Facing the Enemies of my Marriage

I’d done it again: said the words I shouldn’t have said. Critiqued when I should have encouraged. And the person I love more than anyone else felt the brunt of my barbs. Why is it that the people we care the most for often receive the ugliest, unrestrained aspects of us? Sometimes I need to just “shut it” already.

As much as I know how valuable my marriage is, I don’t always protect it like I should. Sure, I don’t interact with other men on a one-on-one basis. I don’t live independently from my husband. We make decisions together and interact on a daily basis. However, some other areas need to be insulated against the dangerous cold drafts that can rob a marriage of its security and stability.


Image result for Billy Graham quotes on true love

Beware of these enemies: they wish only to destroy your home.

  1. Resentment: Life can be a grind, but your spouse is not pushing the stone on you. They are feeling their own pressures, so avoid the trap of comparing: “my burden is weightier than yours.” No one profits from that mentality….even if you are accurate in your assessment. Instead, kindly ask for perspective. “What can I do for you?” “Where do you feel overwhelmed right now?” And listen. Don’t wait to show your own list of woes. Repent if bitterness has rooted itself in your heart and seek to find the pride behind your perspective.

  2. Fatigue: this beast comes in many different sizes and colors. Emotional exhaustion, brain fog, physical weariness, sleeplessness and more. Recognize this tiredness for what it is and avoid the lifestyle of lethargy. Get a babysitter for once a week (swap with friend if you don’t have the funds for this) so you can recharge and rest. And don’t underestimate the power of a nap. Don’t have that much time? Put on a Veggie Tales or Paw Patrol for your kids and take a 10-minute sabbatical in your room. Sit on the floor, stare at the wall, cry out to God, read some Psalms. Close your eyes and ask for help. There’s nothing wrong with a brief time out.

  3. Distractions: Busyness is one of Satan’s most effective tools in destroying the health of a marriage (and family). Recognize that your children are not the most important people in the home (and neither are their schedules). As our pastor says, the marriage will continue long after the kids have graduated and started their own lives. Therefore, invest in time together more than you spend time at ball games, dance recitals and extra activities. Prioritize your spouse. Plan fun dates and retreat times. Know that your first ministry is to your spouse.

  4. Feelings: Our culture erroneously believes that love has something to do with feelings. Where’s my buzzer? WRONG. When we make a vow to our spouse, we don’t sa,y “I will stay committed if I still get the warm tingling feelings, if I still find myself wanting to be with you, if the fire doesn’t die down…..” Nope. We claim love in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse (AND THAT INCLUDES OUR EMOTIONS). I’m sorry to yell, but seriously, love is an act of the will, a selfless decision that says, “You matter to me. Your needs above my own.” After all, love is either what God says it is or it’s something subjective of our own making (which–news flash–isn’t really love at all). (Read I Cor. 13:4-8) You don’t ‘fall out of love’; you make a decision to be selfish and prioritize lust and emotion over commitment and devotion.

  5. Criticism: This one hits me between the eyes. I’m a horrible critic. Before I’ve even considered the syntax or tone, words fly out of my mouth, darting the person listening (often my husband). As much as God has convicted me over this sin, I still struggle to keep the guard over my mouth and rein in my tongue. Instead of critiquing, encourage. Perhaps what that person did really peeved you. Your frustration may be valid, but that doesn’t mean your thoughts should become verbal. Seek to edify. Find something positive and praise that instead. If the weak area needs to be addressed, wait until your anger has mellowed. Pray and ask God for the right words to say, extracting all others that serve no purpose but to hurt. Seek the right time and place and sandwich your concern with positive comments.

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.  ~Ephesians 5:22-28

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