Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Word :The Top Ten Marriage Killers

The Top Ten Marriage Killers

Communication in marriage can be a challenge can’t it? You only have to be married five minutes to know what I am talking about. That’s due in part to the fact that men and women speak two entirely different languages.
It takes a lot of hard work, commitment, and dedication to make a marriage work.

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."{Gal 5:19-21}
We know that God’s standard for marriage is one man and one woman for life.

MARRIAGE KILLER #1: Over-Commitment and Physical Exhaustion.
People are so overcommitted in so many areas of life that they have very little time and very little energy left for the things that matter most. People are just worn out. 

The good news is that you can choose where to invest your time and energy. Sometimes people imply that they have no choice in the matter because the financial demands of their lifestyle require them to work every waking minute.

Here’s a thought; change your lifestyle. Sell some stuff. Simplify. Downsize. Learn to live with less. Because when you are a slave to the job and a slave to overtime, at the expense of your marriage or family, you have your priorities way out of line.

And don’t buy the lie that says you are doing it for your family. Sit down and talk with your mate. Talk with your kids. What they want is you, not the stuff you can buy them because you sacrificed the most important gift you can given them, which is your time.

Over-commitment and physical exhaustion are especially tough challenges for young couples who are trying to get started in a profession or in school. 

Do not try to go to college, work full-time, have a baby, manage a toddler, fix up a house and start a business at the same time. It sounds ridiculous, but many young couples do just that and are then surprised when their marriage falls apart. They have adopted a very deadly pattern of behavior that will derail their marriage if left unaddressed.

And why wouldn’t it? The only time they see each other is when they are too worn out to talk! You must reserve time for one another if you want to keep your love alive. 

Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you had an enjoyable and relaxing date night together? If it has been more than a week or at the most two, you need to get something scheduled today. Don’t put it off any longer. Plan for it and make it special like you did when you were dating. That’s why things were so much fun back then. You planned for it. You made it a priority. Now your relationship gets the leftovers. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can change it.

From the first moments of marriage it is critical that we understand what is really important, and that we live those priorities. Ask yourself; What standard of living is high enough? How many overtime hours will you take at the expense of your family or your health? How high up the career ladder is high enough? Bigger is not always better.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” There is a time for every basic act of living. Be careful to give your marriage the time and energy it deserves. Some of you need to make a conscious, willful choice today to move your marriage further up on the priority list from where it’s been. Over-commitment and exhaustion is Marriage Killer #1.

MARRIAGE KILLER #2: Selfishness and Immaturity.

Selfishness and immaturity go hand in hand Marriage is not a 50-50 proposition. It is both partners giving 100% - 100% of the time.

Selfishness is having too much concern with one’s own welfare or interests and having little or no concern for others. Again, the thinking of the world, the mindset of our culture, has burrowed its way into every corner of our lives.

I am convinced that healthy, happy, biblical marriages hinge on each partner learning to put the other first. But selfishness is so embedded in our human nature so much that it is the first thing we do, the last thing we see, and the hardest thing to admit. 

Galatians 5:19-21 (NLT) 
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 
20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 
21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God
. 

Think about it: Selfishness is ranked up there with sexual immorality, idolatry, and witchcraft! Why? It is because selfishness will kill your marriage. 

Selfishness is a key characteristic of immature people. Typically the more immature you are the more selfish you are.

1 Corinthians 7:3 (MSG) 
The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. 

There are two kinds of people in the world, the givers and the takers. A marriage between two givers can be a beautiful thing. Friction is the order of the day for a marriage between a giver and a taker. But two takers can claw each other’s eyes out within a period of weeks. Selfishness will devastate a marriage every time. 

God wants to help you deal with that old sinful nature that keeps tripping you up if you will allow Him. This is really at the heart of what holy living is all about. Because of the infilling of God’s Holy Spirit we are able to approach life from a godly perspective. Life is no longer centered on self, but instead we choose to center our lives in Christ. It’s what Paul was talking about when He said, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ living in me.” Self must be crucified as Jesus occupies the throne of our lives.

If you are still struggling with who is in charge of your life, this is going to be a continually battle for you. It’s one of those amazing paradoxes of the Christian life when we come to the place that we fully surrender our life to Him that we win. There is victory in surrender. That may sound odd at first, but it is the truth according to God’s Word.

MARRIAGE KILLER #3: Spiritual Disobedience.

You don’t hear much about this, but when you disobey God, your marriage is in danger. There is no promise of protection for those who live in the land of disobedience.

I believe Christians ought to have better marriages than non believers. After all…
We have God’s Spirit to guide us.
We have God’s Word to instruct us in how to live as a couple.
We have learned what it means to forgive and be forgiven.
We have Christ’s model of selflessness and unconditional love to follow.

I just think Christian marriages should look different and be better than marriages where Christ is not a part. That just makes sense to me.

Unfortunately, most studies reveal that Christian marriages are very much like secular marriages. There’s very little distinction. The divorce rate in the church is about the same as the divorce rate outside the church. What that tells me is that people in the church are not living according to the principles that they say they believe.

Our faith, if it is real, should make a difference not only in the way that we live, but in the way we interact as husbands and wives.

The following poem by Ruth Harmes Catkins portrays the pain a troubled marriage can cause. It’s called… "He Said...She Said": 

"Another marriage is shattered, Lord, the divorce will be final next week. 

He said it was the breakdown of communication and the subtle infiltration of boredom. She said it was an accumulation of things. 

He said she was unnecessarily preoccupied with home, children and activities. 
She said he stifled her dreams and ignored her achievements. 

He said he felt in prison, restricted; that night- after-night he got the old push-away. 
She said he was harsh and brutal and often embarrassed her in public. 

He said her critical attitude contributed to his sense of inadequacy. 
She said she felt lonely and unappreciated with no claim to personal identity. 

He said she wallowed in self-pity and refused to acknowledge her benefits. 
She said he was shiftless and irresponsible. 

He said she didn’t understand. She said he didn’t care. Lord, how tragic that through all the wasted years, neither of them asked what YOU’VE said."

MARRIAGE KILLER #4: Ineffective Conflict Resolution.

One Sunday a minister was finishing up a series on marriage. At the end of the
service he was giving out small wooden crosses to each married couple. He said, "Place this cross in the room in which you fight the most and you will be reminded of God’s commands and you won’t argue as much." 

One woman came up after the service and said, "I need five of those crosses."

We have to learn to work through our disagreements in a healthy and effective manner. This goes back to good communication too. We might as well face it, effective conflict resolution is a necessary part of communicating as couples. That’s because there will always be conflict. 

In his book, The Safest Place on Earth, Dr Larry Crabb states that, “The difference between the spiritual and unspiritual community is not whether conflict exists, but is rather in our attitude toward it and our approach to handling it. When conflict is seen as an opportunity to draw more fully on spiritual resources, we have the makings of spiritual community.” It’s about your attitude and approach toward conflict.

Don’t be afraid of conflict. Just learn to handle it in a biblical and effective manner.

MARRIAGE KILLER #5: Unrealistic Expectations.

Did you know that 100% of marriages are imperfect? That’s the truth. Still, almost all newlyweds feel that they’re the exception. They’ll have the perfect marriage.

It is foolish to expect a perfect marriage between two imperfect people. Some couples come into marriage wearing rose colored glasses and anticipating rose-covered cottages with white picket fences, and walks down primrose lanes.

Unrealistic expectations often cause us to expect more from our mate than they are capable of delivering. The consequent disappointment is an emotional trap. We have to work to bring our expectations in line with reality. Nobody is perfect.

One set of newlyweds were off to their honeymoon and the husband said, “Now that we are married I hope you won’t be offended if I point out some defects in your life.” 

The new bride was quick to reply, “Not at all honey. We need to face these things. These are the things that kept me from getting a better husband.”

MARRIAGE KILLER #6: Alcohol or Substance Abuse.

In our indulgent culture, few things do more damage to marriages and to personal lives than alcohol or substance abuse. I would say there is rarely a week that goes by that I don’t deal with a family or individual issue that involves some kind of alcohol or substance abuse. There is an epidemic in our world today. I wonder when will we learn to turn to Christ instead of the bottle or the drug? 

Laurie and I had both chosen abstinence to alcohol before we ever knew each other. We have continued that decision for over 24 years of marriage now. It has been the right choice and it will always remain our choice. 

It would be impossible to number the marriages destroyed and the lives ruined by this horrible drug. And that is exactly what it is. It is a legal drug. 

And I have heard all of the arguments about social drinking, and not getting drunk, and all of that. Even if I could handle it, I choose abstinence first in protest to what it has done to so many lives, so many families, and so many careers. Absolute devastation. I also choose abstinence as a witness and example to my children and future grandchildren. I would hate for them to see me do something that later brought the devastation to their lives and families that alcohol and substance abuse so often brings.

MARRIAGE KILLER #7: Excessive Debt and Overspending.

There is a financial crisis taking place in America today. It is brought on by easy credit and a materialistic mindset.

When Christians bury themselves in debt in order to gratify themselves with things they can’t afford, it isn’t just a money problem. It quickly becomes a spiritual problem. 

Finances get tight and we have too much month at the end of our money. The only solution is to spend less or make more. Some get in the hole and keep digging deeper rather than determining the source of the problem and deciding to deal with it.

A couple got married and the bride brought the bulk of the financial support into the marriage. And she knew it too. She always had a way of reminding her husband that she was the source of their financial security. 

One day as they were driving along she was in an especially proud mood and she said “Honey, if it wasn’t for me, we wouldn’t have this nice car we’re riding in.” 

They pulled into the driveway of a beautiful home and she said, “if it wasn’t for me, we would have this nice house we’re living in.” 

As they went inside she pointed out the new furniture they enjoyed and reminded her husband again that if it wasn’t for her they wouldn’t have all of this new furniture. 

Then she pointed out the new high definition big screen television that was hanging on the wall. The husband said, “Yeah, I know. If it wasn’t for you and all your money we wouldn’t have this TV. We’ll let me tell you something. If it wasn’t for your money, you wouldn’t have to put up with me either.”

Getting a grip on your finances as a couple may be one of the most practical things you can do to provide stability and security in your relationship.


MARRIAGE KILLER #8: A Lack of Physical Intimacy.

Just as physical intimacy is a key ingredient of healthy marriages that go the distance, a lack of physical intimacy can be a marriage killer.

Don’t give in to the myth of greener grass. Infidelity is never the right answer. And when there is sexual frustration at home, you can almost bet that satan will bring along a pseudo solution to your problems and I appeal to every person hearing this message, DO NOT GIVE IN TO SEXUAL SIN. 
You can call it an affair, which sounds nicer than adultery, immorality, or sin. You can watch it on television where they treat sex outside of marriage as a hobby or game. Some would have us believe that everyone is doing it and to propose otherwise in old fashioned and out of touch. I am here to tell you that everyone is not doing it; it is sin; and infidelity is a foolish way to address a far deeper need in your life and marriage.
Proverbs 6:32-33 (MSG) 
32 Adultery is a brainless act, soul-destroying, self-destructive; 
33 Expect a bloody nose, a black eye, and a reputation ruined for good.
 

There is no excuse for sexual sin. Call it what it is. I am sick and tired of Hollywood glamorizing something that God so clearly condemns.

The sexual relationship is to be between a man and a woman and that only within the confines of a committed, faithful marriage relationship. You can try to twist it and turn it and make it say something else, but there’s no debate. The Bible says that the person who commits adultery lacks judgment and whoever does so destroys themselves. I have seen it happen far too many times. It’s time we adopt a biblical worldview on the subject. God’s standards are clear.

And when it comes to infidelity, don’t ever think that your marriage is exempt. Knowing the possibilities is what allows you to take precautions that prevent your marriage from becoming a statistic. Don’t even entertain the idea for one second. Make yourself accountable to another believer and run from temptation the way Joseph did when he was propositioned by the wife of Potiphar and RUN!

MARRIAGE KILLER #9: Pornography.

Imagine you are at home. You hear someone quietly forcing the lock on your front door. You know that there are a group of murderers prowling your community. You even know some of your neighbors who have been victims. 

Can you imagine yourself sitting there thinking, “That sounds like them breaking in now. But I’m not going to do anything about it. I’ll just hope for the best and maybe they won’t kill my family.”

In effect, this very scenario is going on right now in homes across America. The killers may not be physical criminals, but they are every bit as deadly. And the door isn’t on the front of your house, it’s on the front of your heart. 

I haven’t said much about it recently, but if you have Internet service at your home or office and your don’t have some type of filtering software, you need to get it this week. There’s far more to say about this subject than I have time to get into now.

Suffice it so say, you have a choice. Who and what are you going to allow into your heart and into your marriage, or your future marriage? Guard your heart.

MARRIAGE KILLER #10: Lack of Commitment.

My advice to young couples is simply this: Don’t permit the possibility of divorce to enter your thinking. Even in moments of great conflict and discouragement, divorce is no solution. It merely substitutes a new set of miseries for the ones left behind. 

If divorce were not an option, I think people would be a lot more careful about choosing a mate in the first place. Far too many enter marriage with the idea that they will get out the moment it gets too tough or the moment something better comes along.

I have seen marriages with what would seemed like insurmountable obstacles make it and I have seen others, with far less significant problems, crumble in divorce. What’s the difference? Put simply, one couple has decided they will not take the easy way out. They are committed to making their marriage work and they will do whatever it takes to make that happen with God’s help. That’s the difference.

Guard your relationship as though you were defending your very lives. Value your mate and value your marriage. You can make it. Not only can you survive, not only can you keep your love alive, but it can in fact thrive, given the proper time and attention. I believe that investing in your marriage is an investment that will pay rich dividends for generations to come.

These are the marriage killers I’ve seen most often in 22 years of pastoral ministry. But in truth, the list is virtually endless. There are all kinds of marriage killers. If you are going to beat the odds and maintain an intimate lifelong marriage, you must take them seriously. The task of establishing and developing a marriage that will go the distance is a serious one.

The natural order of things will carry you away from one another, not bring you together. But you can make it with His help. Don’t give up. Don’t throw in the towel.

Marriage may be made in heaven, but it takes some down to earth maintenance to keep it working properly. There’s not a couple hearing this message who can’t do it if you decide it is right, it’s worth it, and it’s what you intend to do. Let’s pray to that end.

by Steve Greene 

1 comment:

  1. Excellent and very exciting site. Love to watch. Keep Rocking.
    The real marriage killer

    ReplyDelete

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