Fight the Good Fight of Faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses (1 Tim 6:12); submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ (Eph 5:21)~~ Through the process of nearly losing my marriage, I learned to fight… for it. I was good on not quitting, I’ve always declared that no matter what I would not give up easily. I refused to run and leave my marriage or run to another woman who saw things differently. I grew up in that environment and I wasn’t going to repeat it! But as far as ‘fighting for’ the marriage, I had no clue until I was in the middle of the ring! I grew up in an environment where people claimed that counseling was for the weak, that we should solve our own issues and not bring outside people into our issues or put our issues ‘out there’. But then the Bible reminds me to seek wise counsel – so how could I do that if I didn’t talk to someone??? Sure, I could pray, but it seemed like I wasn’t getting my answer. I never would have thought that God’s answer may come from a human’s mouth! So I threw out all my preconceived ideas about marriage and spiritual counseling, it’s NOT for wimps and everyone at some point in life can use “help”, whether individually or as a couple. Fighting for the marriage also meant I had to defend it – I had to stand up for it – I had to protect it and guard everything I wanted out of it. I learned some serious lessons along the way and even lost some “friends”. I went to battle, not against my wife, but ‘with’ her. I’m proud to say we’ve been fighting for 20 years now! A feat not many achieve, especially these days! We’ve been fighting for 20 years now and WE continue to win. To fight and win this battle you have to stay in shape – and here are six exercises to help keep you in shape for the marriage battle! There are many more ways out there but these are some that helped me.
1. Turn toward your partner, not away ~ If you have problems within your relationship, then you fix them within your relationship. You never fix a problem by turning to someone outside the relationship; all that does is create more problems!
2. If you want to have a good partner, BE a good partner ~ You can’t control anyone but yourself. Put 100 percent into your marriage, be attentive, and you will reap huge rewards in return.
3. Work on your marriage every day, not just during the bad times ~ It’s hard to do fire prevention when the house is ablaze. Wake up each day and ask yourself, “What can I do today that will make my marriage better?” Make a plan for how both you and your spouse can contribute positively to your union and work together to keep your marriage on track. Don’t get complacent.
4. Get your marriage out of a rut ~ Do you and your spouse do the same routine over and over? Do you find yourself mindlessly going through each day? Bored people are boring. Find a passion, get energized, and make time together to rediscover the love and commitment you have for one another. If you’ve gotten off track, it’s never too late to renegoatiate a new plan that works for both of you and helps get you to a better place.
5. Don’t compare your reality to an unattainable fantasy ~ It is unfair to compare a fantasy relationship to one you’ve been in for years where there are noses to wipe, bills to pay and a house to run. That is a ridiculous comparison. The grass is NOT always greener on the other side! Don’t forget that there’s a difference between falling in love and being in love. You can’t expect a love that grows to be like it was on the first date. Also, don’t play games in your head or with theirs! It’s a short step from thought to action.
6. Take care of yourself ~ Do what you have to do to keep your Spirit, mind and body healthy and full of vitality. PRAY, think critically about your marriage, eat healthy and exercise to feel your best and so you can take pride in your appearance. When you feel good about yourself, your self-confidence will radiate, and your spouse will notice. It is also important that your spouse do the same.
Quite simply put, it is God’s intention… that we fight for and take care of our marriages! It’s easy to quit and that’s just what the enemy wants us to do – take the easy way out! The enemy says we shouldn’t have to fight for it because it’s already ours and marriage should be easier than this. But the devil is a lie! If you don’t fight for your marriage, he will… for it to fail! Every marriage, no matter what condition it’s in right now, is worth fighting for and God can turn any mess into a message; any test into a testimony; and EVERY battle into victory! If we put as much attention into making our marriages work as we do catering to our own ‘needs’ and ‘desires’ – our marriages would run a lot smoother and more of them would survive. There are no guarantees that things won’t go wrong in a marriage, but you can do your best to “inoculate” yourself against troubles – giving your marriage a fighting chance – by fighting FOR it and plugging into your marriage! We are living in an era where a covenant is not worth much. However, God sees things differently. He sees the covenant as it was designed to be seen: as eternal. Nothing in this life that’s worth doing is ever easy. Parenting is worth the struggle. Kids are worth it. Your marriage is worth it. No struggle = little value. Period. Marriage in our culture is under attack because it’s God-designed and everything designed by God is on the cultural chopping block under the guise of “tolerance.” Don’t just tolerate your marriage! It’s a lifelong battle and to win you’ve got to stay in shape and Fight For It!