When Marriage is Hard

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33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

ephesians 5:33

Why Did I Get Married? Anyone ever heard of that movie? Ever thought about or answered that question? I praise God for you and salute you if your marriage is a blessing to all who are around you. But if that is not yet the case and your marriage is still a work in progress, join the club, because most of us are still a work in progress.

We started off the year with a number of divorce announcements both in the public and in our private circle.

Marriage is Hard

Anyone remember that quote from Michele Obama?

The enemy is raging against Christian marriages, and we need Godly counsel to insulate our marital unions against the wiles of the devil. However, there is nothing that is not happening in our marriages that God cannot change if we will pray and trust Him for the desired end result.

But not only to pray, but to have a daily confession over our marriage that it will prosper in God’s will for it.

God is still on the throne and He will not allow us to suffer above what we are able to bear, but to also provide a way of escape if we make a decision to walk in the grace that He has prepared for us.

Marriage is a wonderful institution that was created by God.

In the Garden, however, the first marriage ended up on a pretty rocky road:

17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

genesis 3:17-19

Do you think that Adam was a happy camper with Eve after that? I mean, after all, he did blame her for this horrid situation (it was a prideful move on her part).

So, of course Eve did not go without being punished as well:

16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

genesis 3:16

The curse was set in motion and this is what we experience in our marriages today. However, I have been redeemed!

Shout GLORY! If you are a Christ follower, you have been redeemed from the curse!

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

galatians 3:10-13

(Although technically Moses had not yet given the law, the Book of Genesis is included in the law).

The point I want to make is that Jesus has redeemed us from the curse. So why do Christians when they refer to marriage in the Bible, they take us back to the curse?

I am not cursed! However, I am not going to lie, in the first few years of my marriage, I felt cursed. I knew that I was not cursed, the circumstances around me felt cursed, yet I refused to give into the circumstances.

That was part of the problem. I refused to give in to the circumstances. I digress. In refusing to yield to what I was experiencing (because I knew that I was not cursed, however my marriage was operating under the curse), and I was bucking against the circumstances and my husband.

What I realized was that I had to unpack some stuff, my husband had to unpack some stuff which basically meant that all of the demons that our parents didn’t conquer we had to overcome if we were going to live in peace together.

Nevertheless, I heard the Lord telling me “Silvana respect your husband”. To which I would reply “Ok Lord”. The truth was that I did not have a clue to what that meant and it never occurred to me to ask.

I suppose the other part of the problem would certainly had been my lack of knowledge and pride.

How the Curse Looks in Our Marriages

The opening scripture is the basis of Dr. Eggerich’s book Love and Respect. In it, he describes what he believes is the source of our woes in our marriages: men in the core of their being need to respected, and wives need to feel loved, and if this is not in balance then they experience the “crazy cycle”.

I call the crazy cycle the curse. But you know, there is something that I heard Pastor Jack Hayford say many years ago that I have never heard anyone else say. He said that God did not pronounce the curse upon Eve. He announced it.

In other words, God said that because she had done this thing, her husband was now going to make it his business to rule over her (remember, he probably was not a happy camper). But that was never God’s intention. His intention was this:

 being heirs together of the grace of life

I peter 3:7

This is why the enemy fights marriages. Because “if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). That third cord being Jesus, imagine what you and your family could do in advancing the Kingdom of God if everyone was on one accord. However, if we are walking in strife with each other, we are separated, trying to build our own kingdoms.

Our marriages need to reflect the love of God, the power of God, the grace of God.

We have to be willing to repent to one another:

If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

isaiah 1:19

God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

i peter 5:5

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

james 4:7

We will reap what we sow. If we sow strife, that seed of strife will reproduce after it’s kind. However, if we continuously sow love, then we will reproduce love (and all of the other Fruit of the Spirit). One of the best ways that I have found to do anything that I am suppose to do has been to make it a daily confession over my life, ( i.e. I am loving, joyful, peaceful, etc; because we have what we say).

Wives (Women), Reclaim Your Power

Earlier, I talked about how the Lord spoke to me about being respectful to my husband, and I would comply, but the reality was that I did not have a clue about what being respectful to my husband meant.

As far as I can tell, I understand it to mean how a wife expresses herself in her attitude towards her husband (at all times). In other words, it’s not what we say necessarily, but how we say it. Now I do realize that at times, it is what you say, because sometimes husbands do not want to hear what their wives have to say, but at least he knows what it is you wanted him to know.

 Let your speech be always with grace,

colossians 4:6

On the other hand, we as wives are admonished to just be quiet, which really I have learned is a safe place when I sensed that the “crazy cycle” is about to start churning. But what the scripture in I Peter is referring to is the unsaved husband who observes his saved wife who carries herself with the grace of God upon her life.

And after all women of God, that is what we ultimately want to do: always take the high road and act as a woman of grace, Amen? That, I believe would qualify us as a submissive wife as unto the Lord.

But it doesn’t end there because God said something to Eve that gave her hope that she would overcome.

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

genesis 3:15

The seed of the woman is Jesus. Jesus is a girl’s best friend.

The God of the breakthrough (has empowered us to put our foot on the enemy’s neck and command him to take his hand off of our marriages and our children, and our destinies, and as we go through this wilderness experience (not give up, cave in, and quit), we will experience the victory that God has secured for us.

the Bible did not say that the weapon would not be formed, (but as you trust and believe God), it will not prosper.

19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

luke 10:19

The Lord Has Not Brought You This Far To Leave You

It takes work. But if you remember when we were in the How to Live a Spirit-led Life series, we learned that we have to labor to enter into God’s rest. When we come through that wilderness season having been intimate with God, learning what He intended us to learn, and making a decision to walk in the next level of blessing, we are in essence possessing more and more of our land of promise.

The Lord has not promised us an easy marriage (how can it be easy for two people to become one). We have to learn how to die to our flesh and feed our spirit-man through prayer and meditation in God’s Word-Lord help us!). Well, we have to ask for help for the things that He asks us to do that seem impossible.

For with God nothing shall be impossible.

luke 1:37

I Am Redeemed (From the Curse): A Testimony

When Jesus was beaten, bled, died on the cross, and rose again, He put us back in the Garden before the curse, (so to speak). I know that this cruel, wicked world around us is not a reflection of the Garden of Eden. However, it can be so at your house when you trust God for it.

Ok. So I told you that I knew that Jesus had redeemed me from the curse. That meant that I did not have to experience pain in childbirth. Somehow, it just did not sit right with me that I had to bore all of that pain when Jesus bore it for me (Isaiah 53:1-5).

My first time around, I took my Bible with me, and it wasn’t too bad. The second time it was a little more intense (I have to admit that I did not have my sword with me), and by that third time I said I don’t know what is going to happen, but I am trusting God. So what I did was I started quoting the scripture daily. Sure enough, we did not make it to the hospital. I had that baby at home. Not one iota of pain. I mean the child came here so fast, I still don’t know how she made such a quick appearance.

Well, actually I do. Because that it is literally what the scripture that I was quoting says:

Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.

isaiah 66:7

Having the Word with you is good, but the Word of God coming out of your mouth is what produces powerful results.

We truly can have what we say (as Jesus said in the book of Mark) when what we say is what God says about us. So if we want our marriages to be a reflection of what God intended for us, we are going to have to make up our minds to draw the line in the sand, and declare that the devil is not going to have his way in our family.

This is potent stuff. You have to decide that you are no longer going to allow the devil to push you around and dictate to you how things are going to be. And you don’t learn how to flex your muscles and throw your weight around in the Spirit overnight, but if you walk with God through your wilderness seasons determined to come out better, stronger than when you went in, you will find yourself in the winner’s circle every time; if you only believe…

Because

Emmanuel

Lives

I

Expect

Victory

Every time (Darlene Bishop)

MY DAILY CONFESSION

Lord, I thank you for my husband who dwells with me according to knowledge. (I Peter 3:7)

He loves me as Christ loves the church, and he speaks my love language (Words of Affirmation-Insert your love language).

And I honor and respect him.

He does not provoke his children, but he raises them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. And they honor and respect him.

Because he is a good man, his steps are ordered from You.

Help me to be the wife that You are calling me to be to him.

…Because in the words of Stormie OMartian, I can not do it on my own. Why is it that we think that we can do this wife-mother, husband-father thing on our own? We need the Spirit of God to empower us, to teach us, and to cover our mistakes.

As we walk through a wilderness season in our marriages, we should utilize those times to draw closer to the Lord (drop some other activities if necessary), and He promises that He will draw closer to us and we can ask Him what we will and He will answer us.

Note to Husbands

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

i peter 3:7

(The Power of a Praying Husband by Stormie OMartian)

Note to Wives

Prayer is a weapon. Pray about everything. If you will sincerely cry out to God, He will hear you, and He will answer. Don’t despise small beginnings, but being wise, understanding what the will of the Lord is. Because greater is He that is within you, then he that is in the world.

I leave you with this prayer, an except from Stormie OMartian’s book: The Power of a Praying Wife.

Lord, help me to be a good wife.  I fully realize that I don't have what it takes to be one without Your help.
Take my selfishness, impatience, and irritability and turn them into kindness, long-suffering, and the willingness to bear all things.
Take my old emotional-habits, mindsets, automatic reactions, rude assumptions, and self-protectiveness, and make me patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled.
Take the hardness of my heart and break down the walls with Your battering ram of revelation.  Give me a new heart and work in me Your love, peace and joy (Galatians 5:22-23).  I am not able to rise above who I am at this moment.  Only You can transform me.

Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.  And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses (Mark 11:24-25).

Grace and Peace,

Silvana