There’s a war going on. No, it’s not a war that the mainstream media will report on. It’s not even a war that is really discussed in the Church.
But it’s raging.
It’s the war that every married couple should be “in the trenches” fighting.. It’s the war to protect our marriage.
See the enemy is out to destroy you and your marriage. Plain and simple. He wants to cause division and he knows if he can get past the barricades and walls that fortify and protect our marriages, that he can be a “Trojan Horse” and destroy from within.
He will use things, the desire for things, bitterness, past hurts and even people that you trust as weapons to chip away at your defenses.
Ready to fight? You better be!
Marriage is not for the weak-minded or soft-hearted. Marriage is for warriors.
But if you are married-whatever condition your marriage may be in today-you need to fight for it. A lot of couples make the mistake of waiting until the wheels are falling off to begin to fight.
So how do we fight for our marriage? What are everyday, practical ways to strengthen our relationships?
How to really fight: (many ways you can do this, here’s what has helped us)
-Pray for your marriage and for your mate. Pray even when you don’t want to. We learned to pray for protection over our emotions during disagreements. This has been life changing.
-Submit your marriage and your life to God. We have found the closer we are to God, the closer we are to each other.
-Let your husband lead your home. You must allow your husband to make choices for you. If the husband loves his wife as God intended, he will seek The Lord’s guidance.
-Parent together. Decide together how to discipline the children and stick to it. No “good cop-bad cop” routine.
-Leverage your strengths. If your spouse is a better navigator, let them lead you, the kids and the 9 stuffed animals through “Magic Kingdom!” Take a back seat and realize that you each have your own strengths and build on that!
-Trust -Believe in your spouse. Choose to trust. It’s a choice. If there are reasons that trust is an issue, work through them with honesty.
-Have a “No Secrets” policy.
-Forgive-some things seem unforgivable. But in the end, we must forgive. (This doesn’t mean we have to continue to live in abusive, dangerous or unfaithful marriages) God can truly heal ANY issue when BOTH spouses are committed to fixing the issue.
-Surround yourselves with people who cheer for your marriage. “Like-minded” couples who will encourage you, pray for you and call you on the carpet.
-Fight fair. It is unrealistic to think you will never disagree on issues or that one or both may have an emotional day that spills over into your relationship. In times of conflict, establish the boundaries of respect for each other. That may mean ; NO name calling, NO yelling, NO leaving or NO silent treatment. Whatever your “button” is… Talk about it when you aren’t in a heated discussion. When the time comes- follow the rules.
-A weekly date with your spouse, if you’re married. You don’t have to be a Christian to do this. The weekly date helps you stay close with your spouse all week long, and it can rekindle those romantic fires. It doesn’t always have to be “huge”. It is just time alone – together.
-When you and your spouse are together- Social Media Retreat! There’s no better way to tell your spouse that they or their time with you is non-important than talking to them while you’re focused on Facebook or texting your friends. Give your spouse your attention!
-Set the rules. Discuss the situations that hurt your heart and marriage. Find the boundaries that protect both. Agree on ways to avoid the things that cause your marriage strife ahead of time.
-Never EVER communicate privately/ secretly with the opposite sex. No matter the dialogue or subject matter, if you would be embarrassed for your spouse to see or read the communication-then it’s wrong! Confiding in them disrespects and will sabotage your marriage.
-Support your spouse’s career. Their line of work may not be your “cup of tea”, but it’s not about the work, it’s about supporting your spouse.
Our marriage is not perfect and at this rate, it never will be, but it’s real and it’s good and it will last.
Decide to be a warrior for your marriage today!
1 Corinthians 13:4-13 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
The Hutson’s 2013