If you’re at all familiar with the underlying premise of how America’s Family Coaches began, you’ll know my five-year-old daughter broke my heart when she left me out of the family picture. Isn’t it amazing how God can use any number of situations to get your attention? In that moment, when precious Sarah showed me her picture, God revealed to me the warfare that attacked my marriage and family. For me, the attack wasn’t infidelity, hidden secrets, or a runaway child. I had guarded my heart against these obvious attacks. However, while these barriers were in place, my heart was seduced by the frantic lifestyle I had chosen. It was an inside job; I had been blinded by the fog around me and had left my heart unguarded.
Don’t let these sneak attacks bombard your marriage and family. The enemy wants to blanket you with a fog of complacency or apathy convincing you that your life, marriage, and parenting skills are adequate even though you know they’re not. God has any number of means at His disposal to slice through the fog. He desires to show you where your marriage and family may be attacked before the big bomb goes off! Allow Him to wake you to the reality that your hearts are vulnerable and in danger.
Once God has revealed your vulnerable areas, you’ll know where the barriers need to be to guard yourself, your marriage, and your family. As men, it begins with us. If we’re knowledgeable about our entry points and purpose to guard those areas, we’re more likely to thwart warfare. But you may be saying, “Can I really win this battle?” Yes, with God’s help, you can! He knows you. He knows were potential attacks may wipe you out and what defenses need to be in place. You may also be saying, “Wait?my life is fine. Why would I want to stir up trouble fighting for a better one?”
It all has to do with your legacy. If you’re like me, you desire to have a greater impact as a husband and father than you’ve had to this point. You want to be remembered as a man who had three clear priorities:
-A loving commitment to Christ
-A loving commitment to your spouse
-A loving commitment to your children
All of these areas are important to you, but are you guarding against attacks on these areas? Are you spending time daily in the Word to keep your loving commitment to Christ? Have date nights become a priority to reconnect and catch up with your mate? Is your energy level so depleted when you arrive home from a hard day at the office that you don’t have time to play with your children? Don’t make the same mistake I did and allow the sneak attacks to strike you in the Achilles’ heel. Plan your war strategy today to ensure your protection against both obvious and sneak attacks from the enemy.
A Marriage on the Rocks
If you asked my son-in-law, Scott, he’d say I don’t know much about building a house, and I would agree. But one thing I do know is that every house needs a firm foundation or it will crumble. As Matthew 7:24 says, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds his house upon the rock.”
This powerful verse begs the question: What foundation is your marriage built on? You may be saying, “Hey, we’ve been married for years, isn’t it a little late to be working on the foundation?” No! When you build a house, you definitely want to pour the foundation before you go ahead with the framing, plumbing, electrical, drywall, and paint. But few of us started our marriages with that kind of forethought. No matter where we are in our marriage, we need to daily reinforce, solidify, and fortify the foundation on which we stand.
Gary and I have a “rock collection” that forms the cornerstone of our marriage foundation. There are three rocks in our collection. The first rock was big enough to cover the opening of the most famous tomb in history, but it didn’t stay there. It was the rock that was rolled away to reveal the triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because Christ is alive, we have the hope that extends throughout life and into eternity. As a result, our lives and our marriage have a meaning that is spiritual as well as physical and emotional.
The second rock is small enough to hold in my hand. That rock is the one Gary held as he accepted Christ into his life in 1973. He placed this significant piece of concrete in my jewelry box as a reminder that our personal relationships with Jesus are vital to a growing and healthy marriage.
The third rock is broad enough and strong enough to support our marriage and yours. If we follow God’s plan for our marriage, as found in His Word, we are equipped for a strong marriage. When Gary and I selflessly and sacrificially love as Christ loved us, our relationship thrives; but just the opposite happens when we get selfish and prideful. Many don’t think about this portion of the foundation until the storms hit.
We implore you to build your marriage on the foundation that will stand strong whether you’re being overwhelmed by the storms of life or experiencing marital bliss. The daily fortification of our marriage foundation is a direct result of our daily obedience to God’s plan for marriage.
What is the present condition of your marriage foundation? Your marriage foundation needs all three “rocks”: the rock of Christ’s resurrection, the rock of your personal commitment to Christ, and the rock of daily obedience to God’s Word. You can’t pick and choose; it’s a package deal. If you want to guard your heart and home against the assaults on your marriage and family, you need a complete foundation. We challenge you to acknowledge that serving God individually and as a couple is your most important purpose in life.
Copyright © 2005 Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg, used with permission.
Married nearly 30 years, the parents of two married adult children, and grandparents of two, Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg have a unique blend of insight and wisdom that touches people of all ages. Together with Gary’s 25,000 hours of counseling experience and Barbara’s wise counsel and biblical teaching, they are America’s Family Coaches (AFC) or call 1-888-ROSBERG. — equipping thousands of families across the nation.