"Love is not a fight, but it's something worth fighting for."
~ Warren Barfield
John and Stasi Eldredge would wholeheartedly agree with that statment. Although, I'm not sure they'd say it's not a fight: Based on the sound of chapter 5, they make it sound like love is one hell of fight. Excuse my double hockey sticks.
They officially start the discourse on all the ways the devil attacks marriages - but not before letting us know that most Christians are still niave to the fact that our marraiges are constantly under attack. If we're not living in defense mode with our spiritual armor on, we're going to fall for the "boobie traps" as they call them.
It starts with our thoughts, and the agreements we make with the thoughts that the devil feeds us. They told the story of a man getting into his car to leave for work and how even giving into the thought "She is such a nag," was an open doorway into the boobie trap. Giving into those thoughts create cracks, and the cracks create deep fissures.
But they went on to say that the devil doesn't just stop there and reminded us that he comes to "Kill, steal, and destroy." They told stories of a woman who had nightmares everytime her husband wanted to be intimate, and A woman who got a mysterious illness the doctors couldn't figure out everytime her husband traveled.
The summary: we have an enemy, and it is essential to stand against him, unified, if we want to see our marriages survive.
Their recommendation for a happy marriage was this: 1) Each person have a living relationship with the living God. 2) Each person deal with their own personal issues. 3) Stand continuously unified against the attacks of the Enemy. They guaranteed that doing these three things alone would make our marriage a freeing and joyous experience and relationship.
I believe them.
On another note, It made me think about the agreements I myself have made with the devil through my divorce experience. John said he had made the agreement that "it was just too hard." I confess, I've made the same agreement this past year. I agreed that being single is just plain easier. I get to do things my way, all the time, and have no one permanently disturb that. I made the agreement that marriage isn't worth it. That I'm better off alone. That it's only going to hurt me. That a man is only going to hurt me. I made an agreement many years ago that because I hadn't maintained my purity, I am "tainted." I agreed that divorce only made me more tainted. I made the agreement that any man who wants my heart is going to have to climb Mt. Everest to get it. I made an agreement against romantic love.
Those kind of suck, right? lol. I'm really guaranteeing myself some miserable loneliness if I stick to those, lol. Truth is, deep down, I know I want love - a Godly husband and a family. So I will wholeheartedly renounce those agreements. I'm just not ready for love QUITE yet. But I'm thankful for having those agreements pointed out... I really wouldn't want to live with those my whole life!
What agreements have YOU made about love?