Protect Your Marriage

by Glenda Malmin

Satan's ploy is to rob and steal from you and from your marriage.

Sometimes he will even use things that appear to be good to steal from you. In fact, it usually is the pursuit of the good that distracts from the pursuit of the best. Sometimes, the hindrance will not be a direct attack of Satan, but simply your own thoughtlessness.

Beware of the hindrances to developing oneness in marriage:

1. Having too many individualized activities. Going in the opposite directions too many days and evenings of the week can take its toll. Business associations, community involvement, and church are important, but if your schedule is full with individual activities, your marriage relationship will suffer for lack of time together. Look for things you can do together.

2, Not scheduling time for togetherness. If you don't schedule time together, you probably won't find much time to spend together. Other things, people, and events will crowd into your schedule. Take time for each other.

3. Not communicating regularly or meaningfully. Marriage combines two busy schedules, and the concerns of the family to produce a relationship that is challenged by the many directional pulls of an active life. You must continually work at communicating in order to maintain a close bond in the midst of busyness. Communicating takes time and commitment to really hear the other person. Talk to each other.

4. Not resolving differences that arise. Intimacy is easier to destroy than it is to build. Ignoring or pretending that differences don't happen doesn't resolve them. Give yourself time to grow together in oneness. Deal with your issues.

5. Communicating in a hurtful way. Ask yourself, Do my words invite my spouse into my heart, or do they push him/her away? If your words have not been full of grace lately, repent to the Lord and to your spouse. Never attack your spouse: always attack the issue that is at the root of the problem. Speak kindly.

6. Being dishonest. Deception never helps; it hinders every relationship. Tell the truth in its entirety.

7. Nagging. Once you have plainly said something to your spouse, and you know it's been heard, drop it with your spouse and take it to the Lord. Encourage one another.

8. Behaving abusively or violently. Abusive behavior is damaging to the spirit and the soul, as well as to the body. The repercussions of abuse will also wound those around you. Get counseling immediately. Treat each other in love.

9. Being unfaithful. There is nothing that hurts a marriage more than emotional or literal infidelity. Yielding to the temporary illusion of excitement will never be worth the agony you will reap. Forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation can come, but the process can be scarring not only to yourself, but to many standing nearby.

Taken from Woman You Are Called & Anointed by Glenda Malmin. Copyright (c) 1998 by City Bible Publishing, Portland, OR. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Glenda Malmin is dean of women at Portland
Bible College. She and her husband, Ken, have
two children and live in Portland, OR