We are confronted by lies every day. Our culture lies to us, advertisers lie to us; we even lie to ourselves. One of the biggest lies people grab onto is the fairytale ending where it reads: “And they all lived happily ever after.”
But the fairytale never tells you about all the hard work that goes into making the “happily” become an “ever after.” Often when the reality of every day living hits home within marriages, couples are more likely to live “miserably ever after” than the other way around.
It seems that that somewhere in between “living happily ever” after and “living miserably with your spouse ever after” is the truth and reality of the mission of marriage. Married life is made up of two imperfect human beings, living in union with a perfect God, for His glory (we often overlook that part) through serving and edifying Him and each other… for as long as both shall live.
To live out this mission of marriage we need to STOP believing the lies that can kill our marriages.
Lies Can Kill a Marriage
It’s important to keep in mind that the enemy of our faith —the “father of lies” will try everything possible to tear our marriages apart. So, to help us keep grounded in Truth, rather than lies, we’re going to share some of the common lies we often believe AND the truth —from God’s Word. They come from Dr. Chris Thurman’s book, The Lies We Believe, (Thomas Nelson Publishing):
Lie #1— It’s All Your Fault:
One of the most frequent lies that couples engage in is a form of the “It’s Not My Fault” lie, which points the finger of blame squarely at the marriage partner. It implies that the actions of one spouse make the other spouse react in a bad way and are the only things making the marriage rotten. Simply put, it’s all his or her fault.
“You therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” (Romans 2:1)
As much as is humanly possible, couples need to take to heart the biblical teaching to be honest about our own flaws and work on them before presuming to take swipes at those around us. As Matthew [in the New Testament] so picturesquely puts it, we should make a point of looking at the plank in our own eye before we point out the speck in our spouse’s eye.
We cannot allow the speck in our spouse’s eye to make our plank larger and more blinding. Can you imagine a marriage in which each spouse puts this one teaching into practice?
And then there is:
Lie #2— If it Takes Hard Work, We Must Not Be Right for Each Other:
Let’s face it, marriage is hard work. Make that: Marriage is very had work—tremendously hard work. Underline it —boldface it —tattoo it on your forearm.
This is the first rule of marriage: Any marriage that stays healthy and happy through the years has been worked on. It’s a truth, though, that very few understand. So the moment the marriage isn’t smooth, couples begin to wonder: “are we right for each other?”
I’d argue that hard work in marriage often suggests you married the right person (although there are exceptions). Overall, the difficult struggles in our marriages often show us where our own personalities are deficient and give us the chance to work on it.
“But those who marry will face many troubles in this life.” (1 Corinthians 7:28)
Additionally there is:
Lie #3 —You Can and Should Meet All My Needs:
No one person can meet all your needs. [As Christ-Followers we need to understand there is only One who can meet our needs]
“And my God will meet all your needs to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Then there is:
Lie #4— You Owe Me:
Remember when you first started dating your spouse? You were glad to do things for him or her and didn’t really want much in return, other than his or her company.
For some reason, maybe because familiarity really does breed contempt, we go from our dating years (when we did things out of desire with little sense of what we were owed in return) to our “stuck with each other” married years (when everything is totaled up for payback).
This “you owe me” marriage style is destructive and is rooted in the lie that people, specifically our spouses, should pay us back for everything we do.
You might be saying, “But what do I do when my spouse doesn’t give me what I want?” Well, you number of options, some healthy and some unhealthy.
On the unhealthy side, you can yell and scream, withdraw, demean, manipulate, or intimidate your spouse into giving you what you want. You may actually get what you are after, but you have won the battle and lost the war because your style will create ill will and a lack of love, respect, and harmony in the marriage.
On the healthy side, you can ask your spouse to reconsider, or you can become a little more flexible, compromise, give up wanting it, or, if all else fails, go take care of it yourself without being bitter. The truth is that spouses “owe” each other nothing in marriage. The healthiest marriages are those in which each spouse gives because it is right to do so, not because it was owed or in order to be owed something in return.
THE SCRIPTURAL TRUTH:
“Clothe yourselves with humility because ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)
Here’s another lie we can grab onto:
Lie #5— I Shouldn’t Have to Change:
There is the lie that in a good marriage spouses don’t have to —or shouldn’t have to —alter who they are for each other. What garbage! Of course we need to change who we are to fit our spouses better. The challenge is deciding what to change.
When we marry, all of us have aspects of our personalities that are deficient and need to be tuned up or overhauled. More often than not, our weaknesses are our spouses’ strengths. Marriage involves improving our weaknesses, not wrapping ourselves in an “accept me as I am” flag.
“Make every effort to live at peace with all and to be holy.” (Hebrews 12:14)
Lastly, but not least:
Lie #6— You Should Be Like Me:
This seems absurd in print, but I know many couples who make this lie a lifestyle. We are unique. It’s good that we are all different, even if it does lead to conflict, because maturely handled differences can give us a clearer sense of our own individuality and a greater appreciation for how different human beings really are.
[Someone once said, “Perhaps God so often puts opposites together because if we were just alike we would be an ineffective team.” Think about how true that statement can be!]
“God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be?” (1 Corinthians 12:18-19)
For additional information on the lies we need to hold onto, please read the following web site articles:
Jesus said over and over again in the Gospels, “I tell you the truth…” Read the Truth in God’s Word. Then start applying what you learn in your marriage. As you do this you will be amazed with how God will bless your lives together!
Steve and Cindy Wright
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