Your marriage has a unique design and God wants you to know it. Consider that statement. The creator of the heavens and earth has a specific plan for your marriage and He desires that you know what it is so you can live in fullness. God has designed marriage for success. He has given you a spouse that will be used by God to bring wholeness and make you holy.This will only happen if choose to fight for our marriage. If you are going to fight for something, fight for your marriage and be willing to pay the price. Many of God’s plans come through the fountainhead of our marriages.
Here are five facts of life for every single and married person on the planet.
- Everyone has hurt and pain.We were never promised that we would have life without pain. All of us have pain and much of this pain is a devastating pain.
- Unless we deal with hurt and pain, it accumulates.This pain drops in places and starts to have a snowball effect. It may start small but, with time, its effects increase. A key question to consider is, “How do we deal with hurts that we accumulate in our lives?” When we don’t deal with the hurt and pain it shows up in our marriages. Like the man who came to the pastor had attended church for 25 years, respected, a leader in the church, said, “Pastor, I’ve got something to tell you. I’ve never told this to a soul, extremely difficult to tell you this now, but my wife and I have had a fight every day for the past 30 years of our marriage.” The pastor was taken back. Didn’t know what to say to the man. Playing for time to gather thoughts, said, “Every day?” “Yes, every day.” “Did you today before you came to church?” “Yes.” “Well, how did it end up?” “She came crawling to me on her hands and knees.” “What did she say?” “Come out from under that bed you coward and fight like a man!” Pain accumulates in our lives and has a direct effect on our marriages because we bring our past with us.
- Accumulated pain and unresolved problems compromise our health.Our mental health is degraded along with our emotional well-being. The health of our marriage is eroded which shows up in the more intimate places.
- We all deal with pain in some way. Everyone has ways they deal with pain either right or wrong. Many turn to the false comforts of this world for a false sense of relief but only leaves us in more bondage. Some turn to sexual addictions, entertainment, hobbies, or even working for Jesus with a heart of striving.
An overview of the lineage of David gives a picture of ways people deal with their pain. David was an amazing man that had a heart after God (1 Samuel 13:14) and fulfilled the purpose of God in his generation (Acts 13:36). David was also a poor father that had a sexual problem. He was a wounded man that medicated his pain. David did a lot of things right in his life, but he didn’t deal with pain well and neither did his children.
Where did all of David’s pain come from? David was rejected by every major authority figure in his life.David was overlooked, belittled, and diminished by his father, Jesse. The Message translation of 1 Samuel 16:11,“Then he asked Jesse, “Is this it? Are there no more sons?” “Well, yes, there’s the runt. But he’s out tending the sheep.”The Hebrew word used here is mikros which means small insignificant one. David’s own father considered him of such insignificance that he wouldn’t even extend an invitation to him.
Sometimes an older brother can offset the damage of being rejected by a father. This was not the case for David. His oldest brother Eliab scorns and rejects him out of jealousy and hatred. “Eliab, his older brother, heard David fraternizing with the men and lost his temper: “What are you doing here! Why aren’t you minding your own business, tending that scrawny flock of sheep? I know what you’re up to. You’ve come down here to see the sights, hoping for a ringside seat at a bloody battle!” (1 Samuel 17:28).If that were not enough, David’s first boss becomes offended and goes into demonic fits trying to kill David. Saul tried to kill David by pinning him to the wall with a spear. Saul then pursued David to try and kill him.
David had much pain in his life because there was no loving, caring, nurturing male authority figure. Instead of dealing with his pain God’s way, David chose to medicate his pain. David’s son, Solomon, chose a different way to manage his pain, through busyness and motivation. Solomon motivated his pain, ultimate overachiever, workaholic.To deal with his pain, he built and did everything but slow down and talk with the Lord. When you are hiding from God, you are hiding from your healer. When he touches the pain, he heals it. He is gentle in His healing. Solomon turned to work to deal with his pain like many people today and its effects are often seen in our marriages and families.
Years ago I met a man who shared his life story with me. He was a very successful man with many rewards, promotions, and large bank accounts. After thirty years of busyness, his life started to crumble around him. His marriage was showing the years of neglect and his children were exhibiting the lifestyles of neglected children. These signs were not enough for him to stop and consider the fruit on the tree. It was his health that started to suffer. Specifically, his mental health. He started to lose touch with reality around him until one day he found himself being examined by a mental health professional. This was the wake up he was needing to stop motivating his pain and meet with Jesus. Motivators cause pain because of their avoidance of the real issues. As he started to meet with the Lord and invite Him to visit the rooms of his past, his life started to become new and so did his marriage.
- The only way to stop the hurt and totally resolve it is, to be honest, and turn it toward God. Matthew 5:4 says,“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Many people avoid honesty and at all costs because of the pain they perceive will come or confidence they have in their own ability to manage the pain.
In order to get healed,
- You have to get honest with God.Talk about them in the presence of God and “confess your sins to one another and pray for each other that you may be healed” (James 5:16). In order to be healed, you must be honest with God and man. Many are not healed because they have only brought the sin area out before the Lord but refuse to bring it before man. Shame will say that people will reject us if they find out. This is a lie from the enemy of your soul. Bring it before a God-fearing person and you will find freedom for your soul.
- Take responsibility for our behavior.You are not a victim but a disciple of Jesus that is filled with the Holy Spirit. Life doesn’t form you, your response to life forms you. Stop transferring blame toward your spouse by taking responsibility for your behavior.
- Be a giver of mercy.You will forgive your spouse more than any other person in the world. Forgiveness is agreeing with God and extending active mercy to others. We are blessed when we live this way. Matthew 5:7 says,“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” This means extending forgiveness to others and yourself. Regret is an area that the enemy uses to destroy our lives. The greatest failures and scars in your life will be turned around for the glory of God.
As we start walking honestly before the Lord and others about our past pain, our marriages start to receive new life. Like a couple married for 15 years began having more than usual disagreements. They wanted to make their marriage work and agreed on an idea the wife had. For one month they planned to drop a slip in a “Fault” box. The boxes would provide a place to let the other know about daily irritations. The wife was diligent in her efforts and approach: “leaving the jelly top off the jar,” “wet towels on the shower floor,” “dirty socks not in the hamper,” on and on until the end of the month. After dinner, at the end of the month, they exchanged boxes. The husband reflected on what he had done wrong. Then the wife opened her box and began reading. They were all the same, the message on each slip was, “I love you!”