Saturday, February 02, 2013

Be Self Controlled and Alert. Your enemy the devil prowls along like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour--

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Ahhh February….  The month of Love! 

For some, this is a tough subject.  Maybe your marriage is not the best it has ever been right now.  Maybe you’re even wondering if you should be married to the person you are.

With divorce rates at a scary 50% for first marriages and even worse for subsequent marriages, I’m betting you either are, or know someone who is considering divorce.

I am a child of divorced parents, and their divorce affected me greatly.  I actually double dipped in a way, because my mother and my biological father were never married.  When I was almost two my mother and my adopted father married and my adoption was finalized.  My biological father gave up all rights to me so that the adoption could happen.  I always knew I was adopted by my dad, and had occasional visits with my biological dad and my brothers and sister that he and his wife had. 

This gave room for it’s own issues.  As a child and particularly a teenager I really struggled with my own identity.  I lashed out at my adopted dad frequently.  It wasn’t until I was older and began having my own children that I really understood how lucky I was to have him.

When I was in the Army I had the opportunity to really talk to my biological dad about my thoughts and feelings about how I grew up and we really came to a new understanding of each other.  We now have a good relationship, filled with mutual respect.  I understand why he did the things he did, and that he did it in love.

Still, though, the fact that he did what he thought was best for me did not mean there wasn’t pain.

Divorce causes pain.

It does not matter the reason.

Divorce causes pain.

Later in my life (just before my parents’ 25th Anniversary), my parents divorced.  The separation began in 2001, and since that time my relationship with my mother has been strained at best.

Their divorce literally divided our entire extended family.

Divorce causes pain.

It does not matter the reason.

Divorce causes pain.

You may be sitting there thinking, what does she know?  She’s got the perfect marriage!

Let me assure you.  My husband and I have been through our fair share of troubles, and I’m sure we will have more as we navigate this crazy life together. 

So, how do we guard against this in our own marriage?

I’ve talked a little on this on my other (poorly updated) blog, Life Inside a Marriage.  Today I want to touch on how your marriage is perceived by others, or more accurately, how your are presenting your marriage to others.

My family is a family of hackers.  Frequently when we have a facebook page open, whoever finds this opportunity takes advantage of it….

It’s all in good fun and most of the time we just laugh it off when we start getting the notifications like "hacked”, and “lol”… and “someone left their facebook open…….again…..”  Winking smile.

The other day my husband hacked my facebook page, and this is what he wrote:

Mere words can't totally express how wonderful my husband, Michael is!! He loves me through all of my quirkiness, and those of you that know me, know that is really, really, really hard. Hard to believe he won me over a candy bar!

It took me quite a while to find out because I didn’t get the usual responses.  In fact, when I got back on facebook I noticed that 10 people had liked my status…  I thought, hmmmm…  I wonder what they like?  I don’t remember saying anything of any importance….

Would you believe not one person on my friends’ list thought I was hacked?

This got me to thinking, and I told my husband “There’s a blog post in there!”  He totally laughed…

But seriously, here’s what I want you to ponder:

The people that are around you, and the people who are on your facebook etc are always watching your marriage.  You may not realize it.  You may not like it.  But the moment you indicate there is a problem is the moment you open the door wide open for more problems.

1 Peter 5:8 says, Be self controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls along like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”

This passage isn’t speaking directly to marriage, but I believe it applies well, especially in this age.  There are people in your life that are waiting for problems in your marriage.  You may not believe it.  You may not want to believe it.  THEY may not even realize it.  But they are there.

Be self controlled and alert.  Be self controlled about what you say about your spouse, and about your marriage.  Be self controlled about to whom you vent to.  Listen, it’s important to be able to vent to someone.  We all have days when we don’t particularly like being married.  Broadcasting that to the world is not helpful.  Have an accountability partner.  Your accountability partner should be interested in helping you to nourish your marriage.  Do not choose an accountability partner who is not married.  Do not choose an accountability partner who will later think less of your spouse.  Do not choose an accountability partner who’s marriage is completely different from yours.  Choose someone whom you can confide in with confidence that what you say to each other is confidential, and contained to that one conversation.  They need not bring up past issues when you’re discussing the current one.

Here’s my question and challenge to you:

If your facebook status was hacked with something similar to the above statement regarding your spouse, would people think you were hacked, or would they believe that is truly the way you feel?

If they don’t believe you feel this way about your spouse, there is a problem with how you are presenting your marriage to others.

Let me be clear.  The problem is not your spouse.  The problem is with how you present your marriage.  And you need to understand and make peace with this:  If you are not presenting your marriage in a positive light to others, you are actively asking for division in your marriage and opening the door for divorce.

Marriage is hard.

I can’t say it enough. 

It’s hard.

It takes two people giving 110% all the time.  It takes two people giving 110% especially when they don’t want to.

Don’t allow pride to set in to your soul and convince you that you deserve better.  You don’t.  (unless there is abuse, which is an entirely different issue). 

You married your spouse.  When you did so you said for better or for worse, or something to that effect.  You meant what you said the day everything was happy.  Be a person of your word and mean it when it’s not happy.

The best thing you can do for your kids is to nurture your marriage.  The best thing you can do to nurture your marriage is to take it seriously.  Be your own biggest cheerleader.  Be your spouse’s cheerleader.  You are married, and therefore you are 2 parts of one whole.  Take that seriously and invest in it.  Smile

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