Apologies from the outset if this sounds like a negative blog post. I don’t want to sound as if I’m prophesying negatively into my future or my marriage. And yet, I strongly suspect that there will be lots of obstacles placed against my marriage. I know that every marriage has its challenges, yet I suspect that mine will be of a special order of difficulty.
Why do I suspect this? Because it feels as if this is the way everything is in my own life. I have made up my mind that in every way my life is going to be 100% committed to Christ, I am going to boldly stand for Christ, and against The Enemy, and because of this it feels as if I face obstacles at every turn (or perhaps I just don’t notice the parts of my life that are straightforward and easy; perhaps I take them for granted).
I know it might sound a little arrogant to claim that my life is so oriented towards Christ. I am not comparing my commitment to that of anyone else. I just know that I strive for one thousand percent in Christ.
I think it makes sense to suggest that a full-out commitment to Christ would make things harder. Let’s remember we have an adversary. His goal is to keep people bound and heading for hell. By standing for Christ and against him we are working to pull down his goals. So it makes sense for him to target us with extra difficulties and with keener persecution. To me, this begs the question – “Well what about Jesus? Is He not on our side?!” Well, that is what I’m constantly asking myself – “Father, I don’t get this! I know the devil is real, his attacks are real, but I do expect to win! After all, God is far greater and more powerful than the devil…!”
Many times, it seems as if the breakthrough only comes when I have worked out how to do something, how to pray in the right way, what attitude to cultivate. So in the meantime, I will be struggling, confused, trying to work it out.
To bring it back to marriage then, I don’t think I have the winning stragegy worked out yet. So I’m still struggling. Concerning marriage specifically, it makes sense to me that this would be an area of even more intense persecution for this reason: If I marry a man who is as intense as I am with Christ, then together the two of us would be a lot stronger than we would be as two individuals. So The Enemy has a big incentive to keep us apart. This is why I anticipate lots of difficulty in even getting married to an appropriate guy. Moreover, I think that there would also be a good incentive to get an ultra-committed person married to someone who is less intense, to dull the fire or dilute the focus. Perhaps this is why my life has never been short of really really lovely guys, who are not Christians, (and who are never shy to indicate their interest) – or otherwise inappropriate guys. But Mr Holy, Pure-Hearted, Centred on Christ, and compatible with me – come and see how rare – and shy – he is!
This is why I want to marry someone who is as committed to Christ as I am, and who has also known intense difficulties even with seemingly straightforward things, as I have done. If he is like this, then he would hopefully not run away at the first sign of difficulty, or even regard difficulty as a “No” sign from God. He would hopefully have had experience of standing his ground, fighting with determination. He will not think that the difficulties indicate a problem with me.
Because of various things I have experienced, I am ready and willing to fight for my marriage. In my life, I have no choice but to fight for many things, and for a long time I have known that I will have to fight very hard for this area. I will have to fight very hard to get up to marriage, I will have to fight very hard to sustain the marriage. If however, he does not know this, he does not appreciate this, he has never experienced this, then how could I possibly submit to him if I have got on all my armour, fighting an intense battle, and he is …playing? Expecting a stroll in the park? I would feel as if I am dragging him around, which would be the last thing I would want. After all, I am the woman, I am supposed to follow the man, not the other way around.
So anyway, if you think that I could be the one for you, then please do not expect things to be easy. I know that I certainly don’t! If I seem to be fighting for something that would look like a lost cause, it’s because I fully expect this level of intensity, and I am going to give it “everything it takes”, by the grace of God. My prayer is that soon, hopefully very soon, I will be able to meet the man whose experience tallies with mine, and who is willing to pray as intensely – or even more intensely – than I am.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Photo of Suits of Armour by Weinstock on Pixabay