Thursday, August 4, 2016

MAKING MARRIAGE WORK

I'm not an expert on marriage. I'll be the first to tell many people, "If you can stay single, do so until you are sure that you are positive that marriage is for you." I also don't have all the answers. Perhaps, personal experience may qualify me to have just enough background to tell you that marriage can work, even a broken one. Even a union that to many should have been severed a long time ago, there is hope if you're willing to invest yourself in making it happen. There is hope if you're truly ready to follow God's leading in restoring your relationship.

Forgiveness.
I'll tell you that the one ingredient you will have to add to your pot, daily and regularly, is forgiveness. It is perhaps a bittersweet spice that you will need to fill your cupboard with, but it is the one key that God will give you the grace, the strength and the power to use over and over again.

We start off in a relationship with many dreams. I guess we all dream of that fairy tale ending. Life is a lot like the fairy tales. The mean step-mother, the witch, the dragon, and the giants show up in our fairy tales in the form of problems, struggles, and yes, the effects of sin that come and attack our fairy tale so that there is no happily ever after. But, as in many fairy tales, there's always that prince or that knight in shining armor that we wait for.

He comes and takes the princess or the main character away into blissful paradise, so we also, who find ourselves in a marriage that has been targeted, hit, and maybe even shattered in many areas, so we also can place our expectation and our hope in a Prince, A King, A valiant Knight in Holy armor that comes forward at the right moment to fight on our behalf. He comes, if we turn to Him, if we call on Him, if we dare to believe in Him, and He begins to destroy the work of the Enemy.


Broken.
I told you before that you were going to have to store up a lot of forgiveness in that closet of yours. You will. I guess what has helped me to put on that forgiving attitude even when I don't want to is the understanding that I fail, too. The reality that God forgives me and extends forgiveness for me and all who have sinned, reminds me that even when I much rather hate, stay angry, or use my hurt to hurt back, through it all, God forgives me and expects me, no, He rather requires of me, (as one who claims to walk like Christ and be like Him) to likewise, forgive. No one is perfect and even if we are that person in the marriage that feels they have never failed or sinned, God will always place a magnifying glass on the table for when we're ready to look into our heart, really look inside, and we will find that there is something God needs to take care of- because we all mess up, fall short of God's goodness, and we all sin.

Sin corrupts. 
One way marriages are broken is when sin invades and like an army of locusts it tears your life apart. 


Sexual Sin
Your finances, your emotions, and your heart are all beaten and battered by sin. Some ways your marriage is bruised and corrupted is through an affair. Affairs are not just your spouse becoming sexually involved with another person. Today, we have emotional affairs that begin with just texting, or as many now call it, sexting. One person reaching out to the other through a cell phone, sending images, and sharing what they want to do intimately is just as wrong as going to a hotel and having a secret intimate moment with someone that is not your soulmate.

Another way sin deceives is by telling you that you can be best friends with someone other than your wife or your husband. Instead of sharing our most intimate details with our spouse, we find that we begin to look forward to someone opinions and advice that is not our spouse. We clean up and dress up as if we were back in those dating days, all because someone, maybe younger or sexier has caught our eye. In reality, I don't think someone is more attractive or sexier, it's that our flesh, the lust and the sin we open the door to makes us see and desire what is off limits. Instead of talking about what may be lacking or seems dormant in our marriage, we look for that passion else where.






Words. 
Words that are said and words that are left unsaid also become venom filled arrows that are aimed and shot at the one we love or profess to love. Words cut deep. They are bottled inside a powerful unseen gun and in a moment of anger and pain, those words are set free to damage, bruise, and blow holes through every beautiful part of a person's heart and mind. Words don't go away. They can't just be taken back once they've been unleashed. It just can't be done.

So, also there are words left unsaid. Those words kept inside also impact your marriage. We keep words like, "Sorry." "Forgive me." and "I love you." deep inside as if we have a right to keep them from those who need to hear them. I think selfishness, not fear, keeps them inside the person that should not be afraid to say them. We forget to use the language of love, the beautiful words that exist to make someone feel special, wanted, needed and most of all, cherished and love. We only become great with our vocabulary when we are ready to use our tongue as a weapon of destruction instead of an instrument of peace, love, and restoration.

Sin 
It destroys.
It blinds you.

Unforgiveness.
Unforgiveness lets you live together, be in the same room, but never truly be happy. When you can't get over what has been done to you or what has happened, you always see the past and can never move into the future God has for you. That's why, as I shared before, you will need forgiveness in your closet. Tee shirts of forgiveness, Pants of forgiveness, coats and hats of forgiveness, socks and maybe even some high heels of forgiveness. You will have to even carry your makeup bag full of forgiveness because in marriage, the only way I've been able to move forward has been through learning that forgiveness is a choice. I can either stay hurt, angry and bitter or I can accept God's promises to heal and restore and allow Him to do so as I forgive. Forgiving means I might remember- No, let me correct that, I will remember, sometimes, most of the time, on certain occasions, special dates even, but forgiveness will let me love again, smile again. and live again.


Forgive.

To make marriage work, you will have to recognize that as marriage is heavenly and God's heart, so the Enemy of our souls will work to undo what God has done, shatter what God has brought together, and stab to death what God has breathed life into. So, dear friend going through a crisis in your marriage, choose to forgive. Choose to love. Choose to live again and allow God to breathe live into your marriage. It is not easy. It will hurt. At times you will feel like you're losing and it's better to give up. That lie will come from the Enemy. Choose to hope and believe what you read in scripture. Choose to stand on God's word. He never fails. Obeying God will always be best.


I have lots more to share. That's for another day. My journey continues and I pray that as I share from my heart and my life, the broken areas in your marriage can also be restored and healed as you walk out this journey, this moment in your marriage. I've chosen to follow to Christ. Following the Lord means to follow his directions and instructions. I pray that you will be able to open up your heart and invite God's healing. I pray that you will see there is hope for your relationship. I pray that in Jesus name you can take up the sword of faith and cut through everything that has come against your marriage. I pray that you can stand and believe God's word for your home, your family.

It is my prayer you succeed and find victory in your walk with the Lord as you place your hurts, the loss, the sin and the disappointment in Jesus hands. Amen.

Written by Angeline M Duran Santiago
"Sharing my journey to prove that God still heals, restores and does speaks life into the darkness."


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