our eyes- the window for deceitfulness (Matthew 6:22-23)
4). Pray for God to lead our home (Joshua 24:15)
5). Pray for ourselves first, spouse second, children third. This is the opposite of most prayer instructions. In marriage we acknowledge we need prayer ourselves, and we need fixing (even when we feel our spouse is the one who is wrong and that creates a hard heart). Jesus says: "stop looking at the speck of dust in your neighbors eye, when you have a plank in your own eye". Start with YOURSelf, humbly. (Matthew 7:2-4).
A Marriage in Trouble?
The 6 “R”’s in praying for God to rescue your marriage:
Ephesians 5:25: “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her."
Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
Malachi 2:14-15: “But you say, 'Why does he not?' Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.”
Ephesians 4:2-3: “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Colossians 3:14: “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."