Marriage is not a one-hundred-meter dash, but a marathon of a lifetime. You will need to cultivate conflict management skills to sprint to the finish line.
“I will change only if Bill initiates change!”
“I will honor Bill only if he shares unconditional love first.”
Becky, your responses are sculpted by Bill’s imperfections, not by God’s faithfulness or the obligation to obey Him – and that is dangerous. Like a thermostat, Bill’s attitude regulates your actions and faith in God. Hence, when he shows love, you gladly reciprocate accordingly to reward him. However, when he withholds love, you equally suppress love to penalize his deplorable behavior. Reacting to Bill’s obstinacy, evasiveness or lack of accountability only exposes your own inadequacies.
“I will not change until Becky mends her ways!”
“I will share love with Becky only if she submits to me first.”
Bill, if you are waiting for Becky’s behavior to rouse your need for penitence, the devil will haul your marriage to divorce court before she does. Her responses should not be the deciding factor for your repentance and transformation. Being the head of the family and your love for God should motivate you to model after the Lord and initiate change.
As a husband: You have no biblical basis to demand that your wife revamp her character when you refuse to refurbish yours first. You cannot transform her into a subservient lamb by hounding and disparaging her; nor can you rule her with an iron fist and expect harmony in your union. Remember, while you are the “sower,” she is the multiplier. Whatever seed you plant in her, she will reproduce. When you nurture her, she will bloom like an elegant rose. However, when you maltreat her, she will be more inclined to quadruple your trouble. You cannot alter what you do not like about her on your terms. Terrorizing her into submission will only last for a season. You may have her eating out of your hand now, before long, your spell over her will ebb and she will catch up with your ploys and probably turn the tables on you. Your wife is not a whipping post or a dumping ground. She is “flesh of your flesh and bones of your bones,” created exceptionally for you. Epitomize unconditional love like Christ and you will undoubtedly earn her trust and submission.
As a Wife: You are fighting a worthless battle by trying to transform your seemingly unemotional husband into a romantic Romeo. Even if you succeed in metamorphosing him into a lovey-dovey husband, it will only be momentary. Gradually, he will not only revert to his original temperament but will lose respect for you. You cannot expect him to renovate himself without reshaping your own attitude first. Nagging reinforces his fears and incites him to divert all his energy to a job, hobby or some other interests. He will gravitate to whoever will appreciate, celebrate, and validate him. Your ungodly attitude only substantiates why he should not change or trust you. By niggling him, you are harassing, squeezing sanity out of him, and propelling him into the arms of another woman that may eagerly accept him unconditionally for who he is.
It is arduous for a man to love an unsubmissive wife that is trying to topple his leadership role. A man would rather eat snake egg than respond positively to a “masculine” or possessive woman who despises her femininity. Women who vie for the driver seat of their marriage are aiding and abetting their husbands to become distant, impervious or invulnerable. Resisting submission denigrates a man’s ego and can cause him to shut down completely. Rivalry turns off his physical, emotional, and sexual attraction to his wife. No sane husband would ardently love or trust a wife that competes for his headship. Your endeavor to win him over will be so much easier if you submit to him regardless of whether he is like a brick wall or a soft cushion.
Undemonstrative men are more susceptible to clinging to evasive patterns when they do not feel safe enough to be vulnerable to their wives. They may withdraw emotionally or find other elusive ways to cope or protect their dignity. Elect to be an ally, not a rival. Collaborate with your husband to remain a cohesive force, not with the devil to encumber your union. To deflect physical or emotional aloofness, be a safe harbor to your husband.
“I yell at Becky because she makes me so mad!”
Husband: No, you fly into a rage because you hold all the aces. You want to control and penalize her for “unacceptable” behavior with your wrath since you feel that you can get away with it. Becky may really make your blood boil. However, you have no right to maltreat her or incarcerate her in your mental cell. ... What will you really gain by daunting her? Do you understand the trauma of having to walk on eggshells around you simply because she is terrified of blowing your fuse? You have a choice to love her “here and now” as Christ loves the church or rule over her with an iron fist. However, one day you will stand before God and give an account of yourself.
“John and I are no longer sexually active because we hardly talk. I can’t bear for him to touch me…It makes me cringe!”
Masquerading truth only intensifies the pain caused by deep-rooted demonic strongholds in a marriage, not heal it. Until you admit that you have an axe to grind with John and absolve him, the devil will dribble your relationship to score several goal points.
“I have fallen out of love with Linda because I do not find her sexually attractive anymore.”
You need to repent of your lies before God and admit that the real reason you find your wife repulsive is that you have grudges against her. Withholding affection and sex from her is your way of coping with pain as well as punishing her for living below your expectations. The moment she begins to dance to your beat, “okey-dokey”… alright – you fall back in love instantaneously.
Like a faucet, you have deliberately shut off your love flow because you feel that she does not deserve it. Your behavior is proof that you are sharing carnal love with strings attached – based on your perception and her performance. Cut her some slack, renounce your wicked ways, and share unconditional love based on biblical mandate. Abide in Christ and genuine love will flow through you to her. (Page 77)
“Mike and I are incompatible and have hordes of irreconcilable differences. We can’t agree on anything. We are like night and day!”
You are utilizing incompatibility issues or irreconcilable differences to masquerade the real source of your conflict. The main bone of contention in your relationship is rooted in your hardened, prideful, unteachable, and unrepentant hearts.
You can learn a thing or two from God’s creation. Night and day are poles apart. However, they never collide because they respect and celebrate their idiosyncratic configurations. I can imagine that both of you were congruent and managed to square your differences before you tied the knot. Somehow, your responses were attuned hence you got married. So, what happened to your unanimity after the consummation of marriage? The hardness of heart triggers inharmoniousness.
“I am distraught because Pete is very insensitive to meeting my needs.”
Before you “cast the first stone”, can you honestly say that you are meeting all of his needs? You are distressed because you are trying to get from Pete only what God can give you. He has become your god, joy, peace, fulfillment, faith, identity, significance, purpose of being, and the thermostat that regulates your life. Like a puppet, he manages your moods and determines which button to push to uplift or tear you down. You have roller coaster emotions because your joy, peace, creativity, productivity, and contentment are dependent on him, instead of on God. Couples that have yo-yo emotions utilize how much their mates meet their needs as a standard to appraise their worth; hence, they often feel insignificant and disillusioned. Our contentment in life should not rise or fall on people but God.
“If only Tom and I had enough money, we would not be fighting so much.”
Really! Quarreling over money prove that it has become your god, not your slave. Even if you were the wealthiest on earth, your marriage would still be bleeding profusely because you have a crusty heart. If “enough money” was what fortifies marriages, why are there many affluent divorced or happily destitute married couples? Some couples are wealthy but poor in love and tolerance. Others are poor financially but rich in love and selflessness.
If Tom were to be wealthier or even flawless, your reprobate heart would always look for other justifications to flush the marriage down the drain. It is neither the financial status of a couple nor their affluence that tenderizes their hearts but the fear of God. Reverence for God prods us to respond biblically. Our obedience should revolve around God’s faithfulness, not on a mate’s behavior or imperfections.
“Vicky ignored me and I became attracted to this other woman. Things got out of hand.”
It did because your body and soul craved relentlessly for the “forbidden waters.” Dissatisfied with the “waters” in your cistern, you yearned for “stolen waters” because you felt that it tasted better despite the risks (Proverbs 5:15). You sacrificed the sanctity of your marriage and the future of your children on the dais of self-gratification. You strategically premeditated each sexual rendezvous with your clandestine partner because you had no respect for your wife, children or God. Unfaithful couples awaken in the arms of another man or woman only because they have a meticulous and calculated choice to do so.
Vicky may have disregarded you. However, she did not impose the sin of adultery on you. You willfully allowed the enemy to utilize your marital dilemma to push you to the edge and jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Instead of racing into God’s arms for solutions, you knowingly dashed into the arms of another woman for spurious solace.
Husbands: When you do not express love to your wife, you are not only sending the wrong message to your sons, but you are mentoring them to withhold love from their prospective wives as well. You are coaching them to become absentee husbands and fathers. Physically they may be in a relationship but emotionally far-flung. By abusing your wife, you are handing them a whip to lambaste their own wives. To make matters worse, you are aiding and abetting your daughters to be attracted to men that are aloof and evasive like you.
Wives: When you refuse to submit to your husband regardless of your stance, you are training your daughters to disesteem their potential husbands as well. You are imparting the spirit of Jezebel into them and it will manifest in their marriages. Your blatant disobedience to God’s word will expose them to either passive, controlling or domineering men in their relationships. Moreover, they will learn how to be absentee wives and mothers – substantially in a relationship but emotionally remote.
Husbands and Wives: Live righteously to preserve your family’s integrity. By demanding that each merits the other’s love, you are teaching your children how to hoard or hawk love instead of sharing freely with others. You are impairing your sons and daughters when you compromise truth. Issues you rebuffed will become unresolved issues in their own lives and relationships. Evading responsibility makes it so much easier for them to cut corners to avoid theirs as well.
Weaknesses you did not deal with will be the same hang-ups they snub. Camouflage your shortcomings and they will learn how to mask theirs to evade change. Withholding forgiveness will teach them how to eat sour grapes of bitterness and their teeth will be set on edge. Resist reconciliation and they will combat reconciliation and will never learn how to give and take or find the middle ground in their relationships.
Shift the responsibility of dealing with pride and acrimony, and they too will shift accountability to their own children. Remember, you taught them how; they observed and encountered you daily – so they will be inclined to mimic what you imparted as a standard of life. Remember the adage: “Monkey see, monkey do.” “Like father, like son.” “Like mother, like daughter.”
Some children are distressed because they are reaping the repercussions of past parental disobedience. Many are struggling with diverse deficiencies because either we the parents or somebody in the bloodline dropped the ball. Someone opened the door to the demonic, addictions, immorality, idolatry, spirits of perversion, and a range of ancestral iniquities. Thus, they are replicating the generational sins from a polluted foundation.
Our children cannot continue to be in thrall to the oppressor because we are not raising a righteous standard to buffer their destinies. The blood of Jesus has liberated them. Nonetheless, when we live soulishly, reproduce or vitalize the pattern of lukewarmness, unbelief, and idolatry from past generations, we are cooperating with the enemy to impair them. If we are not modeling Christ or cultivating a godly environment to “train them in righteousness,” we are aiding and abetting the enemy to mar their potentials.
Our homes should be an oasis of holiness amidst the mayhem of a dissolute world. We ought to be marshalling and training our children to be kingdom warriors, not spiritual whips. We need to shepherd them with Truth so they too can forge ahead and chaperon their own offspring with the same Truth.
We should be generation builders and strengtheners that pioneer repentance and change. We need to be familial restorers, societal transformers and environmental influencers that push the envelope with faith, break new grounds for the kingdom, steer the wheel of righteousness, fan the flame of revival, and shine the light of the gospel. We and our sons and daughters are the conquering generations that must seek the face of God and live radically to execute His purpose.
· Scriptural Confession: Psalm 36:11; Isaiah 54:17;Isaiah 45:2
· Praise and Worship
· Pray These Prayers with a Heart of Repentance.
1. By the blood of Jesus, I repent of selfishness, unforgiveness, thoughts of divorce, exposing my children and
future generations to divorce, in the name of Jesus.
2. Lord Jesus, I repent in ways that I have compromised my faith, dishonored you by my conducts, and
disparaged my mate, in the name of Jesus.
3. By the blood of Jesus, I break and renounce every curse, evil covenants, conscious and unconscious ungodly
vows I have made concerning my life, marriage, and children, in the name of Jesus.
4. By the blood of Jesus, let every root of sin, every seed of pride in me wither and die, in the name of Jesus
5. Almighty God, let not the foot of pride come against my family and I and let not the hand of the wicked remove
us, in the name of Jesus
6. By the anointing of the Holy Spirit, I silence every demonic voice instigating me against my mate and against t
he will of God for my life and marriage, in the name of Jesus.
7. I bind every restless, wandering, or vagabond spirit that is causing my mate and I to be restless, unsettled, and
paranoid in our relationship, in the name of Jesus.
8. I bind the spirits that incite “fear to love”, “fear to forgive”, “fear to trust”, “fear of betrayal”, “fear of
vulnerability”, “fear of commitment”, “fear of rejection”, “fear of failure”, and “fear of man”, in the name of
Jesus. I command them to release me right now, in the mighty name of Jesus.
9. By the blood of Jesus, I bind the spirits that are summoning my mate and I to divorce court, in the name of
10. I hold the blood of Jesus Christ against every power that wants to occupy my marriage and chase my mate and I
out of our home, in the name of Jesus.
11. Satan, you are the stranger and prowler in this marriage! I command you to leave my home right now, in the
name of Jesus.
12. My household and I belong to God. We are created in God’s image and likeness. We are God’s property. Therefore,
let the judgment of God fall on the power that refuses to release my family, in the name of Jesus.
13. Let the fire of the Holy Spirit roast to ashes any strongman that wants to hold my family in bondage, in the name
14. I use the blood of Jesus Christ to draw a demarcation between my family and demonic activities, and my
marriage and divorce, in the name of Jesus.
15. I use the blood of Jesus to slam the door against divorce now and in future generations, in the name of Jesus.
16. Let the blood of Jesus nullify every generational curse that has kept our family in demonic captivity in the name
of Jesus. O God, restore our familial line with your blessings, in the mighty name of Jesus.
17. Let the blood of Jesus cancel all evil patterns of adultery, divorce, conflict, immorality, rebellion, marriage
problems, addictions, barrenness, perversion, (include all the problems that run in your family) that have been
manifesting in our lineage, in the name of Jesus Christ.
18. Let the blood of Jesus Christ be transfused into our bloodline, cleanse and heal our ancestral foundation, and
reestablish new patterns of holiness, obedience, peace, fruitfulness, faith, blissful marriage, (include the
blessings you are believing God for) in our ancestry, in the mighty name of Jesus.
19. Thank you, mighty Deliverer for doing more than I have requested in your precious name.