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|Three Steps To Restore Your Marriage. by TheNewVine(m): 3:18pm On Jul 02, 2020|
Admit You Are Powerless The first step to restore your marriage is to admit that you cannot manage your marriage problems on your own. This means you recognize the ineffectiveness of your attempts to change yours, and your spouse’s faults and character defects. You come to grips with the reality that you are fundamentally powerless to control or change your spouse, his or her character defects, and many of the things that happen in your life. You must come to the place where you are willing to admit that the strategies you have tried have not worked, and that every attempt you make to change or control your spouse fails. It means that you recognize that you are not in control but that GOD is, and that He must be the focus of your life; not you, not your spouse, not your career, not money, nor children, but GOD. It means that you must learn to leave your spouse in God’s hands and trust Him to work on your mate. Remember that whatever condition your marriage is in, God is in business of performing miracles, transforming lives, and healing broken hearts. Indeed God can help you restore your marriage. “We saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for we put everything into the hands of God who alone could save us…2 Corinthians 1:9 Because we are powerless, we need to call on the power of the Holy Spirit in our marriage. We need power that is beyond us to overcome our sinful tendencies, and to enable us to be the husband and wife that God would have us to be. God provides this power through the person of the Holy Spirit. God, the Holy Spirit wants to help you succeed in your marriage. The Holy Spirit is available to help every believing Christian and He can help you to restore your marriage. At the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, the Holy Spirit comes into our lives permanently to indwell us. Christ promises, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8a). The Holy Spirit is God with all the attributes only God can have. Not only is the Holy Spirit all-powerful, but like God the Father, and God the Son, He has a personality and we can come to know Him personally. He has feelings and can be grieved by our actions (Ephesians 4:30). He can be obeyed or disobeyed (Acts 10:19-20). Because we have earthly models of fathers and sons, it is often easier to identify with and rely upon God the Father and Jesus. It is harder to identify with a spirit. Yet, in marriage we can’t afford to miss out on the powerful ministry that the Holy Spirit offers you to restore your marriage. As the Holy Spirit enters our lives, He works in us to produce a living fellowship between God and us. Of course, His work also affects the relationships we have with others around us, particularly our spouses and our children. Here are some of the works of the Holy Spirit that strongly impact our relationships: He gives us power to be Christ-like (Ephesians 3:16) He directs our lives on a daily basis (Romans 8:14) He convicts us of sin (John 16: He empowers us to fight sin in our lives (Galatians 5:15-16) He causes our marriages to glorify Christ (John 16:14) He produces the “fruit” of the spirit in our lives; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) Consider these three steps that can lead your marriage toward a renewed sense of intimacy: Believe that God loves you and that He desires to walk with you in oneness through the power of the Holy Spirit. Confess to God your utter dependency on the Holy Spirit for power. If there is any known sin in your life, confess it by agreeing with God that it is sin and is displeasing to Him; Draw upon God’s power by faith and obedience. Begin walking by the Spirit in your daily life.
Pray for Your Mate, Your Marriage and Yourself Begin to pray everyday for your spouse. Believe God for a miracle in your marriage. Psalm 77:14 says, “You are the God who performs miracles.” The Bible makes it clear that God wants people to stay married. We need to expect God to supernaturally intervene in our circumstances. Unbelief and fear paralyzes us and causes us to believe our problems are too big for God. We need to believe that God can still move mountains. Jesus said, “According to your faith will it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29). Stormie Omartian, in her book, The Power of a Praying Wife suggests praying this prayer for your marriage:
Adjust your expectations Most marriages encounter problems and conflicts sooner or later. Some marital problems and conflicts can be anticipated and avoided, others cannot be foreseen, and must be dealt with and resolved as they come. This takes the effort of both partners. Marital problems are complex and there are no easy answers, or quick solutions for most. If they have been occurring over a long period of time, the relationship may be at a point of crisis. A marriage crisis is very painful to go through, but that does not mean the relationship should be ended. In fact when problems and conflicts are worked through, they can strengthen the love in a
relationship and provide an opportunity for a couple to grow and learn, and move to a higher level of mutual satisfaction in their marriage. Recognizing the need to deal with problems and conflict can help restore your marriage as you go through them together. Relationship struggles often reveal that there are some things that we have not understood about our partner and vice versa. They often reflect the stock pile of unmet needs that have occurred. They may even indicate areas of neglect, misunderstanding and differences. They show us that there is work to be done in the relationship. In unhappy relationships, the root cause of unhappiness is a lack of unconditional love and acceptance. Controlling, demanding and unrealistic expectations are just symptoms of that cause. When we stop seeing marriage as an obligation for our partner to fill our expectations, and instead see it as an opportunity to learn to truly accept our spouse for who he or she is, we take a major step in seeing our marriages become happy and fulfilling. In his marriage research laboratory at the University of Washington, psychologist John Gottman has been studying married couples for more than twenty years. He has found that the most destructive characteristics in a relationship, what he calls the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, (1) criticism, (2) contempt, (3) defensiveness and (4) stonewalling. The first two traits suggest that one partner has a lot of trouble accepting the other one; the second two are typical reactions of not feeling accepted. The importance of acceptance has also been documented by other researchers who have found that an inability to accept differences is a leading predictor of failure in marriage. In short, these factors can be a detriment to your attempt to restore your marriage. Does acceptance mean you consider the other person to be perfect? Of course not. It does not mean that you think their personality is without flaw or that everything they do is perfectly okay with you. It does not mean that you don’t want them to be better. Nobody is perfect, and people will always have qualities we don’t like, characteristics we find annoying, and behavior that we wish they’d stop. Acceptance is not the same as agreement. Acceptance means that you recognize their essential worth, and consider them to be deserving of your esteem, and your love, despite their imperfections. Needless to say, certain things are unacceptable. There are non-negotiable standards. Physical abuse is one of them. Repeated infidelity, alcoholism and drug addiction may also be unacceptable. Accepting behavior that crosses the line does not promote a healthy relationship, nor is it a mark of wisdom. You won’t be able to restore your marriage by burying your head in the sand. But, short of putting up with what is truly intolerable, the capacity for acceptance – hard as it sometimes is to achieve – is an essential ingredient of true love and a lasting marriage. 4. Resist the Enemy The source of all marital problems can be traced back to the Garden of Eden with creation’s first married couple. Genesis 1 and 2 tells us that Adam and Eve lived in perfect union with God, and with each other. Without fear or shame, they instinctively delighted themselves in creation, in each other, and God. It was in essence a taste of Heaven on earth. God instructed them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). They were told that if they did, they would die. Then one day, something tragic happened. Suddenly, without warning, their world…their lives…their marriage, and hence ours, changed forever. Genesis 3 depicts exactly what happened and how it affected their relationship. Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ “ “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves (Gen. 3:1-7) Into the tranquil beauty of this innocent garden the enemy crept. Whispering to Adam and Eve – and hence to all of us – the serpent suggested, “You can’t trust God…you’ve got to take matters into your own control… then you’ll be like God.” Adam looked on silently while his wife’s doubt led to disobedience. Passively, yet willingly, her husband joined her in a definitive act of disobedience to their maker. Satan is no impotent, imaginary character, but rather he is a present and real enemy who seeks the destruction of God’s people, including their marriages and families. He attacked the first marriage, and he is still attacking marriages today. The problem is that many times couples get duped into fighting each other in their marriages, rather than fighting the real enemy. Your mate is not your enemy. Your real enemy is Satan and his evil forces. I once read a magazine article about conflict in marriage that said, “Marriage is the only war where you sleep with the enemy.” But that’s not true, your mate is not your enemy. It is important for you to know that. Your enemy is Satan, and he is the one who will do anything and everything in his power to destroy your marriage. Jesus described him as a thief, He said “The thief comes only to steal and to kill and destroy”(John 10:10a). The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Unfortunately, many believers do not take his existence or scriptural warnings and instructions about him seriously. We can be absolutely certain that the enemy will do everything in his power to “kill, steal, and destroy,” first the joy and intimacy of your marriage, and then the very marriage and family unit itself. 2 Corinthians 2:11 tells that we should not let Satan take advantage of us by being ignorant of his schemes. According to 2 Corinthians 11:3 we know that, Satan has the ability to attack us much the same way he attacked Adam and Eve: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). Satan corrupted Eve’s thinking through deceitful suggestions. He tempted her to think that God was holding out on her, that God could not be trusted. Through suggestion, he caused her to doubt, and to think irrationally. He deceived her into thinking and believing that she should not depend on God, but should take matters into her own hands, instead of following God and His will for her life. Today Satan uses the same tactics, and tries to do the same thing to us. One of his chief tactics in your present circumstances will likely be to try to convince you that this situation is too big for God. That is a lie. Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God”(Mark 10:27). Nothing is too difficult for God. Certainly God can help you to restore your marriage. Satan seeks to mess with our minds, cause us to doubt God’s power and to distract us from following Christ. This is Satan’s disguise. He seeks to perpetrate selfish and independent attitudes in man. He seeks to corrupt us through our thinking, to get us to exalt ourselves through selfish and independent actions and attitudes. The undisciplined mind is vulnerable to satanic attacks designed to defeat us by causing wrongful thinking. To have the life and marriage God wants for us, we must be alert, deal with our enemy, refute his lies and think straight. James admonishes us, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”(James 4:7). The apostle Paul admonishes us to bring every thought captive to obedience to Christ: “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”(2 Corinthians 10:3-5, NIV). Our mind is the battlefield. Through deceit, and lies, the enemy tries to keep every believer from trusting, and walking with God. His typical method of attacking the thought life generally involves nothing more than well-timed suggestions. He knows our weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and his carefully timed suggestions can bring dangerous results. Unless the enemy and his demonic allies are resisted, a believers mind will be like a city without walls, easily invaded by anything that happens to be around. Solomon describes this in Proverbs: “He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls” (Proverbs 25:28). The spiritual war for our marriages is won or lost on the battlefield of the mind. Until a person recognizes this and begins to take steps to resist the enemy, all other efforts to win the battle are futile. The Apostle John tells us, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
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