A new marriage often looks like a fresh garden teeming with promising plants that flourish under the time, effort, and attention of a new life together. But in the time between “I do” and “until death do us part” there are years of growing seasons that require careful tending to ensure a fruitful and fulfilling marriage. This week on Hearts Igniting Radio, we focused on everyone’s least favorite gardening task: weeding. (Click here to listen to podcast)
In marriage, the “weeds” are the undesirable behaviors and habits that can show up as disrespectful communication, control, unfaithfulness, disconnect, lack of intimacy, unresolved conflict, among other things. When left unchecked, they will multiply, overrun your relationship, and choke out the abundant life that you and your marriage are created for.
Often we deal with them by trying to change the behavior itself: I won’t yell anymore; We’ll have separate checking accounts so we don’t fight about money; I’ll say ‘yes’ to sex, even when I don’t want to. This is the equivalent of cutting weeds off at the top and even inexperienced gardeners know that if you don’t pull a weed by the roots, it will grow back in full force. Likewise, we need to deal with marriage issues at the root level. Often that “root” is what we believe or think – our inner thoughts dictate how we act. It’s for good reason that the Bible instructs us to “take every thought captive” and “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. When our thoughts don’t line up with the promises and truths of God, they’re weeds that need to be pulled. Here is a great tool for doing that in your marriage:
Ignite Your Marriage: Get ready by identifying an undesirable characteristic in your marriage – the “weed” (For example: We always fight about finances). Next, ask Holy Spirit: “What lie am I believing or what thoughts do I have about this that contribute to this problem” and listen for the answer (in my example it was the fear that we’re never going to have enough). Now you’re ready to pull the weed.
Claim the power of what Jesus did over this way of thinking: “I nail______________________ to the cross.” (“I nail the fear that we’re never going to have enough to the cross”)
Break agreements you’ve made with that belief/lie: “I break all agreements I’ve made with___________, known or unknown and I repent of joining with_______________.” (“I break all agreements I’ve made with the fear that we’re never going to have enough, known or unknown, and I repent of joining with the fear that we’re never going to have enough.”)
Ask God to send that way of thinking away from you: “I ask you Father, to send _____________ away from me” (“I ask you, Father, to send the fear that we’re never going to have enough away from me.”)
Receive His promises and truth in place of those thoughts: “Father, what do you want to give me in place of ____________?” (“Father, what do you want to give me in place of the fear that we’ll never have enough?” When I asked this question I was reminded of the verses in Matthew 6 about the sparrows and the lilies of the field and how God cares for me.)
When you diligently deal with the weeds and choose to receive the truth of what God has for your marriage you will reap the reward of transformation! This tool was adapted from Love After Marriage Workshop, which we are certified to facilitate on behalf of Nothing Hidden Ministries. For more powerful tools for marriage transformation attend a Love After Marriage Workshop near you.