In our opening Wedding Wednesday! post I posed the following questions:
How can I prepare mentally, spiritually & emotionally for marriage if I’m not dating anyone?
How can I be the wife I vowed to be when I’m not as in love with my husband as I was when I took my vows?
Are there benefits to getting married later in life rather than right after high school or college?
What does it look like to honor and cherish your spouse when better turns to worse?
How can I turn up the love dial in my marriage?
I hear a lot of people say the first 1-5 years of marriage were rocky, but then they figured things out. Is there anything I can do before I get married to be able to enjoy the first few years of marriage?
As a newlywed is there anything I can do now that will lay a foundation of love and respect for years and years to come?
How can I enjoy marriage for 40 years and not just endure it?
Does staying married mean I have a successful marriage?
Today the topic we are going to address deals with more than one of these questions. In fact, I believe the mental battle we are going to hit on today, if taken under the authority of Christ can dramatically change the way you think about and treat your husband (EVEN IF YOU DON'T KNOW HIM YET!). This one is for singletons, engaged, and married girls alike.
Today we are going to address the idea of our thought life in regard to the men we love. But let's begin with prayer and the Word.
Lord, today, I pray that you speak directly to our hearts. I pray that we come with open hearts wanting to be changed by Your transforming Word. You have set boundaries and guidelines for us in Your Word, and I pray today that we will hear with our hearts and be open to the change you have for us. I pray that we will not the enemy get a foothold in our relationships through our thoughts. I pray that we will lay our thoughts down at your feet and seek to honor you in the way we think about the ones we love, like, dislike, used to love or hope to one day love.
We say, “Thank You, Lord!” for not giving up on us. Let us run with perseverance, the race YOU marked out for us.
In Your Precious Name we pray,
Will you join me in reading the following Scripture found in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5?
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
When I've heard this passage used in sermons, I typically only hear the last phrase used: “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” And although we are going to hit on this phrase, but I don't want to miss how this phrase fits into the paragraph from which it comes.
Paul starts out reminding us that we live in the world. Do you ever feel like your marriage has fallen prey to “the world”? Do you feel like there is nothing different about your relationship than anyone else's? Studies show that even among those who profess to follow Christ, we are no different in our romantic relationships than those who don't. We cheat on our spouses and divorce at the same rate as those who don't know Jesus. We are just as selfish and unforgiving. We don't honor God in our relationships through sexual purity before marriage. We live out our relationships as though Christ has no say in them. We live in the world and act just like the world in our relationships.
But this should not be the case. When it comes to our relationships, the world should see a dramatic difference in us. Why? We will face the same temptations, disappointments, and strongholds, BUT!!!!!!! verse 4 reminds us, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they had divine power to demolish strongholds.” Did you hear that? If you have given your life to Christ, you now have HIS power to demolish the strongholds in your relationships. That is ANY RELATIONSHIP, not just romantic ones.
Maybe you have lost the love you had when you first said, “I do.” Or maybe you think, “It doesn't matter how I act because I'm never going to say, ‘I do.'”
But the truth is: it matters to God. How you interact with your spouse and how you conduct yourself while you wait to meet your spouse matters. If you have let the enemy get a foot in the door of your heart, it is time to kick him out. It is time to DEMOLISH that stronghold.
You may be struggling with saving yourself for marriage.
You may be struggling with being civil to your spouse.
You may be struggling to forgive your spouse.
You may be trying to just get by one more day.
I don't know where you are, but I know that satan is a liar. I know that he would love to destroy your heart, your purity, your marriage and your life. But you don't have to roll over and surrender. NO! With the power of God, you can take back your purity, your marriage and your life. You can DEMOLISH the strongholds that are suffocating you. You do not fight with the weapons of this world; you fight with weapons that have divine power! Will you choose to get up and fight for your life? Will you choose to fight for your purity and your marriage? Don't play the victim anymore. Get up, draw your weapon: the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD and FIGHT!
I'm praying for you. Don't wait for someone else to make the first move. Take the first step. Make the first move. Reclaim your heart for the Lord. When we surrender our hearts to the Lord and run to Him, we are inevitably running away from the enemy. Remember 2 Peter 1:3 tells us, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” You have everything you need to live out a godly life in your marriage. Being godly in your marriage includes honoring your husband. I know women you live with difficult men, and these women separate their relationship with the Lord and their relationship with their husbands. They spend time in the Word, they love others really well, they live a “good” life, but they disrespect their husbands. Let's be reminded that Paul tells us in Ephesians that our marriages are meant to be an example to the world of the relationship we have with Christ. So please, join me today and be encouraged that you can fight the good fight. You can persevere. You can honor God and your husband in your marriage.
There is so much more I want to discuss with you, so we will continue this discussion tomorrow for a special Wedding Wednesday! on Thursday. But until then, I have an assignment for you. I am asking you to go before the Lord and don't talk, just ask Him to reveal the strongholds in your relationships (particularly your marriage if you are married), and then listen. Don't argue, justify or place blame. Just listen.
Tomorrow we will address the final verse in this passage, verse 5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
I'm praying God will change our marriages through our honesty in seeking Him. I can't wait to see you tomorrow.