Habits That Can Sabotage Marriage Restoration
- Worrying about things you can’t change. God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God-of-Angel-Armies protects us. River fountains splash joy, cooling God’s city, this sacred haunt of the Most High. God lives here, the streets are safe, God at your service from crack of dawn. Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten, but Earth does anything he says. Attention, all! See the marvels of God! He plants flowers and trees all over the earth, bans war from pole to pole, breaks all the weapons across his knee. “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God-of-Angel-Armies protects us. Psalm 46:1-11 (MSG)
Never forget that we serve the God who commands angel-armies and protects us. Whom should we fear? Not our circumstance, not the court system, not our spouse, not our flesh, not the world’s system. The Psalms are a great place of refuge when fear tries to overtake us.
Psalm 27:1 (NIV) says, The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. Psalms 55:22 (NASB)
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10 (NASB)
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJ)
- Blaming someone else for your results. We seem to be living at a time in history when personal responsibility is not practiced. My momma used to tell me that “what you sow is what you will reap.” When I was young I didn’t understand what she was talking about. However, as I have grown up and studied the Word of God, I have a much clearer understanding. If I sow discord and strife, I can expect discord and strife in my life. Many of us early in our marriages were selfish and lazy in our behavior toward our spouses. Praise God He forgives and sets us on a path to righteousness when we confess our sins and turn from our wicked ways. But we must take responsibility for our past behavior, repent and nail it to the cross. You cannot blame your spouse for what you have done. And you cannot change your spouse. They must repent for themselves. God is the heart changer; you are not.
God holds us accountable for what is entrusted to us. In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) each steward was responsible only for what he was given. We need to be responsive to what the Holy Spirit teaches us. As we are faithful to what is revealed, God will then give us more. Quit accusing others of being the cause of your inappropriate actions.
Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want. You’ve already put in your time in that God-ignorant way of life, partying night after night, a drunken and profligate life. Now it’s time to be done with it for good. Of course, your old friends don’t understand why you don’t join in with the old gang anymore. But you don’t have to give an account to them. They’re the ones who will be called on the carpet—and before God himself. 1 Peter 4:1-5 (MSG)
- Expecting perfection from others. Have you discovered that you are not perfect? Have you also discovered that your spouse is not perfect either, or are you still expecting perfection from them and from others?
What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one. Romans 3:9-12 (NASB)
- Telling yourself that you can’t. I wish Covenant Keepers had one dollar for every time someone calls our office and says, “I just can’t do this ‘standing thing’ any longer.” Guess what? You can’t do it at all – not even one second. You were not created to carry this burden. It is He in you that is standing. It is what He accomplished at the cross that makes this possible – and He is able. Ask Him to give you vision of His ability.
“Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.” Matthew 17:20-21(MSG)
For nothing will be impossible with God. Matthew 1:27 (NASB)
- Jumping to conclusions. So many of us look at our circumstance and see the worst situation imaginable. Yet when our spouse returns home we find out that many of these situations were just facades put in place by our spouse. They want us to see them as “happy” without us in their lives. They want us to believe that all things are great with them and their new family. They believe these things; however, it is not truth from the Word of God. God is at work on the other side of the mountain. God was at work even during those 40 years when Israel wandered in the wilderness and ate manna. We tend to believe that because something looks impossible it is impossible. But for us there is a different conclusion. (See #4 above)
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. 1 Peter 1:3-5 (MSG)
- Most of us at some time in our lives put off what we should be doing. We may either believe that the job will get easier if we just wait, or we believe if we wait long enough the problem will just go away. Either way, we believe our own lies.
Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.” Luke 9:62 (MSG)
The appetite of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the appetite of the diligent is abundantly supplied. Proverbs 13:4 (AMP)
There are blessings when we do not procrastinate in our obedience to the Word and His instructions.
The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (MSG)
So what is your result? How many checkmarks do you have? How did you do in the light of God’s Word? What impact could these habits have on your spouse, your marriage and your life? Ask God what to do now.
I love this new format. The links are very helpful. I was wondering if the font could be darker as I am struggling to read it. Thank you!
Great comment. We have heard similar feedback and we are working on it! Sorry for making it hard to read! Fixes coming soon!