“IGNORE THE PROBLEM AND IT’LL GO AWAY” (Marriage Lies 5)
If only this lie was true, we’d all have perfect marriages and friendships! Single or married, we are often tempted to avoid facing difficulties in our associations with others. What if we could ignore every difficult issue and live happily ever after? It doesn’t take long to find that doesn’t work!
Of course, Satan doesn’t want us to face and work through sins in our lives or relationships. He is using them to bring hurt and damage to all involved, so he wants them to continue. He wants us to keep them secret so he can feed them and keep them alive. He loves it when we keep our problems and defeats in the darkness, but the darkness is where he rules and reigns. He loves when we think if we ignore a problem it will go away.
The lie behind this is that a great marriage doesn’t take work – it just happens. “Our great love overcomes all obstacles, just give it time.” “If we ignore the issues long enough, they’ll fade and be gone, so don’t make a big deal of it.“ The same lie is used to undermine relationships of those who aren’t married as well. It can be easier to let something painful go because we feel it’ll be even more hurtful to face it and work it through.
The truth is that marriage takes commitment, work and forgiveness. It’s been said that great marriages are made in heaven. They come in kits and you have to put them together yourselves. And believe me, it’s not easy assembling a godly marriage! It takes honesty, openness, confession, forgiveness and a humble, teachable spirit. It also takes time, both quality and quantity, to work through issues and keep growing. A marriage ceremony takes about an hour, but a marriage takes a lifetime.
Instead of overlooking uncomfortable situations, identify the problems and face them together. It’s not about blame or whose fault it is, but about what each person can do to overcome the problem. The enemy is not your mate, it’s the problem. Your mate is your teammate in overcoming it. Attend a marriage retreat, get godly Christian counseling, read good books and talk to mature Christian couples who have worked through similar situations together. However you do it, you must face the problem.
That’s not just true of current, ongoing problems, it’s also true of difficulties and sins from long ago. Problems in the past don’t stay in the past. Even issues from before you met your mate must be worked through. Past baggage like pornography, unhealthy past relationships, sexual immorality, addictions, dysfunctional family of origin, rage, abuse, etc. must be dealt with. Don’t think you can ignore them and they will go away, they pop up again and can be very destructive. It takes courage to recognize, admit, face and work through these matters. God forgives all sin in our past (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), but the consequences often remain and need to be overcome. If its something you can deal with together, do so. If it’s bigger than that, get help. Just don’t believe the lie that says that if you ignore it then it’ll go away!
If there are any issues in your past or your mate’s past that seem to pop up and influence your relationship today, pray about them. Pray together regularly, and follow God’s leading as He starts working to heal these areas.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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