– by Marietjie Ruth Spangenberg
We are the sum of what we encounter in our marriage life and our reactions to these events. Being conditioned by life’s experiences, we are prone to react to life impulsively and instinctively, rather than to respond on the basis of considered judgement. Such actions reveal our inner life, our focus, and who and what determines our peace and joy.
Our usual focus is on what our partner has done or failed to do. As we maintain a self-defensive and self-protective posture, we are inclined to judge, to condemn, to criticise, to blame shift, and similar reactions. This self-focus is a breeding ground for anger, frustration, despair, bitterness, self-pity, and the like, a life of feelings in our marriages. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” –Proverbs 18:21
A feeling-oriented life is a fertile area in which satan operates and upon which he feeds.
The ungodly live by their senses. Their lives are directed by how and what they feel. We are created by God to master life, and not that our feelings should control us. This is what distinguishes a committed Christian from the world; a Christian lives by the Will of God, not by feelings. We are not to be directed or to live by feelings in our marriage.
God has given you power, love, and self-control. In many marriages it’s a challenge to control your emotions, but remember that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but the spirit of self-control, it means you can control negative feelings. God’s power lives inside you. You can have authority over your feelings!
Our responses and reactions to life reflect our roots.
Our thoughts, speech, and actions in our marriage convey the character of these roots. Here we can identify the sin patterns and strongholds developed over the years that characterise the lifestyle and personality of the individual. Matt 12:33 – “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit”
The key to establish Godly roots is by changing I to WE, you in union with Christ.
This begins with the new birth, followed by daily renewal of your mind. Thus life is confronted on the basis of God’s Word, the Will of God. As you do the Word, the Holy Spirit changes your roots, which affect your feelings. This is a purification process. And you in turn begin to respond to life and your marriage in a manner that glorifies God.
JOY! Magazine (January 2017)