Day (week 1) #1
Marriage Challenge… Or Challenging Marriage?
This week I am writing about what my wife Mary and I recently were challenged on by one of our dear neighbors. We usually don’t accept challenges because of the amount of tags we get. But we feel very passionate about the topic of Marriage. The challenge will be different in a sense that we will use scripture to point to the promise we made to God and each other, almost 32 years ago.
We also feel that one day challenges are a great start to refresh your marriage. With marriage being such a high priority, we felt the need to encourage people through words and scriptures. The Institution of Marriage is going through a crucial period of attacks recently. Society’s moral fiber is crumbling right before our eyes. The barrage on modern marriage has been steadily coming since the early 20th century.
“Society is falling apart because marriages are falling apart.”
The nucleus of the family is the father and mother who make a lifelong commitment of staying together and raising their kids in unity. The kids learn their morals and how to become positive role models in society from both parents. But this learning is not taking place in many homes due to a few things:
- Every marriage needs guidance form God. I don’t care what people are saying nowadays. There is no marriage without God in the center of it. Godless marriages can thrive and even survive. Yet they will be missing the most crucial of priorities. Long term relationships which are bound in heaven. If you truly love someone, you will love them into the forever. You will make sure that they get to a safe place in the after life.
“The true love in a marriage is a forever love that only Christ can bring to the home. The forever part is eternity.”
If you truly love your spouse, you will do everything in your power to point them to Christ. The only way to have a lasting relationship with your spouse is a stronger and tighter relationship with Christ. He is the One that holds the marriage together. He is the strength for both of you. You cannot depend on your spouse because they will disappoint you. You cannot depend on a doctor or counselor because they are just as imperfect as you. Only through the binding of God’s power can your marriage work. Only through God’s strength and wisdom can your marriage last. Jesus is the Third braid in the marriage.
“”12 If someone attacks one of them, the two of them together will resist. Furthermore, the tri-braided cord is not soon broken.”” Ecclesiastes Chapter 4 Verse 12
2. One of the problems facing marriages is the busyness of staying busy. Couples already having problems communicating, find themselves avoiding each other and the problems they are facing by staying super busy. They keep themselves on tight schedules going to their kids soccer practices and games, yoga classes and work schedules or volunteering in so many ministries, that they soon stop talking with each other and with their kids . These couples get so good at staying in the business of busyness that when they go out, most will have their smart phones out either telling their hundreds of friends where they are and what they are doing or looking at a proposal from work that needs to be done yesterday. They spend their time waiting for their friends to like or reply to their latest posts on how wonderful their marriages are or from work mates replying to their latest information emailed. They both sit physically in front of each other, yet a dark abyss apart mentally and spiritually.
3. The Bible tells us to meditate on God and His word throughout scriptures. Psalm 119 alone has this specific word 5 times. Selah is another word for sitting still and pondering, thinking, meditating on what one just read or experienced. The word Selah is used 74 times in the Psalms and Habakkuk. The experience of a Selah or meditation moment should be along the lines of when you read or see something so profound that it touches your spirit, mind & heart to the point of saying,”Thank you Lord or Amen!”. It is a moment when you stop and just sit to replay the previous moment or event that has just made an impact in your way of thinking. It is the moment of sitting still and thinking of what just happened in your life. Or what you have just learned from a specific moment in time that will make you a better person.
“”… Be angry, yet do not sin. Think about this when upon your beds, and be silent. Interlude(Selah)””… Psalm 4:4 ISV
When the Psalmist says the above, it is for us to really sit in bed and think about What God is wanting us to learn from Him. It takes some thinking and meditating. It takes for us to intentionally be quiet enough to hear God explaining this to us. These are the moments we all must learn to sit or stay still long enough to capture the Selah moment of learning. The same thing happens in marriage. But most if us are so busy that when our loved ones say something to us that we disagree with, we snap at them. Instead of holding our tongue, and having a count to one hundred moment we say something we know we’ll regret later . This is a symptom of being so busy that you have had no time to refresh, recharge and refocus.
Refresh– My question to you is this. When was the last time that you and your spouse spoke for such a period of time or just sat next to each other long enough to notice each other? I mean really notice each other? Or left on a weekend, just the two of you? These moments of communication whether vocal or physical are what keep marriages strong. It is not the business of the busyness of a marriage that keeps marriages together. What will happen when the bride and groom come back from their whirlwind honeymoon if they come back and just focus on the wedding day from that point on in their marriage?
“Marriage is living the very moment in the now. Not the moments that just passed. Yes, the moments in the past are great and fond to remember. But they are not to stay stuck in. God wants more from and for your marriage.”
We all have done it. We all have lived in the past at one point in our lives. Some relive their glory days of sports. Some relive the best travel time they had. Some relive a different relationship with someone before their spouse. Some others, are stuck in the past. They can’t seem to get out of it. They keep reliving a hurtful moment in their lives. They allow the moment and the person or persons to keep opening up the wound. What I would ask you is this- If you have ever broken a bone, you know the pain that it inflicts on your body.
“Imagine your doctor healing you up and then scheduling an appointment every 6 months to re-break the same bone over and over. You would say it is silly.”
Yet, some of you are doing that exact same thing to your minds and spirits by replaying your dark moments. I will ask you to stop doing this so you can begin to live again. If your spouse has hurt you or if you have hurt your spouse, ask for forgiveness. This magic little word can do wonders to a soul.
“”32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”” Ephesians chapter4 verse 32 NASB
Refocus– When you forgive and ask for forgiveness, God will honor your marriage. Your spirit will honor your intentions. Your mind will be free of the burdens it has been carrying. That is the time when your spirit, mind and body start to refocus. That is the time when the braided rope remains strong. The 3 braids are intact once again. You can now start a new chapter. There is no longer anything holding you down. The 3 braided rope is loose and not tight around you squeezing the life out of you. The rope is now part of the hope for the future. Use it wisely. Move forward and don’t look back.
2. Influences of some friends who are also in the business of busyness. Why it is hurting your marriage.
3. One can go to as many seminars or retreats or sessions to make your marriages better. But….