Monday, 30 April 2012

When Storms Descend - Part I

John and Stasi Eldredge co-authored Love & War.  One of the chapters is entitled “When Storms Descend”. They write:

 When crisis hits and something shakes us to our foundation, we all start grasping, clutching, and looking for someone to blame or someplace to hold on, like people do when they’re drowning.  Panic overcomes us; we rush to blame or to speculation or to a box of doughnuts.

Before you make another move, you need ask yourself: Why is it hard right now?

 Don’t jump to conclusions.  Don’t start making unexamined agreements.  “We’re going down.  He doesn’t love me.  It’s my fault.  We should have never gotten married.”  Slow down for a second. Your interpretation of what is going on will shape everything that follows – your emotions, your perspective, and your decisions.  If you are mistaken, you will wander way off course and pay a great price.  Take a deep breath.  Put down the gun.  Ask yourself, “Why is it hard?  What is this about?”

Personally I prefer chocolate over doughnuts but I digress.  Self talk is one of the most powerful offensive weapons that can be used by Satan but it can also be one of the strongest deterrents to such an attack.  By repeating to yourself what you know to be true about God and asking God what He is exposing here and what He is after are the first steps to combat Satan’s assault.

 As the Eldredges point out a good place to start is with yourself.  God uses your marriage to forge your character, hence the “what is He after question?”  Is He exposing something about you that you need to consider?  Examine your reactions, emotions and inner thought life as they pertain to the situation(s) that has you so distraught.

(We) live in a world at war.  Spiritual attack must be a category (we) think in, or (we) will misunderstand more than half of what happens in (our) marriage.

 Think of it as gas on the fire.  There may be a real issue between the two of you – unresolved anger, a hidden addiction, misunderstanding, etc.  That is the “fire.”  But it gets blown out of proportion, or it becomes irresolvable because the enemy has leapt on the issue prodding, provoking, and distorting.  That is the “gasoline”.

 Instead of focusing on the fire and the damage that it is doing it is wiser to reach for the fire extinguisher and put out the fire.  Healing can be found if we are willing to consider that underneath what we are seeing on the surface are underlying issues within the heart.  Part II to follow.

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