Our society can be a better place if we take necessary steps to ensure that marriages and homes are built on the right foundations and principles. The society is formed as a result of a man and woman coming together in marriage and this births a family.
A faulty marriage will birth a faulty family. Children who grow up in turbulent homes are most likely to become a concern to the society. So it’s of paramount importance that we dedicate time and energy to ensure that our marriages are kept intact, safe from vices and destructive influences.
In this chapter, we will talk about those steps which we can apply to keep our marriages and homes safe.
- Prayer: no matter how we try to shy away from this, prayer still remains the number one key to a successful marriage. Keeping your marriage safe requires seriousness in your prayer life. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. He is our role model. He lived a successful life here on earth and we all know Him as a prayerful person. The Son of God prayed while here on earth, and He prayed real hard. It is no small feat to pray till your sweat drops like blood to the ground, but this is what happened to Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane before his crucifixion.
Jesus has not called us to pray till our sweat turns into blood, He only asked us to pray without ceasing. Why do we need to pray without ceasing? It’s because the world is full of evil and any true Christian is in constant battle with the enemy, the devil, whether you are aware of it or not. The bible records that the devil is out there to steal, kill and destroy. Marriage is a key component in the society, if we get it wrong there, then the world at large is in trouble. So it’s not a surprise that most marriages are facing attacks from the pit of hell, this is to ensure godly seeds are not raised who will eventually take over the society for Christ.
So when you face problems in your marriage, your first port of call is your Heavenly Father and you can’t reach Him except through prayers. God is your father, He is not there to condemn you, even if you are the originator of the problem in your marriage. Rather He is there to help you and give you joy in abundance. Pour out everything to Him and sit still, do not fret. God created the whole world and everything in it, your spouse inclusive. There is nothing God can not do and there is no situation beyond repairs when God is involved.
- Seek godly counsel: God has made available people whom He has gifted the ability to discern and counsel marital issues biblically. You can find them in the church or the secular circle. Don’t just walk through any door in search of counselling. Some are out there to feed you worldly views and solutions to marital problems. That is why you need to pray before you step out to seek counselling.
It is advisable that both parties attend the counselling sessions, as this will enable them to air their differences, thus granting more illumination into the situation to further help the Counsellor take necessary steps in resolving the problem.
In some cases, the healing process may even begin on the first day of the counselling sessions, because there is a tendency for each party to air their grievances to the Counsellor more than they would to their spouses. Some spouses have locked up their emotions and have become embittered towards each other due to inability to communicate their hurts to their partners. Some have tried proffering solutions in the past, only to be ignored or shut out. So the counselling session now provides the long awaited opportunity to voice out their pains. It is important for each couple to listen with an unbiased mind to what their partner is saying because they may actually begin to see where they went wrong in the first place. Going there with the mindset of getting a solution to their present problem is key to benefiting from the counselling, rather than attending the sessions just to prove who is right or wrong. That is why you must carry God along in this too. That you are seeking godly counselling doesn’t mean God should take the back seat. Get Him involved right from the beginning. Ask Him to speak to your spouse and prepare him or her, before you go ahead to invite them for counselling. Also ask God to prepare your mind and that of your spouse and make it a fertile ground where the godly counsel may grow and bear fruits in your lives.
C. Forgive your spouse: there is no sin in the bible where God has asked not to forgive. Even Jesus forgave the adulterous woman who was caught in the act. Forgiving your spouse is beneficial to you too, beecause it helps you heal faster.
Dont wait for your spouse to come and apologise before you forgive, because we do not know when God will finish His work on him or her. Simply make up your mind to let go and forgive. See it as a divine instruction from God. Jesus said we should forgive those who offend us
70 x 7 times, to me this simply means no matter how many times someone offends you, keep forgiving. There is no limitation to forgiveness. “But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:15 NLT).
The above Bible verse is very clear on God’s stand with regards to forgiveness. Every true believer must understand that there is no room for grudges in our hearts. Unforgiveness disconnects us from God. It hinders the free flow of God’s Spirit in our lives. Making heaven is sticking to God’s commands, and forgiveness is one of them. As Christians, heaven is our final destination, but we can only be granted access if we learn to forgive one another and adhere to God’s instructions. Don’t wait till the pain is gone before you forgive. Make up your mind to forgive and ask God to give you the grace to do so, then trust God to take care of the rest.
d. Keep doing good: we are told in the bible to love our enemies, but in this case your spouse isn’t the enemy, rather the devil is. Keep loving your spouse no matter what. Don’t let hate and bitterness entangle you, set your mind free and focus on the word of God. We can not trust our emotions at times like this because it’s bent on satisfying the flesh. We are not called to satisfy our flesh but to obey God and choose His ways at all times, even when we are not comfortable with it. The flesh is constantly at war with the spirit, that’s why we sometimes find it difficult to yield to God’s ways and we know God’s way is always the best.
Keep doing good to your spouse, even if there is no show of gratitude from him or her. Your Heavenly Father who sees what you do in the secret, will reward you openly. Don’t pay back evil with evil, nothing good will come out of it. Pay back evil with good and leave the rest to God.
When you are tempted to give up on your good deeds, remember Jesus. He died for us even while we were still sinners. Our sins couldn’t stop Him from doing the good His Father asked him to. Anywhere Jesus went, He kept doing good, nothing in our sinful nature could hinder Jesus from doing what is right. The same should be applicable to all Christians. Keep doing good, no matter the situation you find yourself in.
e. Dwell in God’s presence daily: dwelling in God’s presence doesn’t mean staying in church. We all know God dwells within us in the person of the Holy Spirit, working out God’s eternal purpose in our lives. Daily dwelling in God’s presence implies consciously conceding your right to live the way it pleases you. You wake each day fully aware that you are stepping out to do God’s purpose and not yours. Sitting down daily at His feet to find out what he desires for you to do is practicing how to dwell in God’s presence. Every Christian whether married or not needs to come to this understanding and implement it in their lives. This is the only way we can live a purpose driven life.
Many couples are experiencing marital problems because, even before marriage they had no idea what it meant to daily dwell in God’s presence. They lived life as it pleased them and accepted whatever or whoever came their way. No conscious effort was made to know God’s will concerning their life partners. Some already had the type or spec of whom they will end up with in marriage, so anything short of that loses its appeal to them. In their decision making, they forgot what Isaiah 55:8 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
Now, how will dwelling in God’s presence help you save your marriage? God can do alot in your life, not only in your marriage when you learn how to dwell in His presence. As earlier said, it is a conscious effort on your part to daily practice this by granting God access into every area of your life and allowing Him to take charge and be the decision maker.
Create out time to spend with God, make it a specific time and try to keep to it. Tell God the time you have chosen and make it a covenant with Him that you will always be there at that particular time. Call it a covenant time. During your covenant time, take a journal with you to write down what God lays in your heart. Also go along with your bible and a Christian spirit uplifting book, spend a minimum of 30 minutes there with God, you may decide to make it longer. Don’t be in a hurry to leave His presence, allow His glory and presence come upon you. You may not see what is transpiring as you sit there in fellowship with God, but if it pleases the Lord He may choose to reveal this to you at His own time. Keep doing this daily and take note of your dreams too. I love doing mine in the night so I can sleep after and expect the Lord to speak. God is still speaking to us through various ways, and one of it is dreams.
It’s essential to learn how to hear from God, because He desires to comfort you, lead you and direct you.
Some solutions to life problems may be revealed to you through dreams, so please ask God to grant you divine revelations. He says Jeremiah 33.3 “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
Aside from keeping your covenant time with God, live each day intentionally. Decide to please God in your ways by letting Him lead you. Ask Him questions before you embark on anything. Make Him know that His opinion counts and He is important in your life. Learn to talk to God as the day goes by, because He is right there with you though you can’t see Him with your physical eyes. When you engage God in this manner, you are daily dwelling in His presence. You are living each day for Him and not for yourself, making Him the Head over your life, marriage, career, etc.
When you dwell in His presence, His nature rubs off on you and you see yourself effortlessly desiring to live a holy life, wanting more of Him and craving for your covenant time to approach so you could crawl back into His arms and be comforted. This is called intimacy with God. You are gradually being infused into Him.
When you become one with God, you no longer desire your will. You now live daily for Him. You emulate Jesus easily and this is when you can effortlessly resolve conflict in your home because it’s no longer important to you who is right, or who is wrong. You are more concerned in bringing Jesus into your marriage to reign. You now live a selfless life, putting others before you. Forgiving your spouse anytime he or she errs is no longer an ordeal because you’ve tasted the Father’s love and come to the realisation that love is the ultimate healing balm. When you love your enemies as the bible instructs us to, you no longer harbour hatred towards them but compassion and love. You are now more concerned about their spiritual welfare and upliftment. You care more for them now and pray often for them. You no longer see them as your enemies but the devil who is working evil through them.
If you apply this principle of loving your enemies in your dealings with your spouse, you will find it easy to live a peaceful life with them. You will always remember that Jesus loved us even while we were still sinners and He has called us to do same.