STOP: IN THE NAME OF LOVE!
When I was a mere boy child, I remember dreaming, longing, and planning to be a hero. I wanted to be strong like my Dad; in a heroic moment save lives on a battle field; rescue a damsel in distress and more specifically perform some honorable act for a special girl or girlfriend. As I reflect back on those desires to be honoring, loving, protecting and caring that I associated with being a man, I cringe at the thought of how I have actually at times related with that girl, that girlfriend, who is my wife. In the heat of a conflict or disagreement I am defensive, angry, uncaring, and contemptive toward Patti. What happened, where is the disconnect? I have always wanted to be these things; but, I have failed to plan and be ready to act accordingly. We need to plan so we can respond in an honoring, loving, protective, and caring way toward our spouse. So please let me share some verses and values so you and I can practice responding properly with our spouse.
Michael Burner in his book “The Guy’s Rules” quotes Walt Disney who said. “When your values are clear, decisions are easy.” Michael Burner added that the converse is also true “Decisions are hard when values are not clear.” Therefore we must be in God’s word and know His commands for us. In Dr. Emmerson Eggrich’s Bible study “Love and Respect” he reminds us and encourages us to repeat to each other “your spouse is a good-willed person, your spouse is looking out for your best interest, they are a good-willed person”. Dr. Gary Rosberg in his book “Healing the Hurt in your Marriage” tells us to say to our spouse, “You are not my enemy.” We are one, a team, and we vowed before God and witnesses to be one until death do us part. Therefore, in your conversations or behaviors make these two statements part of your value system for each other, a truth to edify your oneness - “Your spouse is a good-willed person” and “You are not my enemy.”
II Corinthians 10:4-5 “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Therefore we should filter our thoughts through truth. Remember, you are not my enemy, and you are a good-willed person. So the next time my spouse or I say or do something hurtful, -- instead of using the weapons of this world, to attack, defend, revenge, protect my rights, win, dominate, or manipulate to get our way, choose to take your thoughts captive as II Cor. 10:4-5 says.
Philippians 2:3-4 says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself. Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interests of others.” Ephesians 5:21, “Submit one to another out of reverence for Christ.” If your spouse’s words or actions cause hurt, remember that song “Stop in the name of love before you break my heart, -- think it over”. Consider that your spouse is a good-willed person and not your enemy; These acts or words are not a normal response, therefore, in what my spouse said or did, he/she may be hurting. These words/actions may be a sign and/or symptom of hurt. Therefore, choose to begin to minister to your spouse instead of arguing over his/her words or action.
And finally pray for each other and with each other so you may apply God’s Word in your life. Ephesians 6:10-11, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” - Belt of Truth, Breastplate of Righteousness, feet fitted with the Gospel of Peace, Shield of Faith, Helmet of Salvation, Sword of the Spirit which is God’s Word and pray in the spirit on all occasions.
God bless you all. May your next opportunity to argue turn in to an opportunity to minister to your hurting spouse.