I have such a burden for couples around us. Do you remember as a kid hearing of people getting divorced, or experiencing this with your own parents and thinking, “there is no way I will every get divorced!” It seemed foolish, like why would you ever cause yourself, the ones you love, or the people around you that much pain? Yet, here we are in 2016, and friends our age are getting divorced. Or have been divorced. And I feel the pain as though it were my own.
Loyalty and commitment have always been pillars in my life. I have a difficult time understanding people who don’t grasp those qualities. When I got married, I knew it would be for life, and it had to be to someone who believed the same way. When I met Evan in the summer of 2006, it was at his Nana’s lake house & we spent most of the day on a boat. We didn’t talk much as he was quiet most of the day. If you know my husband, you know that this is a rarity. He can chat it up with any stranger and before we met, he didn’t pass off a chance to show off to a girl. But that day was different. After that day, we didn’t talk for 3 weeks, then one day he showed up where I worked & we went on a date the next day. 2 months later, we were engaged, 6 months after that, we were married. 2 months later, we became pregnant with our first daughter. We barely knew each other and we were suddenly a family. We struggled a LOT those first couple of years. But one thing was certain: we were committed to each other, and we were committed to Jesus.
I share this because I have to give so much credit for the success & growth of our marriage to Evan. He is the one who pushes for us to grow towards Jesus. He is the one who strives for humility, who is honest about his failures with me and with others. He is the one who apologizes first. He is the one who shares with our small group about the way he contributes to problems in our marriage before I do. He is so much greater than I, and our marriage is successful because of him.
Men, I think we have a problem. So many of you are living in bondage and you don’t even realize it. This is manifested in the following ways:
- Passivity- many men ignore issues just so they don’t have to deal with them
- Selfishness- many men do as they please, without regard to their wife or family. They believe they should be able to do what they want. I see this especially with men who are the main providers financially.
- Disengagement- men are mentally absent from home life or relationships. They don’t talk about issues so they don’t have to feel emotions. Our society preaches the lie that you must be tough and unemotional to be a man. Many of you saw this example in your own father. It’s easier to disengage.
- Infidelity- through emotional or physical relationships. Pornography is killing our marriages. Boys are looking at porn starting in elementary school. This sexual deviation is being carried through into marriages and is rampant. WE HAVE TO STOP THE PORNOGRAPHY ADDICTION. Proverbs 6:32 says,
A man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself.
When you even lust after another woman, you are committing adultery. And this is destroying lives. You are a slave to your sexual desires & they rule over you.
Women, we are not immune to sin that holds us captive. We are the product of the feminism age, which has almost harmed us more than helped. Bondage manifests itself in us through:
- Control- we want to power up to our husbands, make decisions, be in charge. Mix this with a passive husband, and it’s sure to create conflict.
- Insecurity- we long to be validated. This can show up in so many ways, but often we nag our husbands for not showing us the love we desire instead of seeking our security from Christ.
- Defiance- we have been so ingrained that “submission” is a bad word. We refuse to believe that we are not “equal” to our husbands or could possibly be the weaker partner.
My desire is that all of us will live in the freedom that comes from Christ. Let’s bring these issues out of the darkness & into the light. It takes more courage to expose your secrets than it does to keep them hidden, even if you risk everything to find freedom.
These words from Bethel Music are so powerful:
All my fears were drowned in perfect love. You rescued me so I could stand and sing
I am a child of God.
Men, I love you and am praying fervently for you. Women, may you persevere through hard times and be willing to submit to your husband’s leadership even when it’s hard.
Let 2016 be a year of freedom. May our lives be forever changed. May our marriages be rich and thrive, impacting generations of people.
Leave me a comment if you would like me to pray for you. This is a great message on identity to tie this post together.