You have an enemy and he is out to get you.
And in case you’re wondering, the enemy is NOT your spouse! But let’s be real, sometimes doesn’t it feel like they are? Isn’t it like Satan to take one of your most precious relationships and do everything within his power to destroy it?
This past week I saw this exact scenario play out in my own marriage. It all began with an attack on my core fear. You see over the years Satan has tricked me into believing the lie that I am not worth fighting for. That when push comes to shove, those closest to me will leave and not stick with me. He has used situations in my life to try to turn that lie into bricks that I use to build a wall to protect myself. When he attacks me, he always brings it back to that main lie and those familiar bricks.
At the beginning of the week several things happened to get me fighting a mind battle, to get me distracted. I had two days where my thoughts were spinning and my dreams were wild. When this happens I start mentally playing out different scenarios based on the evidence that I am seeing. Oh when will I learn to just stop and pray instead? But that is a different talk for a different day. So this is how Satan sets me up for yet another brick laying session.
Despite track being cancelled for the week we ended up having a very busy schedule full of meetings and appointments that all needed to be processed through. That’s where Nathan comes in. I am blessed with a husband that loves to talk, so normally we have no problem sitting down and processing through the events of the day. He is a good listener and often reads me correctly on what I need during the conversation. That is the truth about our relationship, but watch how Satan can so quickly twist the truth.
Tuesday night we had a late meeting, so we were only able to talk through half of our thoughts before calling it a night. I was doing good here, because we planned to follow up the next night.
Wednesday was incredibly full. Nathan had an important meeting with a bigwig of his company who had flown into town, and he had a big presentation to give later in the day. I had a meeting with a friend Wednesday morning and then my monthly Bible Study that night. At the Bible study our discussion was so good and I learned so much! I was excited to share all that I had learned that day with Nathan when I got home, but our conversation was focused on Nathan’s meetings for the day. It left no time to cover my day.
Brick Number One: “What I do is not as important as Nathan and therefore doesn’t take priority.”
Thursday morning Nathan realized we didn’t get to talk through everything and called me as he was driving from the office to a meeting. He let me know he had 30 minutes to talk, which isn’t enough, but it would give me a chance to start telling him about my last two days. Then somehow we got to talking about Nathan’s Thursday morning meetings and that ate up 20 of the 30 minutes.
Brick Number Two: “Nathan says I am a priority but really it doesn’t matter what I am thinking about.”
That afternoon, I battled thoughts in my head. This time I did pray and asked the Lord to show me the truth and help me to release the lie. I tried to focus on the fact that Nathan did attempt to make space for me to talk. While it didn’t work as planned, his heart was in the right place.
Thankfully this stalled my thoughts and I didn’t add any more bricks to my protective wall that afternoon. It did however make me feel a little disconnected with Nathan and was looking forward to reconnecting that night. I have learned over the years how situations like this affect my attitude and emotions and I am getting better at keeping them under control. After a few days like this my natural tendency is to become, well, let’s just say snippy. This is something that I have worked really hard at overcoming. To avoid being snippy, now my usual response is just to be quiet. If I don’t talk, I at least don’t make it worse, right? (My next step in growth would be to lovingly express what I need in a timely fashion, but baby steps here!)
So that night I was pretty quiet. I was hoping that Nathan would pursue me and we could connect and talk through everything that was on my mind. Unfortunately it didn’t happen, we got busy with the kids and went to bed without talking. He didn’t even ask me about my day or notice that I was quiet.
Brick Number Three: “It is not worth fighting for our relationship. He would rather ignore it and move on than mess with me and my thoughts and feelings.”
That leads us to Friday. Nathan and I normally talk on the phone midday to catch up and plan for the night. But Friday he had meetings all through the middle of the day, so a check-in talk was not an option. So we exchanged a few quick texts instead. Then I got a text from him letting me know several of his coworkers were going out for a little bit after work and wondered if it was okay if he went. He did offer for me to join him, but this is not my favorite thing to do so I quickly declined. Plus I hadn’t showered for the day, so there was that.
Brick Number Four: “I am not a priority for him.”
Brick Number Five: “I am not worth fighting for” got added quickly because I had been secretly hoping I would get a date night Friday night. It is rare to have a night with no kids’ activities or other plans, so an unexpected free night should be filled with a date. At least that’s what I thought, but failed to express to him. Since I felt a little disconnected this week, a date night was exactly what I thought we should be doing with our night. Instead Nathan went out with his coworkers, which made our supper later than planned.
Have you been there in your relationship with your spouse? It seems like everywhere you turn another brick is being added to your protective wall. Our marriage should be a place where walls are torn down, where you feel safe to be exposed and real. But we have an enemy that will do everything in his power to separate the two of you and make those walls grow taller and taller.
For me the lie is that I am not worth fighting for. Maybe your core fear is that you are bad and unredeemable. Or maybe that you deserve to be alone, you are unwanted, incompetent, a mistake, a source of pain for others, weak or unimportant. We all have a core fear and Satan knows it. He uses every situation he has to twist the truth into a lie and get you spinning in the wrong direction.
The truth is: “I am worth fighting for.” God thinks so, and so does Nathan. But do you see that when the opportunity presents itself Satan will pile on the “evidence” that feeds the lie instead of the truth? He won’t stop with just one, but will keep going until another layer of the wall is securely in place.
No marriage is perfect. All marriages need constant attention. We need to constantly be examining our own thoughts. How did we interpret the situation? Do our thoughts give our spouse the benefit of the doubt first, before assuming the worst? Are we basing our views on assumptions or fact? Have we made our feelings known in a loving way to allow our spouse a chance to set the record straight?
Think about your past week, have you laid any bricks? Ask the Lord to walk you through your bricklaying processes. Was it a necessary build? Or could you have interpreted their actions in a better, truer way? Did you cause them to lay a brick? How can you make it right so that the wall doesn’t continue to get taller? Let’s purpose today to tear down the walls that keep us separated and distant!
PS: In this week, Nathan’s meetings should have taken priority in our conversations because they had potential to dramatically affect our future. If I really thought about it, I would have honestly admitted that to myself multiple times during the week. We also did get a date night, one that Nathan had already planned for Saturday.