Toxic Ideas in Marriage

The devil uses “lies” to great effect. What helps his lies is that people want to believe them. The human heart is evil and so people want excuses to be let off their own responsibilities. The devil’s lies are often quickly taken up, to justify selfish choices in life.

The devil sows many toxic ideas into people’s minds regarding their marriage. The ideas usually appeal to human selfishness.

Devilish Wisdom

It is possible for an idea to be wrong, yet to appear to be ‘wisdom’. James, the brother of Jesus Christ, gives us insight into this situation in an important description of evil wisdom.

“This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” James 3:15

You can pick the wrong ideas, even though they are propounded by experts and appear to be ever-so-wise, because they are “earthly” and “sensual”. When an idea defines reality from the earthly perspective, leaving God and godly morality out of the picture, then it is devilish wisdom. And when an idea appeals to human sensibilities, while ignoring God and godly morality, then it is devilish wisdom.

Beware of the ideas that go through your mind from time to time about your marriage. They may be devilish wisdom looking for a place to live. If you let that kind of wisdom in it leads to strife, contention and broken relationships.

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What are you Thinking?

Have you ever thought any of the following thoughts about your marriage?

“I married the WRONG person.” Maybe if you’d been more careful you could have been more happily married. Hmmm ???

“I DESERVE better than this!” You are not being treated properly and so you have the right to be angry and resentful.

“SOMEONE ELSE would make me happier.” Your heart is already lusting for something or someone better.

“EVEN GOD could not fix my marriage.” This is a great excuse to bail out.

“ADULTERY has ended this marriage.” When you’ve been wronged, why not be unforgiving and vengeful?

“God just wants me to be HAPPY.” Actually, I want to be happy, and I thought happiness was the whole purpose of life, so I’m now pinning my selfish wants onto God’s account.

“MY SITUATION is unique.” Your pain is very personal, and so surely no-one has ever been in your situation before.

Shake Up

Let me do a quick shake-up for you, and see if I can dislodge some of those “earthly, sensual” ideas that are dancing into your mind at times.

“I married the WRONG person” – You’ve got to be kidding! Your spouse only seems wrong because they rub up your selfishness and challenge your character. God did not create one “right” person for you. Instead, He created a relationship that is very resilient and able to be enjoyed with any one of gazillion spouses.

“I DESERVE better than this” – Do you really want what you deserve? I certainly don’t. When we compare you to God’s holiness, what you “deserve” may be far worse than anything you have ever been through!

“SOMEONE ELSE would make me happier” – How incredibly selfish of you! Your happiness is what you are demanding. And guess what! By being selfish you will be impossible to make happy. You are the principal obstacle to your own happiness!

Ready for More?

“EVEN GOD could not fix my marriage” – How dare you think so! Nothing is impossible to God. You just want and excuse to selfishly have your way.

“ADULTERY has ended this marriage” – That’s ridiculous! Millions of marriages survive adultery! Jesus Christ pointed to “hardness of heart” as the reason marriages break-up after adultery. When the offended party refuses to forgive, THAT is what ends the marriage. Don’t blame it on adultery!

“God just wants me to be HAPPY” – God wants you to be HOLY and that will bring happiness. If you are a happiness junkie, you will never find the joy your heart longs for. Be Holy. Happiness will follow.

“MY SITUATION is unique” – Rubbish! You don’t have a clue what other people have been through. Your situation is as fixable as anything God has to deal with.

Mending Marriages

I have drawn these points from my book, Mending Marriages – Putting Lives and Relationships Back Together. If I have offended you, then maybe I have made you think. Maybe you will open your heart and mind to some truths that will set you free from the devilish lies that have become “strongholds” in your mind.

We have a whole generation of unhappy people, simply because they believed the lie that they could pursue and find happiness. Godliness with contentment brings great gain. It is not “happiness” that you should be chasing.

When you humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, and be the person He created you to be, doing the things He created you to do, you will find wonder, joy, fulfilment and blessing that you cannot hope to find by throwing away your marriage.

Marriage Moment of Truth

Marriages start out on an exciting note, full of happy expectation. Yet some of those marriages end up on the trash heap. At some point from the engagement to the divorce something went wrong. Whatever the challenges are that lead to a failed marriage other marriages weather the storm and come through stronger.

So, along the way from the proposal to the decree nisi there is some telling moment or development that tips the scales from success to sabotage; from freedom to failure; and from celebration to shame. So, we’re looking for the Moment of Truth in Marriage, where that tipping point is encountered.

Tipping Point

The Moment of Truth is that point in the couple’s journey where they make a decision, balk at a hurdle, draw a line or otherwise change the course of their relationship. What started as delight became bogged down with disappointment. Strife replaced celebration and the couple began to move toward the death of their marriage.

Now, the tipping point is not the same for each couple. Some couples know that it is all over by the end of the honeymoon. Other couples work together for thirty-five years before ending their marriage. For some there is a major shock, such as unfaithfulness, that bombards the relationship. For others some subtle, slow process sets in that eats away at the union.

This makes it hard to come up with a simplistic “tipping point” definition.

Attitude Not Action

The tipping point, or Moment of Truth, when a relationship takes a turn toward its own destruction cannot be built on an action. Marriages have proven to be incredibly resilient. Marriages have survived and even flourished after such tragedies and traumas as abuse, violence, adultery, death of a child, financial ruin, war, betrayal, attempted suicide, mental breakdown, and more.

The tipping point, then, is not an action. Instead it is an attitude. The attitude may spring to life in response to an action, but it is wrong to blame the action. Others have endured the same treatment, circumstances, disappointment, stress and so on, without destroying their marriage. So it must be firmly stated that the problem is NOT the action.

However, when a wrong attitude comes into the picture it can be poisonous, impossible to endure and persistent to the point of total destruction. The tipping point is the point at which a wrong attitude takes root, setting the course toward ultimate ruin.

Biblical Warning

Since the Bible is supremely relevant and current, we should expect it to speak clearly to this issue, and it does. There is a serious warning given in the New Testament which is probably directly linked to the Moment of Truth, or Tipping Point in marriage.

The Biblical warning is that people MUST give grace to one another. Specifically they are to give each other the “grace of God”. That means that they are to forgive each other, accept each other and be considerate of each other, in the same way that God is gracious to all of humanity. God gives sunshine and rain to both the good people and evil people. God is gracious, even to people who are campaigning to prove that God does not exist.

Humans, then, are to be ever willing to tolerate and be gracious to each other, just as God is.

But the warning goes further than that. The Biblical warning is that if a person fails to provide God’s grace to others the only alternative is that the evil attitude of bitterness will spring up in their life and lead to all kinds of problems.

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” Hebrews 12:14,15

Let me paraphrase that text for you this way: “Be at peace with everyone. And keep yourself holy. If you are not holy you will never see God. Be diligent to keep on giving God’s grace to people. If you don’t a root of bitterness will spring up within you and agitate you. A root of bitterness will make trouble for many people around you.”

Key Moment

The key moment in your marriage is not how or where you propose. It’s not how long your engagement is. It is not the wedding day, or the wedding night. It’s not the honeymoon. It’s not your first year, or your first home. It’s not based on how soon the kids come along, or how many you have or don’t have. It’s not about how much money you have or whether one, both or none of you work.

The key moment in any marriage is that moment when one or other of the couple decides to stop giving grace to the other. When one person makes the internal decision, “I’ve had enough of that”, “I’m not taking any more of this”, “I won’t forgive them this time”, or something like that, they have tipped the marriage into the path toward destruction.

It is possible for a couple to come close to that point several times, and still survive. If the person tips back, changing their mind and forgiving, extending grace, accepting the one they had decided to reject, then they can undo the damage that has been done. But when they come to that point and decide to stick on that track, that’s when the end has been determined.

The Grace of God

The most valuable ingredient you can bring into any relationship, then, is the grace of God. A couple which has determined to always forgive and extend grace to each other will be able to ride over the ups and downs of their relationship.

Remember that bitterness only springs up when someone has determined to stop giving God’s grace. As long as the graces of forgiveness, compassion, acceptance, sacrificial commitment and such like are poured into a marriage that marriage can weather any storm or strain.

When the attitude turns from one that gives grace to one that digs in with hardness of heart, bitterness takes root and poisons the mind, attitudes, decisions and relationships.

Remember, the problem is not the actions experienced, but the attitudes taken up in response to those things.

Moments of Grace

Protect your marriage with moments of grace. Tip your marriage toward success and indestructibility. Determine, with God’s help, to give grace to each other. Determine to continue extending grace, God’s grace, no matter what.

Instead of having Moments of Truth and Tipping Points that turn your marriage into dust, have Moments of Grace and multiple Turning Points which turn your marriage back to God’s grace and God’s miraculous provision for your happiness and success.

Fifty Fifty Marriage Video

A modern idea of marriage is that it should be shared equally between the couple. This is commonly known as a 50:50 Marriage.

This 50:50 Marriage idea sounds like a noble objective, but it actually falls far short of what marriage was created to be.

Pastor Chris Field tackles this popular notion with his usual candour and suggests a much more wonderful vision for godly marriage.

This is a video which all modern couples should watch, to challenge their perceptions and open their eyes and hearts to the better things which God has for them.

Other Videos by Pastor Chris Field include ….

SEXUALITY VIDEO“Sacred Nakedness” http://chrisfieldblog.com/marriage/sacred-nakedness-video

MARRIAGE VIDEO“What is Marriage?” http://chrisfieldblog.com/marriage/what-is-marriage-video

MANHOOD VIDEO“The Manhood Call” http://chrisfieldblog.com/manhood/manhood-call-video

MANHOOD VIDEO“Sacrificial Purpose of Men” http://chrisfieldblog.com/manhood/sacrificial-man-video

TRUTH VIDEO“Where Does Your Truth Come From?” http://chrisfieldblog.com/ministry/truth-video

PARENTING VIDEO“Heart of a Child” http://chrisfieldblog.com/parent/heart-of-child-video

PARENTING VIDEO“Godly Seed” http://chrisfieldblog.com/parent/godly-seed-video

PARENTING VIDEO“Child Discipline” http://chrisfieldblog.com/parent/child-discipline-video

Sacred Nakedness Video

Human nakedness is a gift from God and it is something that has ‘moral’ significance.
In fact, human nakedness is ‘sacred’. If our nakedness is violated and unprotected then a moral issue is created. That’s why Ps Chris Field has coined the term ‘Sacred Nakedness’ to describe human sexuality.

But, since human nakedness is sacred, that creates a problem for marriage. How do two people get past the sacredness of their own naked body, to encounter the intimacy of marriage?
The answer is simple. It is the Moral Miracle which God performs at Marriage – where the husband and wife become “one flesh”, where they are each “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” with one another. Their nakedness is still ‘sacred’, but the two bodies now share the same nakedness. So their intimacy is perfectly moral and holy.

However, a couple who are almost married and who decide to explore the intimacies of marriage will be violating sacred nakedness, because the Moral Miracle hasn’t taken place.

Ps Chris Field explains this in his video: Sacred Nakedness.

Other Videos by Pastor Chris Field include ….

MARRIAGE VIDEO“What is Marriage?” http://chrisfieldblog.com/marriage/what-is-marriage-video

MARRIAGE VIDEO“50-50 Marriage?” http://chrisfieldblog.com/marriage/50-50-marriage-video

MANHOOD VIDEO“The Manhood Call” http://chrisfieldblog.com/manhood/manhood-call-video

MANHOOD VIDEO“Sacrificial Purpose of Men” http://chrisfieldblog.com/manhood/sacrificial-man-video

TRUTH VIDEO“Where Does Your Truth Come From?” http://chrisfieldblog.com/ministry/truth-video

PARENTING VIDEO“Heart of a Child” http://chrisfieldblog.com/parent/heart-of-child-video

PARENTING VIDEO“Godly Seed” http://chrisfieldblog.com/parent/godly-seed-video

PARENTING VIDEO“Child Discipline” http://chrisfieldblog.com/parent/child-discipline-video

What is Marriage, Video

Ps Chris Field recently prepared several videos for his Blog readers.
This video, “What is Marriage?”, opens the subject of Marriage and gets people thinking about the Biblical concept of marriage, rather than the cultural ideas they are presented with.

Other Videos by Pastor Chris Field include ….

SEXUALITY VIDEO“Sacred Nakedness” http://chrisfieldblog.com/marriage/sacred-nakedness-video

MARRIAGE VIDEO“50-50 Marriage?” http://chrisfieldblog.com/marriage/50-50-marriage-video

MANHOOD VIDEO“The Manhood Call” http://chrisfieldblog.com/manhood/manhood-call-video

MANHOOD VIDEO“Sacrificial Purpose of Men” http://chrisfieldblog.com/manhood/sacrificial-man-video

TRUTH VIDEO“Where Does Your Truth Come From?” http://chrisfieldblog.com/ministry/truth-video

PARENTING VIDEO“Heart of a Child” http://chrisfieldblog.com/parent/heart-of-child-video

PARENTING VIDEO“Godly Seed” http://chrisfieldblog.com/parent/godly-seed-video

PARENTING VIDEO“Child Discipline” http://chrisfieldblog.com/parent/child-discipline-video