For a married couple to resolve current conflicts, they must first clean up the past. Many times our current conflicts are tied to things in the past that were never resolved. In this series on marriage, I will cover different steps that should be considered in order to clean up the past. To do so, I will share of my own experience in these areas.
The first and foremost thing to remember when addressing failures and secrets from our past, is to be 100% honest about them. One of the reasons I believe Jenny and I were able to come through this horrible time of exposure of my moral failure was that we faced the truth together. In Psalm 51:6 it says, “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” We knew that in order for freedom to come, we had to bring every hidden sin to the light, and commit to being completely honest and open with each other.
It’s easy to make our sin look prettier than it really is by not being totally honest. There is always a tendency to whitewash our sin. If you don’t commit to being completely honest however, you will never be free. A husband must be totally honest with his wife and not minimize his sin.
When I started telling Jenny my failures I made them seem very small, saying it was no big deal. Then I was convicted, and I went back to Jenny with the more accurate picture. It was only when I committed to being one hundred percent honest that I began to experience freedom.
From the beginning of our family’s journey to moral freedom, we realized that we were not each other’s enemy, but that instead, our enemy was Satan and he was seeking to destroy us. One night when I was feeling very defeated about my failures, Jenny reminded me, “Honey, you didn’t get here on your own. You have an enemy that has been here and has been pushing you ever since you were young.” Her gentle reminder helped me to realize who the real enemy was.
It is so easy to look at someone else as your enemy. Kids see their parents as their enemy, spouses look at each other as enemies, employees look at their employer as their enemy, and the list could go on and on.
The bible is clear that our enemy is the devil, “Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) He wants to destroy you and if he can get you focused on someone else as the problem, his job is even easier.
Many times throughout my marriage, the enemy would try to get us to blame each other. We always end up coming back and reminding ourselves that we were on the same side. The only way we can make it is if we realize that we were not each other’s enemy, and that we need to fight the true enemy together.
God makes a husband and wife “battle partners.” We must see each other that way if we are going to survive the war. Before you are married, you must see your parents the same way. If you see them as your enemy, when you do get married, it will be so easy to see your spouse the same way.