Who is crazy enough to talk about their marriage in a public, not just group, but public setting? Well, in about a minute, I am, but John and Staci Eldredge have done so in their new book, “Love and War” also. It makes me feel a little less vulnerable sharing. 🙂
I haven’t read the whole book yet, but from numerous reviews from friends, I’ve heard that it’s yet another incredible, healing book. Even my single friends who have read it say that it has prepared them for marriage in an overwhelmingly positive way. To be honest, I don’t feel like I need to read it because Tom and I have lived it.
About a year ago, Tom went to the “Wild at Heart” boot camp put on by John Eldredge and the Ransomed Heart team. Now, what happened there for Tom is nothing short of God’s absolute love breaking in a new way. But it’s also his story, so I would encourage you to ask him about it. But, at that retreat, Tom came home for a new idea for our marriage. And I can honestly say that we have never been happier, never experienced God’s presence in our relationship, never had so much time in between those “crazy” cycle moments as we have now that Tom gleaned this truth from John. Ready for it?
Your spouse is not your enemy. You have an enemy. And it’s not your spouse. You’re on the same team. Always.
Simple? Yes. Effective? Absolutely.
When Tom came home from Boot Camp, we found ourselves is petty arguments and he would say, “Pam, are we on the same team?”
“Cause right now, it doesn’t feel like it.”
And then we would proceed to search out together the accusations Satan had made in our little brains about each other, clarify (say, “No, I don’t feel that way. I don’t think that way about you”), and proceed to get Satan out of our marriage and ask for God to come in more. More of His thoughts concerning our lives and our direction. More of His love to be imparted so we can love each other more. We have never had so much peace and faith in each other. I have never had so much security in my life. And ladies, it has never been so easy to “let go” and increase my respect in my husband. I can honestly say that it has continued to grow us over months now.
I recently took this idea to my niece and nephew. Rose (name changed) is 6 years old and Mike (again, changed) is 8 years old. They’re in the age where they’re going to fight. So, sitting in the back of the car bickering one day, I stopped them.
“Mike, Rose is not your enemy.”
“But, Aunt Pam, it feels like she is.”
“I asssure you Mike, Rose is not your enemy. You have an enemy and he wants to kill you and destroy you. Rose loves you. She likes to see you smile. She goes to your Cub Scout events to cheer you on. That’s not something an enemy does.”
After about 5 more minutes of discussion, things were set straight. Any time they started getting overwhelmingly angry at each other, I’d simply say, “She’s/He’s not your enemy.”
Some may say that to focus on Satan’s presence in our lives is dangerous. I stand with John and Staci. It’s dangerous not to think about it. So I’m following through with the next thing from John 10:10 – keep turning to Jesus. Keep asking Him what I should be looking at. Keep asking for Him to be in our marriage more. Less of us. More of Him. Because Jesus is a truth teller. It’s brought abundant life.
And I’m still going to read the book. If I know the Eldredge’s writing at all, it will have refreshing authenticity, but I’m sure Jesus has a few more tips waiting for me in the pages of the book.