James & Stephanie Whitted
We celebrated our wedding anniversary in June. The years have gone by rapidly. We reflected on the years and questioned where had the time gone. When a family is started the focus shifts from your spouse to everything that is going on with the children. If you are not paying close attention, you could lose yourself in all the shifting of activities and the changes that come with raising children. But that is not the only thing that shifts your focus from your spouse and your marriage. Things like financial stress, illnesses, taking care of elderly parents, just to name a few, can shift the focus in a marriage. There are marriages that have slowly or abruptly dissolved because of any one of these things.
Our belief is that children should have a big place in your focus as a family. But your spouse should have the first place, if the marriage is to sustain. That may be hard to accept or to comprehend because often it is one person who is doing the majority of attending to the needs of the children and household responsibilities. You may be asking, “How can I give anymore of myself and feel good about it when I don’t have time for myself.” I think both sides, husband and wife, can attest to this but I realized early in my marriage that the give and take in a marriage is never 50/50. At any given time, someone in the marriage is giving and taking more than the other gives or takes.
It may be that one of you prays more about the circumstances that involves your marriage and family. Again, you must realize that marriage is not 50/50 in that area also. It does not matter who is praying or how much one is praying, somebody has to be keeping that marriage lifted to God in prayer. Your adversary, the enemy, wants nothing more than to destroy your marriage. If he can come between marriages, he not only destroys the marriage but the family as well. He accomplishes so much in that” bull’s eye” target of destruction in the marriage.
Let us talk about how the enemy accomplishes the destruction of a marriage. He separates the man and woman, causing divorce. God only knows the effects that has on a spouse especially if it is not a mutual agreement. Not only did he destroy the marriage but may have destroyed the self-esteem, self-worth of that person. This could be an emotional down fall for one or both spouses. If children are involved, the destruction is devastating for them to understand and comprehend. This could possibly lead to other damaging effects in the child’s adult life. We think of it as a “domino effect,” one thing leads to another and another. If the child carries the effects of what happened in the parent’s marriage into his or her adult/married life it affects their relationships and the relationship with their children.
The moment you lose sight of where your focus should be, it gives the enemy a foothold to get in. Because God created marriage, it is His advice and wisdom that we should seek. As a husband, God’s instruction is to treat your wife as an equal. As a wife, God’s instruction is to walk beside your husband not ahead of him. God can do some amazing things when we love and respect one another in a marriage. Hosea 2:19 And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.
The marriage should be airtight so that the enemy has no way of getting in and causing destruction. As you pray for your marriage and for one another ask God to reveal those things that the enemy can use against the marriage to bring destruction. You will be amazed at what God will reveal that often we take for granted. There are things that we may not speak aloud but is held in the heart or sometime spoken to the wrong people. It can be offenses or resentments that often the other spouse has no knowledge of or it may have been taken the wrong way. These things left unresolved, can be a weapon the enemy uses to come against the marriage. Open communication is so very important in a marriage. Communications often cures a broken or sadden heart and can bring to light things that were misunderstood.
When a husband and wife give their trust and marriage to God, the marriage will go in the right direction, it has no other choice. There is a quote by Max Lucado that speaks loudly in our hearts and we want to share it with you. “God created marriage. No government subcommittee envisioned it. No social organization developed it. Marriage was conceived and born in the mind of God.” ~ Max Lucado
God is to be included in your marriage at all times, it belongs to Him.