“Whose Voice Shapes Your Marriage”
By Rayni Peavy
There are many competing voices who want to shape your thinking about marriage. When I was engaged one friend told me, “Marriage is hard. It’s mostly working through difficult issues and every now and then you get a moment of enjoyment, but most of the time it’s really hard.”
Contrast that with another friend who told me, “If you feel like you have to work at marriage then you’ve married the wrong person.”
Hmm….talk about conflicting marriage advice!
One thing I’ve realized over the course of my marriage is that…
everyone who gives marriage advice is speaking from their own experience and each person’s unique experience informs the positive or negative words they speak.
While we can often learn from other people’s experiences we must realize that we have a choice as to what advice we take in or reject.
We have the ultimate voice in shaping our marriage…for better or worse.
Jesus at the Center
The main voice I aim to listen to when it comes to expectations and hopes in marriage is God’s voice.
In John 10:27 Jesus says of His followers, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
The Bible is full of wise and relevant marriage advice and God also speaks to us by His Holy Spirit, giving us wisdom and guidance for particular problems that arise.
The biggest thing to remember is that God created marriage and it is a blessing! It is a picture of the way Christ loves the Church, giving Himself for her. No wonder Satan wants to destroy our marriages. But always remember that God is for you and He is for your marriage.
Holding Your Tongue
Ladies, have you ever been around your girlfriends when they start complaining about their husbands? I made a decision long ago never to gripe to others about my husband. If I have an issue with him I pray about it and address it directly with him.
If you have a major marital issue it can be very healthy and sometimes necessary to talk with a godly counselor or trusted friend about it, but that’s different than the husband-bashing that sometimes goes on within a group of women.
My husband also made the same decision. When he’s around friends who start making negative comments about their wives, he starts talking about all of the things he loves about me. That usually stops them in their tracks.
Why do we do this? Because we want to use our voices to speak well of each other and to speak well of marriage. We can use our voices to speak truth, love and encouragement into our own marriage and to others who are struggling in their marriages. We choose to take the initiative to shape the marriage conversation in a positive way.
Tuning Out Negativity
Sometimes we need to simply tune out the negative people in our lives (or in the media) who attack our marriage and our attitudes about marriage. Or you may need to have a talk with a friend or family member about their negative attitude.
I have a friend whose two sisters recently got divorced and then tried to talk my friend into divorcing her husband, even though she was happy in her marriage. Because her sisters were so unhappy they were trying to attack my friend’s marriage and talk her into leaving her husband. That is outrageous!
The enemy will often use people to sow negativity like I just mentioned so we have to be wise and not be unaware of his schemes. Satan likes to throw negative thoughts about our spouse at us and to sow seeds of discord which, if left unchecked, could ultimately ruin a marriage.
This week I encourage you to think about whose voice shapes your view of marriage. Is it a biblical view? Is it a healthy view? If not, take some time to reconnect with God and His views on marriage. Let Him breathe fresh perspective and hope into your view of marriage.
Rayni Peavy is a writer and speaker who brings a message of hope, freedom and fullness of life. With a passion for healthy relationships, she encourages others to live out the abundant life Jesus offers. Rayni is author of the new book Ten Marriage Lessons From a Semi-Newlywed: Make Your Relationship Come Alive! In her free time Rayni enjoys learning to speak French and exploring new cuisine with her super cute “foodie” husband. You can find more articles and podcasts at RayniPeavy.com and connect on Twitter and Facebook.