Thursday, December 5, 2013 – Day 23: Love Always Protects
When a couple marries, they never intend to become enemies. The intention is to have a lifetime full of love and happiness. Yet with divorce rates being so high, it is quite evident that there are seemingly insurmountable obstaces to overcome in a marriage. There are problems that can start to arise. That’s why it is necessary to stay on guard and be alert of those things that can slowly start to tear a marriage apart. Acting in love makes one fight against those corrosive influences and allows one to put on armor to fight off and protect its own.
There are many examples of problems that can slowly start to creep into a marriage. The Love Dare addressed 6 different examples. 1) Misplaced priorities. Even good things can turn into something harmful if it becomes all-consuming. Innocent things such as friends, hobbies, or work can overrun a relationship if they aren’t kept in their proper place. 2) Unhealthy relationships. Sometimes we have toxic friendships that don’t help or support a healthy relationship with our spouse. They may be the type of people that discourage us from trying to work things through, or reason with us that we can just give up and “throw in the towel”. 3) Harmful influences. Are technology and the internet staying in their proper place? These things can be enjoyable but they can also allow for a waste of time and draw you away from your spouse. 4) Sexual temptation. It can be all too easy to start to slowly get close with a particular person of the opposite-sex. It may start off innocently enough, but the more you let your guard down and allow emotional attachments to form, the easier it can be for the other person, or even you, to start to develop feelings for another person. Any relationship that starts to pull your affection away from your spouse is entering a dangerous territory. 5) Shame. We all have our weaknesses. Our spouses often see our weakness more than anyone else, and vice versa. We don’t want to share our spouses secrets or reveal things about them to others. Love covers over the faults of others. 6) Parasites. Parasites can be anything that grabs a hold of you or your spouse and pull the life right out of your relationship. It can be easily identified with addictions like alcohol or drugs. While it may seem to offer pleasure in the moment, it can quickly turn into an all-consuming addiction. They steal you away from the people you love. If there is a parasite in your marriage, it is bound to fail.
As a spouse, you have a role to be a protector. It is essential that you guard your heart and don’t have a blurred perception of what is real or place expectations upon your spouse that they will never be able to live up to.
Dare for day 23:
Questions for pondering: What did you throw out first? Are there others that need to go as well? What do you hope the removal of these things will do for you, your marriage, and your relationship with God?
The first thing that comes to mind along the lines of an ‘addiction’ for me would be my eating disorder and things relating to my eating disorder. I can remember just how much it impacted our relationship in the past. It was all consuming. I couldn’t ever give my focus or attention to Scott or our relationship because I was so consumed with my eating disorder. Nothing else mattered. I was numb to anything and everything else going on. Which clearly meant I couldn’t be present in my relationship and marriage with Scott. I was not there for my husband. I have made HUGE improvements in my recovery and my eating disorder has taken a backseat in my life. I want to ensure that I don’t let it ever spiral out of control again or start to overtake me again. It is something I will always need to keep in check so as not to let it ruin me again, and therefore ruin my marriage.
Also in the past, exercise never had an appropriate place in my life. It was the priority in my day and if anything got in the way of a scheduled workout, I would decline doing it. Now I have a much healthier view of exercise. I no longer let it take priority in my life. There are things that are much more important, including simply spending time with my husband and being present for “life” to happen. I’m really proud of the progress I’ve made in this area and want to make sure I keep this healthy view.
I’m certain there are other areas of my life that could use some tweaks and will continue to look for ways to let certain things out of my life that are unhealthy influences or take away from my marriage and relationship with Scott.
Day 23 down, 17 to go!