– by Marietjie Ruth Spangenberg

For many years I had listen to satan’s whispers, being mostly negative thoughts about why marriage can be so hard sometimes. Many days I sat on the bed crying and would say to God “why can’t my husband see my side of things? Why won’t he change? Maybe I married the wrong man?” How sad that I even spent wasted time thinking that the grass would be greener with someone else. Not true.The grass is always greener where you water and fertilise it.

Blind to the goodness
Going back in time I remember this was a scene repeated over and over in my marriage trying to fix my husband. I became so focused on what I felt was wrong with my husband and in our marriage, I became blind to all that was good. I grumbled and complained and nagged and set out to change him. I was discouraged, overwhelmed, and so tempted to give up that I almost destroyed my marriage in the process. One thing that we must always remember is that satan hates marriages and he will always try to cause separation between two people. Satan is your enemy and not your husband. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:12. 

Living the Fruit of the Spirit
Then one day when I was in a storm of tears, I asked God to please make things better, which I have asked Him so many times in the past. With a soft gentle voice I could hear God saying, “stop trying to fix your husband and start loving your husband unconditionally – and also start living the Fruit of the Spirit.” It was hard at first to take action and even just to like my husband, but I started listing each positive quality my husband had, secondly listing out things for which I was thankful in our marriage. Lastly I started watering and fertilising the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, being love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) in my marriage. 

Clouds of negativity lifted
In a couple of months, it was as if the clouds of negativity lifted and I could start seeing my husband through the eyes of God. It was great that I had overcome satan’s whispers. From then on I made a deliberate choice to celebrate each day of being thankful for every small victory towards restoration that has grown in my heart. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, watering and fertilising the right fruits in my marriage have become a journey of faith in action. All glory to God for His covenant with us and the sacred covenant of marriage.

Marietjie Ruth Spangenberg is the founder of Ruth Foundation and Ruth Women Annual Conference. Ministry Projects and Counsellor at Radio Tygerberg 104FM. Email: marietjie@104fm.co.za


marencia-westraat

JOY! Magazine (April 2017)

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