Don’t believe these 3 marriage myths

Our romanticized culture has led many Christian women to believe that they need to find their one true “soul mate” who will make them happy for the rest of their life, with little hard work on their part.  Not true!

I don’t see this concept anywhere in the Bible.  In fact, the Bible makes it clear that we are supposed to be more concerned with loving others than finding someone who makes us happy.  Philippians 2:3-4 says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourself. Each of you should look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others.”

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I believe it’s important for you to realize the following ideas about marriage are actually myths:

  1. Your husband is supposed to be your source of happiness. (Actually, God is the only one who can provide perfect love, security and comfort)
  2. Happy couples never have conflict. (If you never disagree on anything, one or both of you is likely burying the issue and allowing resentment to grow)
  3. If you find the “right” guy, a wonderful marriage will just happen. (Actually, a good marriage takes planning, intentionality and effort)

If your husband or boyfriend treats you disrespectfully…

I keep bumping into beautiful, intelligent women who, for some bizarre reason, allow their husband or boyfriend to treat them horribly.  One gorgeous young woman had her boyfriend spit in her face and she still stayed with him!  What’s up with that?  Do women no longer have any dignity and self-respect?

A wife’s dignity is actually a quality that is highly valued in the Bible.  When describing the wife of “noble character” in Proverbs 31, the Bible says in verse 25 “she is clothed with strength and dignity“.  So, what does the word “dignity” really mean?  The dictionary defines dignity as displaying poise and self-respect.  In other words, a woman of dignity respects herself enough to refuse to be treated disrespectfully!

Don’t believe the lies of the enemy.  Don’t believe that you need to tolerate disrespectful treatment, verbal abuse, or emotional abuse by your man.  That’s a lie!  A dignified woman doesn’t tolerate that.  She confidently, but lovingly, puts boundaries in place and refuses to allow herself to be treated in a dishonoring manner.  A confident woman of dignity trusts God to take care of her even if she has to take drastic steps to protect herself such as breaking up with a disrespectful boyfriend or separating from a verbally-abusive husband.  Be courageous. Choose to carry yourself with dignity and self-respect.

Dealing with fear over the coronavirus

I’m sure most of you feel like I do.  You feel like this is all surreal…a nightmare perhaps…and that we’re all going to wake up and realize it was just a horrible dream.  Tragically, it is all too real.  Covid-19 is here and it is killing people, mainly people in my age group and older. (Yes, I just turned 60).

If you’re a young adult in your 20’s or 30’s, you don’t have nearly as much to worry about in terms of dying from this thing, and therefore, you are likely incensed that the restaurants are closed, and you have to find childcare for your children who no longer have school, and maybe your job and steady income is now in jeopardy.  I get it.  And yet, we must all sacrifice right now, because if we don’t take serious and painful action, it is very likely that many of your moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas will be taken out by this virus.  Yes, that is what’s at stake.

So, how do we deal with the fear that comes from this insidious disease…fear of death, fear of financial collapse, fear of a lost job?

First, we do what we must in terms of practical steps that can protect us and our loved ones from getting this disease.  We minimize our contact with others, we wash or sanitize our hands every time we touch a common surface used by others, and we definitely self-quarantine if we or our kids are showing any sign of sickness.  We have to be smart.  These are tough measures, but essential.

Second, after we’ve done all the practical things we can do to keep ourselves and others safe, we turn to the Lord and ask Him to protect us.  We ask Him to be in complete control of our lives, our health, our finances, everything.  We put all our trust in Him.  He has performed mighty miracles on behalf of his people in the past, and He certainly has the power do it again.  He can make a way for you to pay your bills, or for some of your bills to be forgiven at this time.  He can supernaturally heal you.  He can make a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way! Ask Him!

Would you join me in praying these things?

  • I have specifically felt led to pray that God would cover every doorway of every believer’s home with the blood of Jesus, so that the angel of death would pass by just as he did for the Israelites during Passover. (Exodus 12:23)
  • Pray that God would leverage this crisis to draw the hearts of many unbelievers to Him. I think of Genesis 50:20 “You intended this for evil, but God meant it for good, for the saving of many lives.”
  • Pray that God fills you afresh with the knowledge of His tender love for you. When you realize how much He cares for you, your fear will start to fade away.  1 Joh 4:18  “Perfect love casts out all fear.”
  • Pray that, as you set your heart on seeking Him above all else, He will provide for all your needs in His own very creative way. Matthew 6:33  “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  (Trust me when I say I have witnessed God do some crazy, creative things in the past when I needed Him to provide a financial miracle!)
  • Pray that God would fill your heart with peace, knowing that even if you were to be taken from this earth today, it would be a magnificent upgrade! Luke 23:43  “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

First step in resisting your “signature sin”

About 25 years ago, I heard a line in a sermon that will always stick with me.  The pastor said we all have a “signature sin”…a sin that has our name written all over it!  Do you have a signature sin or temptation?  Is there one particular thing that trips you up all the time?  Yes, that’s what I thought.  And I’m sure Satan laughs his butt off every time you and I give into that temptation.

Well, we all might have a signature sin or a specific temptation that seems insurmountable, but Satan doesn’t get the last laugh!  Jesus promises to provide a way out of every temptation.  I just need to ask Him to give me eyes to see the avenue of escape and for Him to give me the strength to turn from my old patterns and take that escape exit.  1 Corinthians 10:13 says “…God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

I’ve learned that the first step in overcoming that signature sin in my life is this: discovering the lie I’ve believed!  For me, the “way out” of temptation to eat the wrong food is uncovering the ridiculous lie I’ve believed about food.  God is showing me that I have somehow been deluded into thinking that eating a boatload of sugary treats and a ton of french fries would make me feel better!  That’s a lie.  The truth is that eating healthy will make me feel better, so that’s what I’ve been choosing to do for the last 5 years.  And you know what?  I feel great…physically, spiritually and emotionally.

Do you keep repeatedly falling into the same temptation because you’ve believed a lie?  It’s food for thought (pardon the pun!).

Resist this urge in your marriage!

True confession:  I sometimes find myself wanting to jump in and “fix things” for my husband.  Sometimes, I do this because I fear his mood will grow ugly if I don’t take steps to improve his circumstances.  Sometimes, I do this because I fear that his ministry could stumble if he doesn’t do things the “correct” way.  Sometimes, I do this because I fear…..

Hmmm.  When it comes right down to it, fear is the common feeling behind all of the times I jump in to act as my husband’s savior.  Unfortunately, fear usually causes us to act unwisely.  Proverbs 29:25 says “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”

You and I need to know that every time we jump in to “fix” things for our husbands, we actually prevent our men from turning to God for help.  Every time we try to prevent our husbands from feeling any discomfort or pain, we might be preventing them from digging down deep roots into God’s nourishment for their souls.   Resist the urge to be your husband’s savior.  There is only one perfect savior anyway.  His name is Jesus Christ.

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO HERE

How your words powerfully influence your husband

Proverbs 18:21 says “the tongue has the power of life and death”.  Oh my.  Consider how many words a woman usually speaks in just one day, and you can see the potential for disaster!

It took me a couple decades to really understand this fact.  The words spoken by a wife to her husband can either build him up and give him confidence to step up and be an even better man…or her words can tear him down to the point that he emotionally withdraws from her and doesn’t try to accomplish much of anything because he believes he’s a failure.

What kind of words are you speaking to your husband?  Are you his biggest cheerleader?  Do you intentionally encourage him every single day, or do you give in to the temptation to point out his many flaws on a regular basis?  He NEEDS you to believe in him and encourage him.  By the way, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t hold him accountable or put boundaries in place if he is actively sinning against you.  However, even then, you can address sinful behavior with an attitude that is loving and hopeful.  You can still let your husband know that you see something good in him.

Motivation to persevere in a challenging marriage

Are you in a season within your marriage where you’re feeling battle-weary?  Do you feel like you’ve done everything you can, you’ve prayed with everything you’ve got…and still, your husband is making choices that are extremely disappointing?  First, I want to say my heart goes out to you.  You are definitely in a desert place.  But I want to encourage you to take a different perspective.

You see, my husband and I were talking recently about the ripple effect of our lives.  We may work and work to make a difference with a specific person (such as your husband), and feel greatly discouraged if we see no change.  But here’s the thing, OTHER people are watching how you’re handling this challenge in your marriage.  Perhaps you have children, and they are watching.  Maybe your mother-in-law is watching.  It could be that one of your friends is being affected by how you are dealing with this situation.  As you strive to reflect Jesus in your marriage, others are drawn to Christ.  This is the essence of Matthew 5:16 which says “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

I know it’s tempting to feel defeated, but please realize that you ARE making a difference in the lives around you.  If you are respectfully, but firmly, drawing a line on immoral behavior in your marriage, you are blessing your children by providing a great role model for how a wife should act.  If your mother-in-law is an unbeliever, she may be attracted to the “Jesus” she sees in you.  Your efforts to be a shining light for Jesus do have a ripple effect….and that’s worth it!