Marriage: Mission Possible
Today Stu & Lisa Gray from The Stupendous Marriage Show will be sharing their Marriage: Mission Possible . . .
If there was only one thing from the story of your marriage that you could share, what would it be? What lesson learned, revelation, heart change or profound moment is a testament to God’s plan for marriage?
We learned a very important principle while dealing with a major issue in our marriage and several years after learning it, we realized this principle could be applied to EVERY issue in our marriage not just the big ones.
Let’s start from the beginning. While my wife Lisa and I were dating, she discovered that I had a problem with looking at pornography. It became the ‘elephant in the room’ in our relationship… we both knew it was there, but rarely talked about it. After we were married, I knew that something had to change, but didn’t know where to start.
So, I began with throwing away the collection that I had acquired during college and my single years. That was a great first step, but the computer was not my friend. I set up some online boundaries to help me not be tempted, but I kept finding my way around them.
Lisa went through different emotions during this journey… at times she would blame me because I couldn’t, or wouldn’t,stop. It made her feel like she wasn’t enough. Most times, she would just try and forget about it. Nothing was helping. After several years of battling with each other over the issue, Lisa came to a realization that it didn’t have anything to do with her…. but that this ‘thing’ was bigger than both of us. Instead of seeing it as “my” problem or something I chose to do, she realized that it was something else. It was something that had taken hold of me. In spiritual terms, you might call it a ‘stronghold’. It had creeped in and taken root, and it was a force to be reckoned with.
She knew something had to change in the way we were looking at and reacting to this issue… instead of it being ‘ME AGAINST HER’, it had to become “US versus the Pornography”.
When we looked at it as something we could battle together, it became our struggle together, not one against the other. I’m not saying that I’m not fully responsible for my actions (I am). I am saying that instead of blame and shame toward me, plus fear and insecurity for herself, she chose to stand with me. She prayed for me and encouraged me. She loved me even when I was unloveable.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 are great verses to remember in marriage – Two are better than one, because they have good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
What we were doing, at first, was kicking each other when we were down. Now we have learned, and continue to learn, how to help each other up. I admit, many times it has been my wife helping me up in that one area.
But guess what? The principle works in EVERY AREA OF MARRIED LIFE!
We Focus on the WRONG ENEMY
I like what John and Stasi Eldredge say in their book, Love and War: ‘You have a very real Enemy, and it’s not your spouse.’
There is nothing more that Satan likes to do than tear up relationships. And, being that marriage is one, if not THE, most important relationship we will have on earth, it is a prime target.
One of the subtle ploys is to put something difficult in between two married people and then watch them tear each other apart with words and actions that ultimately destroy the union. Even if it isn’t destroyed, it can be severely hurt – so that the marriage no longer is a thriving growing loving place – but a cold, harsh barren place where there is no love at all.
So, instead of letting that ‘THING’ get between you, you must stand together and battle it as a team. A Team mentality is essential to marriage.
Does your spouses parenting skills contradict your parenting skills? Don’t belittle or whine or complain. Work together as a team to find a solution to the issue. Help each other up instead of putting each other down.
Is your spouse spending money left and right? Don’t attack – Talk. Don’t condemn or Criticize – Get a plan. Figure out a way to work together to find a solution.
These are just two of many things that can come between couples. And each of them, if not worked on together – can cause friction – and some (like pornography) could, and have, even lead to divorce.
In a nutshell, one of the main things we have learned, and want to pass on to you today is: If we want victory in our marriages, It has to be “US AGAINST IT” not “Husband against wife”!
Have you used this principle in your marriage?