My husband and I have been attending an evening class at our church.
Last week, we were discussing worship and the speaker talked about idolatry. How prioritizing something else before God can creep into our lives…even our marriage.
I couldn’t help but think about the formerly broken areas of my life.
And how even though I am now healed, I am tempted to make my husband priority over God.
You see when we are broken, we crave a fix.
A quick fix.
We want our pain and discomfort to go away now.
We avoid the long-term-treatment route.
And if that means putting the ear-plugs on God, so be it.
Unfortunately, something else rushes in to take over the void – and so in place of God, we tune into the pain, fears, tears and pride of the past.
Where it begins
I grew up thinking I had to perform to be accepted and approved.
So much so that after my dad passed away, the worst part of my grief was coming to terms with “he died too soon.” Before I could make him proud of me, before I could become the daughter he always wanted.
Now I see the lies in what I believed then.
Because while my dad’s love language and mine were completely different, I can now understand the various ways he showed his love and acceptance and approval. I was loved.
Enter my husband.
Another man to please and perform for.
Or so I think during the stormy times of marriage.
All the healed papa wounds burst open.
I revert back to the child and adult I was; on quiet panic mode, constantly thinking of ways to make the hero of my life happy and proud of me.
For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:13
Brokenness breeds shortcuts.
Brokenness and sin makes us think that something else, other than God, can give us life.
We go off seeking this “else” and lift it up in God’s place.
We leave the path of healing and redemption for weak human paths.
But we never attain the life and health we seek because we forsook the real Source, the Healer, the Author of marriage.
In my marriage, God knows my heart.
And He lets me know that He knows.
Many days He will stop me on my tracks and ask me to think about why I am doing what I am doing.
Am I pushing for a certain conversation, simply because I can’t bear to have Tommy unhappy with me?
Am I being hardheaded simply because I am trying to prove a point – that I am smart, capable, strong, worthy of love and respect?
Will I linger in a messy uncomfortable situation, without squirming and fighting and simply allow God to teach what He wants?
Will I stop pursuing productivity and success as a measure for my value and worth?
Who is your foundation
As we think about getting rid of idols in marriage, here’s some questions we could ask ourselves today.
Who fuels our marriage journey?
Clever human wisdom? Books and blogs? Our own tips and past proven methods?
Has the idol of self – what we want, what we fear, what we crave – become god in marriage?
Have we made the pursuit of happiness and love in marriage a priority over obedience and an honest relationship with God?
(Cos you know, sometimes God wants us healed more than he wants us happy)
Are we pursuing a less-than-lovely marriage, accepting an ordinary relationship, the status quo, because anything more would force us to face up to our brokenness and fears and, ultimately, idols?
But for hope, I would be in a dark dreary place.
Thank God for hope!
We cannot, by our own strength or sheer willpower, eliminate the tendency to create “broken cisterns that can hold no water” in our marriages.
And I don’t think God is super upset about our inability.
He knows we cannot save ourselves.
He created us to need Him.
So the sin here is not the temptation to wander from healing.
The sin is refusing His help and giving ourselves to the temptation.
God will reveal to us, moment by moment, when we are tempted to do things that remove Him from 1st place in our lives.
The Holy Spirit is so very close; He is near and clear.
And He will speak.
We must keep an open pliable heart, a heart that desires God more than earthly things and quick fixes.
Will you allow God to help you today in your life and marriage?
Further recommended reading:
My friend Barb Raveling has a great blog and articles dedicated to helping people break free from sinful habits. Click here to read her articles on breaking free from idolatry.
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