But not with who you might think.
The world, the media, the attorneys, and even our favorite sit-coms have us believing that marriage is supposed to be a constant battle between spouses.
Yes, marriage is a battle, but the world, and the devil, wants us to keep our eyes on the wrong opponent! As husbands and wives, we are supposed to be fighting, just not with each other. We’re supposed to be fighting together against the very things that tell us otherwise.
Most anyone that has been to a wedding has heard the phrase “the two shall become one flesh…and let no man separate what God has joined together.”
Jesus told us these things not to imply we somehow become one living blob, thinking and doing exactly as each other does, but to first, share that marriage joins a man and woman together to be better and stronger than they were apart or, in other words, “the sum is better than the whole of its parts…”
Secondly, he noted that God joined us together and, in that powerful union, we have the responsibility to not let man, or the world, or satan, tear us apart. We’re supposed to fight together against the enemy, not fight each other for the enemy.
Understanding that truth, lets jump into three thoughtful, yet simply “knowledge bombs” you can use to improve your fighting skills to defend and strengthen your marriage.
We’ve all heard that phrase before, although originally coined for the computer world, the same can be said of our minds…how you view and relate to your spouse can be directly related to everything that has been poured into your brain over the course of your life. Whether it was an experience beyond your control, or something of your own doing, it all affects the lenses through which you view your relationships, especially your marriage.
Maybe you didn’t have a great example of a Godly marriage growing up, maybe you had your heart broken too many times to bear, or maybe you opened yourself up to indulging in things that distort the truth about yourself, your spouse, and marriage in general…regardless, of what it may be, the health of your marriage is related to these things.
So, if there are areas of your marriage that need improvement, but you still find yourselves stuck and can’t quite figure it out what to do, take some time for reflection. Be honest with yourself and see if there isn’t something that has happened, or that you’ve done (or are still doing) that is affecting how you are perceiving life and that particular situation. If you can’t quite put your finger on it, consider getting some outside help, like an accountability partner, or a Christian Coach or Counselor…someone that has the right belief system and some more tools to help you work through the problem. Remember, there is no shame in your game if you are truly working to make your marriage better.
Romans 12:2 - 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Do you find yourself regularly thinking about how grateful you are for your spouse and all that you have, even when things aren’t going “according to plan,” or are you a negative, “glass half empty,” kind of person?
Although largely based on your mindset, a bad attitude can also be habitual. Maybe you didn’t start off as a “negative Nellie” but over time, it seemed to be thought pattern that you settled into. Perhaps due to a string of disappointments or, maybe just due to you finding it’s easier to “fall than fight.” Whatever the reason, your bad attitude is something that, with some focus and attention, you can transform into an attitude of gratitude.
Most of us have heard that it takes an average of 21 days to change or start a new habit (some a little longer and some a little shorter). Regardless of how long it takes, we can all commit to making small, daily, regular changes that, over time, will have a “ginormous” positive snowball effect on our outlook on life and our marriage.
For starters, you can make a list of daily affirmations about your wife and your marriage that you can recite out loud for a few minutes every morning (If you aren’t quite sure about where to begin, you can find a sample of them on the Three Cord Marriage member’s community page in the downloads from the Vision for Your Marriage course). Even if you don’t feel them at first, what you’ll discover is that over time, you’ll notice that the words you say (and it’s important that you say them loud enough for you to hear them) begin to become the words you feel. The key here is regular, intentional practice.
Romans 10:17 - 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Ultimately, no matter what you think, marriage isn’t about what you get, it’s about what you give…to have a servant’s heart, not to expect to be served…to be the least, not the most…
When you got married, did you believe that your happiness and contentment in your marriage would be based on what your spouse did for you? If so, you’re not alone. The devil would have us believe that our matrimonial bliss is the result of our spouse's service to us. Why? Because when we believe our happiness is from external sources, we are always destined to be disappointed. And more than that, the main reason satan wants us to think our marital success comes from our spouse is because that thinking is contrary to God’s word.
Truth be told, God’s truth, is that our purpose in marriage isn’t to receive, but to give. Wives are to give their husband’s respect, and husbands are to give their wives love and, if necessary, their lives.
A thriving marriage is firmly rooted in the selfless, giving nature of Christ. After all, as Jesus tells us, it is more blessed to give, than to receive (Acts 20:35).
So, if you find that you often get frustrated with your spouse because they don’t give you “what you need to feel happy,” battle that worldly view with a heavenly approach and do what Jesus did…become the least, and give to love, don’t give to get!
Mark 9:35 - 35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”
So, battle for your marriage, not in your marriage, with these three simple truths, and find Victory in your marriage.
In The Fight Together!
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