When you think of the term stubbornly married what comes to mind? To us it means digging in and not letting anything separate you. It’s a matter of remembering Jesus’ words when He said, “What God has put together, let no man separate.” There are all kinds of things that can separate us in our marriages. And that can include us. We can give up and allow our minds and actions to go in directions where they shouldn’t. Here are a few of the ways we can separate from our spouse:
• We can allow other people to cause a divide between us.
This can be our relatives, friends, co-workers, and even our children. We give more of our time, and priority to them, giving our spouse the leftovers. This can include Facebook time. It’s a time zapper. You know, we didn’t make a vow to any of them on our wedding day. God did not tell us to cleave to any of them. If we allow others to cause an emotional and/or physical separation, we are violating our promises to God and to our spouse. It’s important to be stubbornly marriage and NOT allow this separation.
• We can allow other things to cause a separation between us, and our spouse.
This can include a long line of “things.” We’re talking about cars, boats, houses, hobbies, and yes, media. There is a growing number of divorces that are taking place because of Facebook hookups. We allow “creeping separateness” to take over the amount of time and energy we give to our spouse. Other things and priorities take over what we should save for our spouse. Remember your vow?
• Many times our own stubbornness overrides our determination to grow our marriage.
We allow ourselves to separate in commitment and in “treating others as more important than ourselves.” It’s very easy to get caught up in “right fighting.”
“A right-fighter is someone who struggles to win arguments, even if they doubt their own view. A right-fighter is someone who gets overly emotional or angry when people don’t agree with their opinions. Someone who is a right-fighter insists on having the last word in an argument or refuses to back down no matter what.” (From the Familyresource.com article, “Are You a Right Fighter?”)
We’re reminded of the scripture:
• “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.” (Proverbs 18:2)
• “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Proverbs 26:12)
We see this in action when BEING right is more important than DOING what’s right. Don’t allow your personal stubbornness to override your partnership. And here’s a difficult one:
• We allow tragedies to separate us.
It can be past abuses, or it can be the death or chronic illness of a loved one that causes us to look away from our spouse. We don’t understand his or her actions or reactions, so we let toxic thinking creep in and push our spouse away. It’s during those times that we ESPECIALLY need to sink into the commitment of being stubbornly married. The enemy of our faith delights in taking advantage of times of confusion and hurt. Don’t give up that foothold. Turn TOWARDS each other and vow not to give in or give up.
We can go on and on with the many ways a separation can take hold in our marriage relationships. But the point is to line your stubbornness up with God’s. If it isn’t His way of doing things, then it shouldn’t be yours. Don’t allow your work, play, media or other choices, your children, relatives, friends, etc. to separate you. Be stubbornly married in finding ways to always come together. Give each other priority as you promised when you made your wedding vows.
Be Stubbornly Married
We agree with what Kelsey Robertson wrote on this issue:
“Love needs to be stubborn. Love is not always easy, so the key to real love is being too stubborn to let it ever go away. If you do not stubbornly insist on loving your spouse, then it is easy for that love to slip away. Love must be stubborn to survive.”
Ask God for wisdom to learn whatever you need to overcome relationship obstacles that come before you. Be stubborn in doing whatever it takes to be the spouse God wants you to be. Stubbornly hold onto God and onto each other. That’s what it is to be stubbornly married.
We pray for you as you hold onto your sacred marriage commitment.
Cindy and Steve Wright
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3 responses to “Stubbornly Married for Life”
I needed this. I have gotten so tired of being married. It’s nothing but work and I feel like I’m doing all work. All chores, all taking care of the kid and so on. Before I did it as much as her and more and now that she is pregnant I do it all the time. I know it’s wrong to think like this but I would really like to have something back. Sex or something. I have started to resent her in my heart. I know it’s selfish but I just can’t shake that feeling away. I didn’t want to have kids, but she wanted kids and I yielded.
Now we never have time for each other. We never snuggle. I don’t even remember our last long kiss. We never kiss anymore. The few times we have had sex we have barely kissed. I’m so tired of it. I know that the grass isn’t greener on the other side but I just want to find a release for all this frustration. Something that can help me love her like Christ loves His church and that will make me enjoy being with her, not like now where I get depressed at being home and the best time a day is when she has fallen asleep. Sounds awful but I don’t know what to do.
Tired… I sure don’t blame you. From what you said here, things seem to be more than a bit lopsided. It’s easy to become tired and resentful when you appear to be carrying more of the load than it seems reasonable. But when you love your bride like “Christ loves His church” things ARE lopsided. Think about the sacrifices Christ made in comparison to what we have made. Hang in there. Something that could help you in this mission is getting into your Bible more and your pity parties less. I know; I’ve been there. God’s word builds your faith and brings a better perspective. I’m thinking of Philippians 3:12-14 among many (which I have posted near my desk because I sure become weary with all that I have to do with Marriage Missions and the hard work sometimes seems more difficult to do than the rewards seem worth it… but I’m not in this for the rewards or kudos, but because this is my calling… I have to continually remind myself of that). There are other scriptures that will help you to run this daily race and finish well. Look for them and take note.
Tired, since your wife is pregnant, her hormones may be out of whack so it could be that you can talk to her sometimes, and not at others, or not until those plaguing hormones level out after the birth of your child. I’m not sure. But pray about talking to her about each of these points (don’t overwhelm her with all of it or it could backfire). Lovingly tell her of your needs and yet your willingness to meet her needs too. Sometimes voicing it lovingly, at the right time, with the motive to improve your marriage really is the wisest thing to do. Don’t let resentments build, talk to her when you can.
Marriage is a partnership. Sometimes we have to shoulder more of the work for a season, and sometimes it goes the other way. Sometimes it tips one way or the other for longer than that because life isn’t fair on this side of Heaven. But whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to feed your resentment. Either do something about it, like voicing your concerns (at the right time), and negotiating something different, and/or keep giving them to the Lord, if that is the healthiest way to do it. I don’t know what it is in your case. Do what you can to work on these issues to the best of your abilities, and then give the rest to God. You may have to keep giving them to God.
We all have those thorns in our flesh that stick at us –hurts that can tempt us to take our eyes off of the true goal. Do what you can and release the rest. If you feed resentment it will grow to be bigger than life. Don’t look at what you think others do or don’t have, or the “if onlys” that can divert your attention away from living your life as God would have you. Marriage is bigger than you and me. Look to the Lord, and run that race with His strength as you focus on His mission for you. Then you will live your life from strength to strength, not downloaded with “if onlys” that will bring you down and cause you to live from weakness to weaker.
I pray for you, Tired. May the Lord help you as you look to Him. “May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5) “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ —to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)
Thank you for your words. I will have to give it to the Lord and hope that I can start to love and not let the resentment grow. I guess I had a wrong image of what marriage was going to be. I got married for the wrong reasons (she practically pushed me to propose) and as we got married she wanted kids while I wanted to enjoy just being married. Lately the frustration of all this has surfaced and it’s so hard to love unconditional without getting anything back. It’s like “I got married just like you wanted and now I must do everything and barely get anything back! ” but I have to pray that Jesus will help me to love. It’s my own fault I’m in this mess. I didn’t have the courage to break it all of before so now I’m stuck.
God bless you!