Monday, December 1, 2014

The Truth about Marriage during the Holidays

Gals, can I get ugly-real with you today?

Like most everybody else lately I have been consumed with thoughts on the holiday season.  
How can we make it the most meaningful?
Least stressful?
Fun & memorable?
Most Christ-centered?
What do my friends/family really want from me during this season?
And yes--even the superficial--how should I Christmas-fy that empty corner of the living room?

These thoughts have been swirling in my head for weeks now honestly, none of them waited for the "official" Christmas season to begin.  My mind has always had a rebellious streak like that.  But my marriage hasn't really made the list of thoughts that have kept me up late into the night.  And that spoke volumes to me.  

You see, every single year that the Mr. and I have been married we have had a major, major wipe out in our relationship that seems to strike right after Christmas.  Like clockwork really.  It's as if we have just run a 5k called "Christmas" and as soon as we break the finish line tape we collapse in a pile of ruins and mess.  Blaming each other for things, name-calling, calling out legitimate and illegitimate complaints and criticisms.  It has made tearing down Christmas decorations silent and awkward every single year of our marriage, hoping that we will be in a better place when we open up those boxes in another year.  Praise God, to the glory of God, we always have been.

But what if it didn't have to be that way?  What if we didn't have to go through the devastation, the words that pierce that you can never take back, the silence that isolates us both?  And what would it take to avoid that?

Intentional living in the midst of the busiest time of the year.  Not just another line on my to-do list.  But daily covering our marriage in prayer this time of year more than the rest of the year possibly.  Every marriage or relationship go through peaks and valleys, but let's wisen up and call those valleys what they really are.  They might be masked in poor decisions, bad word choices, less loving actions, or tempting situations, but they are  all really just symptoms of the real problem.  We've got a very alive enemy that is out for the very life of our marriages.

The thief comes only to steal kill and destroy. -John 10:10

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  -1 Peter 5:8

Ladies, that includes our marriages!!  The devil knows how much glory the Kingdom can receive from our marriages, that two really are better than one (Ecc. 4:9) and he will do whatever we leave uncovered for his destructive purposes.  Espeically in a season where we're so busy we're preoccupied at best and everything seems so shiny and glittery and happy that we can go weeks, months even without even noticing what we've really been neglecting.  I'm making a commitment to make this year different.  Purposeful.  Nurturing my marriage instead of neglecting it.  Abundantly praying over my marriage instead of haphazardly forgetting the importance of this.  Not letting the enemy take one of the very sweetest gifts God ever gave me and somehow distracting me so much that it takes a relationship blowout before I realize what I've done.  

These are none of my own ideas, but some that I really love and plan on praying about implementing this season.  If anyone else feels this way too and is looking for some practical ways to nurture your marriage especially during this season I really encourage you to check them out.  If you need someone to pray for your marriage or relationship specifically this time of year I would be honored to lay you and your spouses name at the cross as I do my own, please just leave your name in the comments below.

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