I imagine that title caught your eye??? It is the beginning of a ‘verse of the day’ that popped up on my Bible app. It caught my eye as I read, "When God began killing them, they finally sought him." They repented and took God seriously. (PS. 78:34 NLT)  I guess with the times; it really caught my eye. I am not saying that God brought about COVID to intentionally kill people… I do believe He is in control and He wants to use this time for His kingdom purposes... So, I opened up Psalm 78 and read. I wanted context. It is a summary to the people of Israel to remember what God has done for their nation and to remember that God judged their disobedience and to  exhort them to remember God, to seek God, fear God and repent.

In general, my first thought was, ‘Oh, Lord, there is so much more to kill in me’. When I thought of my marriage, and your marriages, I thought of this season, this COVID season. I remembered the blog I wrote way back in March. I wrote about the change COVID and lockdown would be bringing in our lives, specifically, in our marriages.  Sometimes in our marriages there are addictions that need weeding out because of the damage they cause. By addictions I mean substance and process strongholds so strong we cave in, we bow down to these strongholds, these addictions over and over again for the pleasure they bring. We do so without regard to the consequences and problem they create - often blind or in denial to and of our sin. Substance strongholds include prescription meds and/or illegal drugs and  alcohol. Process strongholds are different because they entail a set of behaviors rather than the ingestion of a substance. Examples of process strongholds include, gambling, food/eating disorders, physical and emotional abuse and sexual addictions. And YES, sadly, these problems exist in Christian marriages today. Both husbands and wives suffer from and with these addictions.

If you are the spouse of someone who has an addiction it is very difficult. You cannot change them. Addictions can be overcome. You can also learn to manage them. It takes a lot of work. You cannot however do it alone. You cannot do anything to make someone else change. You can only work on yourself. You can only change how your respond. But you can create boundaries to protect not only you, but also your children.

I write this because, you see, we are the ‘marriage mentors’. Lest you think our marriage is perfect, our marriage has had to overcome. In our marriage we’ve had to do a lot of work. It is painful. Sometimes God seemed so far away, but He was not. He was right there with us. He was exposing sin and inviting us to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus. He began the work of ‘killing’ in our marriage so that we would seek Him; so that, we would repent and take God seriously. He was calling us to remember that God is our rock; He is Most High, our Redeemer. (vs 35)

We are not puppets. God gives us freedom to choose life and godliness over sin, shame, and guilt. But, if you read the rest of the Psalm, He also allows us to suffer for our sin. He allows natural consequences to take place. He longs for you. He loves you and He desires more for you than the temporary pleasures of sin strongholds and addictions.

John 12:46 -  Jesus said,  I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness.  Darkness will never go away without the Light of the World.

Is your marriage suffering from addictions of some kind? Don’t keep it a secret. Don’t keep it in the dark. There is help available. God longs to kill the sin of addiction. God longs for you to take Him seriously. He also longs to heal, be merciful, strengthen you and guide you with His everlasting love. He tells us in Jer. 31:3,  "I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with unfailing kindness."

Will you turn?  Will you let His light shine into your darkness?

by Patti Calderon

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