Monday, October 19, 2015

Fighting for your Marriage

God has been speaking to my heart lately about how important it is to fight for your marriage. If you want a good marriage, it doesn’t just “happen.” Most of you probably know that any relationship takes work and effort, time and investment, if it’s going to be successful. Marriage is no different.

It’s seems obvious, but I don’t think it’s as practiced as we might think. Anytime we let a fight just “go” without working it out, anytime we leave something unsaid, anytime we go to bed or to work or to wherever and resolve to “fix it” later, we’re not fighting for our marriage.

We know that the enemy is real, and we know he is not passive. The Bible describes him as a lion, searching whom he may devour. That’s not someone kicking back in the LazyBoy watching T.V. (although, sometimes, I think he could do nothing at all, and we’d still manage to get ourselves in a pickle!). But he is active, alive, and always on the prowl.

And I firmly believe that the enemy attacks marriages in particular because it’s a two-for-one benefit—he can destroy not one heart, but two. And, similarly, if two become one, and as a result, become the extraordinary, powerful tool that God intends, then Satan is doubly defeated. So, of course he wants to destroy marriages. Why wouldn’t he?

If we know this, then we ought to likewise be proactive in our defense against his attacks instead of always reeling from the blows as they come. Most people, I think, are always on the defensive, instead of the offensive, and that becomes exhausting eventually. I believe there are three powerful steps we can take when we resolve to fight for our marriages:
  • Communicate. Howell loves to talk on communication, so I usually leave that to him, but it is one of the most important things you can do for your marriage (followed closely by having sex regularly—something we want to post about soon). As he mentioned in a recent post, communicating is much more than talking. Make it a point—a goal, if you will—to have a meaningful conversation with your spouse every day—even if you lose a little more sleep, even if you’re running late, even if dinner isn’t fixed on time, even if you miss your show.
  • Pray. Prayer is a powerful tool, and while there are some who are gifted to pray for hours (intercessors), we can all take a few minutes a day and pray for our spouse and pray for our marriage. Howell and I started doing this a few years ago, and we firmly believe we have built a defensive barrier against the enemy by doing so. Pray that God protect your marriage from the enemy, from the flesh, from sin, and from others. Pray that God would teach you both to love selflessly, to put the other one first, and to live graciously. Pray that God would transform your marriage from ordinary to extraordinary. Pray separately. Pray together. Both are powerful and important.
  • Forgive easily. This is the area I probably harp on the most, but it’s so important, especially for women. If you let an event—big or small—go undealt with, then it will take root in your heart. Anytime we refuse to forgive, we open the door to the enemy. He is waiting, believe me, for any signs of weakness—and he will attack. Don’t be his prey. Communicate your feelings, listen to your spouse, believe the best for each other, and forgive.
I realize these are simple steps, but often difficult to walk out. Our schedules get busy, we run out of time, we have some place to be—and so, we let things go. Don’t let anything get “too far gone.” It’s what Satan wants. Don’t let him win the battle—or the war.

Fighting for your marriage is not easy; it takes work. Plead the blood of Jesus over your marriage. Pray for his protection against the enemy. Rely on his grace that empowers us to be extraordinary. And then, take a stand. Take responsibility for your actions. Be proactive in the fight for your marriage. It’s a decision you make. Everyday.  A resolution. A declaration to fight.

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