Love is an important element of a great marriage. Marriage is the ultimate covenant relationship for a couple to learn how to grow together! It is a sacred union between a husband and wife! You both come together to build a lasting committed bond! When you both are dedicated to the Lord know that there will be a continuing barrage of spiritual warfare launched against your marriage! It often comes from the least expected places… It wants to undermine your credibility, destroy trust, infringe on your union and is designed to get you to respond in a carnal mode that will only divide you.
Disagreeing is a part of any strong marriage! You both are different and do not always see eye to eye. Why is it when you disagree you somehow forget what your spouse means to you! Or somehow you manage to push it in the background! Instead you often pull out the emotional boxing gloves and erect a mental boxing ring and come out punching! Often piercing the heart with deadly emotional punches that crush the soul! Or either you flip the script and make it about you! Bear in mind that there is always exceptions! This is not to point the finger but to put a halt to the staggering overabundance of marriages ending in divorce! To instead encourage you to “welcome love!”
There are those who use the word “Love!” so very loosely! They see love as something that makes them feel good! They feel you love them because you tell them what they want to hear and give them what they want when they want it… This is really not love at all! What you are really dealing with is the neglected “child” in them that has not grown up and always wants its way! They often hold on to “Me ness” instead of embracing “We ness” It becomes clear when you do not agree or tell them “No!”
Please don’t feed this monstrous bad habit! I say habit because it is a pattern that can be changed…! “Practice makes permanent! If not it will eventually manipulate you and everyone around them to appease their seemingly endless need to be cared for! Unresolved emotional issues have all too often become the scapegoat to fuel and appease their desires! On the surface it merely and at times cleverly mimics love in order to have its way! What often happens with someone of this nature; instead of growing beyond their childhood trauma it becomes a blanket excuse for any inappropriate behavior that may be confronted! It will drain you, your emotions, your resources as well as your finances! It is important to have compassion… To avidly seek to understand the deeper need! However, good boundaries are necessary and you must learn how to “guard your heart!”
Love is talked about but impatience, anger, insecurity, irresponsibility and immediate self-gratification are usually the behavior most often displayed… This does not have to be.
They simply justify having whatever it is they want! When you do not comply they feel rejected! They themselves are emotionally starved because they have never really truly experienced true love! They really do not know what love is really all about! Many in our society today confuse love with “lust” or what I call “intoxicating affections” that last for only a season! This is also the reason for a lot of divorces! It is important to begin to address any unresolved issues… In a warm loving, caring environment trust and security can flourish! One can grow beyond their issues!
True love is not selfish! It fills the void properly when sincerely embraced! Love is a part of the Fruit of the Spirit! “God is love!” He is eternal and so is His love! Enlist the principles of true love described in I Corinthians 13! They work! Use this as an effective barometer to measure love over lust, and or intoxicating affections! “Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in Truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails…”
If many truly learn how to love each other there would be a lot less marriages dissolving. Less families being divided and fewer divorces! We would instead see a lot more long term marriages continue to flourish! God never intended for your marriage to grow stale!
Begin to embrace redemptive confrontation and meet head-on in love! Just because it is your spouse you do not have to become “raw…” After so many unkind insults are continually inflicted upon one another it leaves debilitating emotional scars. This means together making a conscientious effort learning to face and embrace constructively resolving any conflict! Learn not to or stop taking one another for granted! This can deplete your marriage of comfort and security! Respect should be intricately woven into your marriage! Your feelings matter…Together you learn to deal with difficult situations as they arise! It is not wise to avoid confrontation, because this can build resentment… Addressing the issues at hand is important as well as healthy! If left undone, quite often the next step is; I’m out of here! On to the next person!
Why Most Marriages Don’t Last!
In the Sacramento Area you can find many interesting stories about couples that are indicative of what is happening everywhere all over the globe! Many couples are going through! But don’t be discouraged. Help is on the way!
A great marriage really is definitely possible. Marriage requires love, commitment, patience and lots of work! Counseling is an alternative that helps and it can enhance your marriage. But your goal must be to work through the kinks in the marriage rather than let them persist. If you wait until your problems are seemingly insurmountable it will take some time to plow through your relationship dynamics!
There are times when counseling is sought just as a last resort! You simply attempt to appease one another and are trying to buy some time… When this is the case; by the time the couple goes to counseling the problem is so bad that they just want to find out which spouse is responsible for their marriage problems? They are often just seeking support and approval to justify why they act or behave in the manner in which they do? The fact of the matter is your communication skills are lacking to the point you have lost some of your objectivity.
You now need or desire a neutral third-party to help you see if you can revive the marriage and get it back on track?
You can and should also incorporate the Bible as wise counsel in your marriage. Not in a rigid legalistic manner but in a way to enhance your marriage! It is important that you marry someone who values the same life principles! However if this is not the case you can still consult the Lord’s Word! There is some superb, really great “stuff” in the Bible that many are not aware of! I mean this in a complimentary way! There are some great love stories as well as excellent examples of tests and trials. The Lord never intended for any of us to be unhappy and disappointed all the time… I suggest that you to go to Galatians 5 and learn the differences between the works of the flesh and the Fruit of His Spirit!
Please, don’t just read the Bible you must actually implement the principles into your own personal life and marriage. It is not wise to use the Word to manipulate or hurl insults upon your spouse! After all the Lord KNOWS what He is talking about!
If you have a friend that is having marital conflict encourage them to seek helpful ways to resolve it! It is important to respect your marriage as well as the marriage of others! When asked for advice make it a point to be objective! Don’t experiment on their marriage and suggest things that are harmful rather than constructive! Help them look at the situation from all angles! Sometimes a listening ear is all that is necessary to sort through the problem. Never support abuse on any level in anyone… Learn to be a better friend by encouraging them to do what is right!
What is so interesting is that as adults you can do as you please! That is, unless you simply have no self-control yourself and are rather compulsive. In that case you just cannot restrain or discipline yourself and you freak out at the slightest little thing! If this is the case you need to put yourself in check and seek out getting some professional help! By the way prayer really does work!
Please if you know that your spouse has a short fuse don’t try to purposefully set them off! This does not mean that you are to be a doormat! Choose your battles wisely don’t encourage abuse or dysfunction in yourself or anyone else. Don’t be an enabler!
So why can’t you make a decision to work out your problems? It’s because you have opted to go the way of the majority or just “do your own thing!” You can simply do what makes you feel good instead at the expense of your spouse? Live together and really be miles apart! But is it really good for you or your marriage! No! That’s called being selfish! At this point, the marriage has become more about “you” rather than about “us!” It’s my house, my car, my money, my furniture my name my, my, my… Somebody has a bad case of “Me”ness! No wonder you are in such a quandary! You have now or will be joining the not happily ever after club soon! That is unless you decide to make your marriage a priority! So get busy!
The first step for getting your marriage back on track is taking responsibility for your own actions! Stop behaving as though you are in the relationship by yourself! It is called being considerate! Your spouse is neither your servant nor parent! They are supposed to be your partner… Start treating your spouse the way you would like to be treated for starters! Celebrate your marriage! Encourage one another and if necessary encourage yourself like King David! Don’t let anyone steal your JOY! If you have get busy getting it back!
Marriage and addiction
Addiction is something few want to readily discuss. Having an addiction will inhibit intimacy within the marriage. Transparency is necessary in order to build intimacy. Love, transparency, trust and intimacy are essential components in building a healthy strong satisfying marriage. Addiction prohibits you from being transparent.
Addiction is a clear indicator that you are hurting. You have simply found an unhealthy way to cope with your deep pain. Your addiction can be alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, uppers, downers, prescription drugs, caffeine, illicit sex, people, pornography, food and even shopping! Yes and there are more… Even approval from others. Guess what? You have only found a way to momentarily relieve or somewhat ease your infuriating inner pain; it is still there. The addiction is a flag that something is wrong. You need to seek a healthy resolve.
I say momentarily because while under the influence or indulging in the activity of choice you are able to somewhat escape. However the systemic cause remains because the pain returns. Often more vehement than ever before. This causes you to each time pursue passionately that which you are addicted to. Addiction of any kind can be life threatening because you are out of control. Your desires consume you and disables your ability to be responsible or demonstrate genuine love. Instead the activity controls you and you will do whatever it takes to get a “quick fix!
How does this impact my marriage? Good question. Marriage is a partnership and when one has an addiction they are not able to fully commit because the addiction is often their main priority. The spouse that is unaware is kept in the dark. Secrets, lies and deception accompany addiction. The addiction is used to fill the insatiable void in the addicted partner’s heart. It instead becomes their companion. This leaves their spouse out in the cold.
A disordered family, peer pressure, cultural influences, abuse, incest, rape, molestation, lack of self-esteem and a weakness to experiment can all contribute to one developing an addiction.
We live in a drug friendly worldly environment. Daily we are bombarded with the invitation to take this pill or that pill. Notice how many television commercials attempt to sell you something to feel better! Notice how the dinner hour has become the prime time for commercial pushers. There are a multiplicity of pushers of all sort. Doctors also oblige patients with tranquilizers, stimulants, pain pills, sleeping pills even pills to wake you up!
Keeping your commitments are important. One thing that needs to be promoted more is a personal relationship with the Lord! Marriage is ordained by God. It was designed to be the ultimate sacred relationship between a man and a woman. It can also help you prioritize life and put all your other relationships into their proper perspective, it can help you develop a healthier living environment.
Building trust is an important part of marriage! As we commit to building healthier home environments we contribute to lessening the number of addictions continuing to escalate. A safe home environment does not exclude addiction; but it does serve to nurture those who are… The possibility to break the generational cycle of dysfunction becomes attainable.
It is important to seek ways to validate one another. To develop and ongoing healthy support system that says I love and sincerely care. This does not mean you support the addiction. No! You separate the behavior from the person. You encourage them to be the best they can be and find ways to help them become who they were created to be!
God created each of us uniquely and we have varying temperaments. Our needs are different when these needs are not met a void is created and therefore one seeks to often erroneously fill that void. Marriage is about working together to find healthier ways to fill those voids with a committed partner…
Your partner is not responsible for your addiction you are. Both must hold one another accountable for their actions! You both are accountable to God for the vows you made… Remember, “for better or for worse…”
In this 21st century emotional gasoline has flamed the fires of addiction. Pain, grief and stress not dealt with properly are great contributors that drive unhealthy desires. Addiction is big business therefore it is often rationalized and one can easily find access and support. Addiction does not usually happen overnight it is a gradual process that begins with a series of steps…
Next we will discuss some of those steps;
Marriage is the first institution that God designed! Making a sincere commitment to your marriage is one of the most important decisions you can make in life. When God made Adam He made him both male and female. He took Eve out of Adam to be by his side. God is so wonderfully awesome! It was His intention to provide Adam with a compatible helpmeet to satisfy together their desires for companionship. Marriage is the ultimate partnership where two together can spiritually, physically and emotionally have there needs mutually met.
Marriage is a unique covenant agreement. Marriage is ordained by God. God intends for your marriage to last for a lifetime.
Purchase a copy of “Holy Matrimony: Now That We’re Married” to read more!!