Originally posted at: https://kevmill.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/defending-your-marriage/
by Kevin Miller
Monday is Overflow day on my blog, where I give life to some of the content we didn’t have time to cover.
This week, Jenn and I preached a message on marriage called “It Takes Three To Tango,” where we learned some practical thoughts on keeping Jesus at the center of the marriage relationship. Make sure to watch or listen to the message on the Awaken teaching archive.
You can also read the previous overflow blogs (spiritual relationships, friendship, singleness, and dating) here.
Swing by awaken.church/itscomplicated for social media art and to submit questions for Thursday’s Facebook LIVE Q&A, where Jenn & I as well as special guests, Pastor Jim and his wife, Dawn, will answer your questions about marriage!
In this week’s message, we discussed 4 words about marriage – 2 for the girls and 2 for the guys. We also hosted a surprise vow renewal at the end of each service! It was a blast.
Although we covered a lot of practical thoughts about marriage, one thing we didn’t have time to discuss was the importance and how-to of safeguarding your marriage. Anything valuable is worth protecting, and marriage is no exception. Along those lines, here are some thoughts on how to protect your valuable investment…
Half of the battle is knowing you’re in a battle.
Spiritual battle is all around us, and especially when it comes to marriage. Since marriage is a picture of the Gospel (Ephesians 5:32), Satan hates it. A God-honoring marriage reminds him that the Gospel is still changing lives, so he’s on the prowl. Be alert. Be vigilant. And know who the real enemy is. (Hint: it’s not your spouse!)
Lovingly resolve conflict; don’t fight to win.
Conflict will happen. It’s a fact. So when it happens in marriage, make it your goal to lovingly resolve the conflict. When you make it your aim to win the argument, you automatically turn your spouse into your opponent. Remember this: in marriage, we fight together against a common enemy, not against each other. Your enemy is whatever would come between you. Fight fair. Think before you speak. And remember that you’re on the same team!
Have extra marital sex.
Not extra-marital; extra marital. That hyphen is key. Extra-marital sex (sex outside of marriage) is destructive and potentially fatal to a marriage. But according to 1 Corinthians 7, extra marital sex (extra sex with your spouse) is healthy and protective. Paul says sex in marriage should only be withheld for short time periods when you and your spouse agree on it. When that period is over, you should come together again (sexually) “so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” Extra marital sex is a spiritual safeguard for your marriage. So, lock the door and battle some demons!
And for those wondering how much sex is “extra,” don’t try to put a number on it, just have fun and don’t be stingy!
Protection isn’t just physical, it’s also vocal.
1 Corinthians 7:3 says we owe our spouses affection. It’s not an option to be physical and vocal with your love within marriage. It’s commanded in Scripture!
Want to divorce-proof your marriage? Stop talking about divorce! The looming possibility of divorce kills honesty and security in a marriage. Don’t threaten divorce, joke about it, or even bring it up. It shouldn’t be an option whatsoever.
Speaking well of each other should happen in private and in public. When you speak well of your spouse in front of others, it communicates to them that you are happily married, and becomes a safeguard against anyone who may want to prey on a suffering marriage.
Marriage takes work and a lifelong investment. Fight for it. Defend it. Cultivate it. It’s worth every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears your pour into it!