Anita Lazarus, is a noted writer and serves in the board of Urban India Ministries. Together with her husband Grp. Capt Don Lazarus, they lead marriage conferences and are well-known family and marriage counselors in India.View all articles by Anita Lazarus
Have illusions begun to influence the way you think about your marriage? Remember the battle is for the mind. It has been so since Eve engaged in contemplating the forbidden fruit. Battles are won and lost in the minds of marriage partners. Check out a few common illusions that the father of lies uses to break marriages. If you are starting down any of these tracks, take time to align with the Truth again.
Do you feel that the only way forward in your marriage is either out or around it? Ronny felt it was time he separated from Ruth. He was fed up with the way she discussed their relationship with others. He felt especially bad when she discussed their sex life with her family. He could either do the same about her weaknesses or opt out. He chose to separate.
A covenant marriage , which a Christian marriage is, represents a copy of God's covenant with his people . Covenant means a declaration of one's will. Think about the situations Ronny promised to be there for Ruth on their wedding day. Did it cover the present situation?
The truth is that the only way forward for a covenant marriage is through and not out or around. When the natural mind thinks about opting out, remember that God promises to do, "more than you can ask or imagine according to the power at 3 work in you." . Imagine your relationship outside the box you thinks it is in. God can and will do more than that. Believe, obey and allow His power to work. As you see the power of the resurrection at work, you will be enabled to go through with it.
Some people (read husband, wife, mother-in-law, father-in-law etc) and some situations can never change. Dinesh and Dina often disagreed. In each situation it was Dinesh who ended up asking for forgiveness. It wasn't that he was always wrong, but he did it out of 4 obedience to the Scriptures. For the first seven years, Dina believed this indicated she was always right. Most friends who watched the relationship said she could never change.
Is the myth that your partner can never change gaining ground in any area of your marriage? It's true that one cannot change another person, but within each situation is the power to change oneself. As one changes, the whole equation of the relationship changes too. Within the close vulnerability of marriage, who one is, is like the fragrance of a flower. It subtly influences the other person. If one is walking according to Christ's Law of Love the influence will always be positive. As Dinesh chose to obey the Scriptures, Dina changed. It took seven years for her to recognize her mistakes and ask for forgiveness too
Are you beginning to think of opting out because you 'feel' your marriage can't work? Aruna began to suspect her husband as he spent late evening in his office. She decided to separate from him because she felt he must have been having an affair. Despite his reassurances, she allowed her emotions to influence her decision-making. As she acted on her decisions, the relationship went through a bad time.
A negative feeling results in negative actions. Word spoken in anger will be destructive. Are you emotionally intelligent enough to subject your negative emotions to the direction of Scripture?
Christian life is not about feelings but walking in faith, which allows you to build your character. God is watching to see how you change the negatives of your life to become more Christ like. How are you doing on the scale of Christ likeness?
Is your marriage yielding ground to extra marital friendships because everyone else is finding fulfillment that way. Guru was attracted to his secretary. Loyalty to his wife made him keep away at first. Soon he realized that the majority of people in his office were cheating on their partners. One of them even said, "What's your hassle man? After all you are a good husband and father. Your secretary is also married. What can be wrong if it is between two consenting adults?" He observed that it didn't seem to make any apparent difference to each of their family lives. Finally he took his secretary out. The rest is history.
A Christian is shaped by his inner belief about what God says is good or bad. What Guru chose to ignore was the fact that in allowing his environment to dictate his choices, he had lost the power to choose what was good. Besides betraying his partner, it diminished the quality of his integrity. Eventually, it diminished who he was in his own and God's eyes. He had relinquished the power to be different and so influence his environment for the better. In conclusion then, watch out for the virtual reality existing in the world around you. It may seem like reality but the Truth of God's Word shows it up for what it is. Keep close to His Word.