Lie #6: A more traditional marriage will save us.
Out of frustration, many men feel that if their relationship could be more like the Brady Bunch couple, life would be happier. They are confused about gender roles and responsibilities. Submission is a misunderstood and often abused concept. God’s intention for marriage is gender equality. On two occasions, God revealed His will on earth concerning gender — in the Garden and in the life of Christ. Look to those examples of how men and women should interact. You will find that no matter how you negotiate the relationship, you need mutual submission, respect, honor, empowerment and empathy.
Lie #7: I can’t change — this is who I am: take it or leave it.
An unwillingness to change is rooted in rebellion. It’s doing things your way versus God’s. To say you can’t change obviates the entire Christian experience of salvation and change of heart. Yes, we are always striving for perfection but the operative phrase is that we should be striving. This requires a willingness to look at your behavior and work towards being more like Christ. If both spouses in marriage would do this regularly, divorce would be less prevalent. Change doesn’t happen when you don’t embrace it. You can change but it requires desire, obedience and Holy Spirit driven power.
Lie #8: There’s been an affair. We need to divorce.
Affairs are serious and damaging but they are not beyond repair if both spouses agree to try. There must be a commitment to cut off the affair, a time of repentance, forgiveness and a rebuilding of the relationship. The covenant has been broken but can be restored if a couple chooses to do so. It’s not easy but possible.
Lie #9: It doesn’t matter what I do: God will forgive me.
God will forgive you if you repent but it does matter what you do. Your behavior has natural, as well as spiritual consequences so don’t cheapen God’s grace.
Lie #10: It’s too broken.
If you’ve given up, the future looks hopeless, you’ve grown apart, can’t manage conflict, made a mistake or whatever the problem, believe that God can work when you can’t. He can change hearts, do miracles and work in the most difficult circumstances. He is the God of the possible. Draw close to Him, intercede for your marriage, do battle with your true enemy (Satan) and expect God to work on your behalf.
If you and your partner stay intimately connected to God, your marriage will reflect that intimacy. Divorce doesn’t have to happen. Recognize the cultural lies that influence you and counteract them with biblical truth. No marriage is beyond the probability of divorce but you can be proactive in preventing it. It’s time to improve on the divorce statistics and divorce proof your marriage.
Copyright © 2011 by Dr. Linda Mintle. Used by permission of CBN.
Dr. Linda Mintle is a author, professor, Approved Supervisor and Clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, as well as a licensed clinical social worker with over 20 years in psychotherapy practice.
For more articles and info, visit www.drlindahelps.com.