For a while now, I have been working through Dr Caroline Leaf’s programme to detox your mind, and to build up healthy, God-honouring thoughts. I am slowly, but surely seeing the dividends of the hard work that I am putting in, although I truly wish I was further along the road. But, I guess, Rome wasn’t built in a day. We must all remember that God promises us a due reward for the work that we put in. In fact, I think that is just a life principle – like gravity. Gravity works whether you’re a believer or not. I think that reaping what we sow is a principle all of humanity live by – a “live by the sword; die by the sword” type of principle.
Galatians 6:8-9 NIV: Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Anyway, so I am working hard on detoxing my mind – and if you have not looked into Dr Caroline Leaf’s work, I highly recommend that you do. Now, one of the things I battled with (used to battle with) is anxiety and I have seen major progress in my battle with anxiety. I have just finished a 21 day detox cycle and I was praying for what toxic thought I had to detox next. As I was praying, an image of my husband popped into my head. Not that I have toxic thinking about him – except maybe all the work we need doing around the house 🙂 , but more my attitude to marriage. This is the amazing thing:
I did not know that I had toxic thinking about marriage until God highlighted this to me yesterday.
Let me tell you about my background – in a nutshell:
- My parents were married for 33 years before they divorced. During their marriage; at the beginning there was so much shouting and throwing of things (by my mom) that I used to hide away. I used to pray to not have a marriage like theirs. My father was an absent father figure; my mother was insatiable in her need to have everything be about her. Towards the end of their marriage, there was just silence. They used to talk to each other through the children (they had three, of which I am the only daughter and the middle child). It was like a fog had descended on our home, leaving us uncomfortable, alone and me scared.
- Then, I got married. I had an amazing courtship with my husband and an amazing honeymoon. I am not embarrassed to say that I came back from honeymoon smiling. My mother took one look at me and divorced my dad. Quite literally she had moved out and filed for divorce in a matter of weeks. The singled biggest mistake she ever made.
- Before I met my now husband, I was engaged. Neither he nor I were ready for marriage, but my parents pushed so hard because they wanted me off and married (which my mother long since admitted). It only led to lots of heartbreak and tears. I should’ve listened to my gut – I wasn’t ready for this. He left me about five days before the wedding should’ve taken place. I was devastated.
- Just a side note – my mother planned this entire wedding in about two days. I had very little to do with it and when things broke off; she was more upset than I was. Of course, I was hurt. But I think there was a part of me that was actually quite relieved. It wasn’t the right match for me. And my husband proposed, he and I planned our wedding together – the two of us! My parents had very little involvement – it was our wedding and we loved every minute of it.
So, I was pondering all these things this morning, I begun to realise that my background influenced my perception of and my attitude to marriage far more than I realised.
So, I will now spend the next 21 days detoxing my negative attitude towards marriage. It’s not the worst – I’ve seen and met people with worse attitudes towards marriage. But, it could be better. And it could be more honest – this deep-seated attitude towards marriage was hidden even from me. It has allowed fear and doubt to permeate my mind and my marriage, because the foundation of what I have known of marriage (my parent’s marriage) was permeated with fear and doubt. It is this fear and doubt and negativity that I am going to detox – marriage is meant to be a safe place, where we can truly be ourselves. Notice I’m not saying a place free of conflict and struggles – but you can argue with your husband every day and still know that your marriage is safe, who you – as a beloved daughter of God – in your marriage, is safe…
God created a framework for marriage – and it is within this framework (God’s framework) that we should operate. Please, I am not talking about abuse, or violence, or addictions – very often when those are present in marriage – that brings about a whole different dynamic that need counselling, lots of prayer, and a deep searching of God’s heart on what to do in those situations. Please visit Sheila Wray Gregoire’s blog for more information. But, in the normal course of life – where abuse, violence or addictions don’t feature – the framework that God created for marriage is designed to keep you safe, keep your spouse safe and provide safety net for your children so that they feel safe as they grow up and face life.
Matthew 19:5 NIV: and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’
Remember – you are a beloved child of God.
What is your attitude towards marriage in general and towards your own marriage specifically?
MY WORD FOR THE YEAR – 2016 / Intimacy – Time / Intimacy – Climbing a Wall / Intimacy – that one move! / Intimacy – Talking / Intimacy – Saying Sorry! / Intimacy – that one word / Intimacy – touch / Intimacy – those awkward moments / Intimacy – a sacrament… / Intimacy – Resting / Intimacy – Seven Red Flags / Intimacy – being separate / Intimacy – Never Giving Up / Intimacy – Honour / Intimacy – God / Intimacy – A new day… / Intimacy – Being True / Intimacy – Changing You / Intimacy – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Intimacy – Letting go of Fear / Intimacy – Rest / Intimacy – Knowing / Intimacy – A Gift / Intimacy – healing / Intimacy – Cleaving / Intimacy – Love Casts out Fear / Intimacy – Feelings