No wife that I know desires to have a difficult marriage. She doesn’t set out to plan her wonderful wedding day with the hopes to have her marriage destroyed. But if we’re not careful, that’s exactly what could happen, after all, the enemy’s job is to kill, steal, and destroy. And the one goal Satan sets out to do is to snuff out your love affair so your marriage will end in divorce and then have your family destroyed in the process.
But as Christians, we have Christ who is on our side. We’ve got the Word of God that guides us toward truth, and we have the Holy Spirit who is our Counselor and Comforter. Isn’t this refreshing and encouraging to hear?
So I thought about those snares that every marriage encounters. Snares that can simply destroy any couple’s love story. I’ve identified 8 of them that you could easily commit to memory. In the list, I’ve also included some biblical cures to stomp out the diseases of sin that I’ve listed below. These cures will help us shift our focus to a proactive, God-honoring path for our marriage.
The 8 C’s that Will Destroy a Marriage
Definition: the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes.
Growing up I received a lot of criticism and because of this, I’m highly sensitive to it. In fact, even when my husband isn’t criticizing me, I feel like he is. Over the years, we’ve had to preface our statements to one another that what we are about to say is in no way a critical viewpoint. This little tweak in our communication helps us to let our guards down and know that we have each other’s best interest at hand.
Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. James 3:10
Cure for this problem is encouragement. I watch and ponder the souls of those in my home and one thing I notice when the criticism is raining down is that I need to bring in more encouragement to the lives of those that I love. It’s amazing how this shift from good to bad helps breathe life into our marriage and home. An encouraged heart makes for a happy heart.
Goodness, my controlling ways can be a noose around the neck of my man. He doesn’t lead well when I’m stifling him. What leader would, right? I notice that when I’m controlling him either due to my pride or fear, he starts to second-guess his choices. 🙁
Cure for this problem is faith. Oh how easy is it for me to have such little faith! Simply put, I need to trust the Lord more and me less.
But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 1 Tim. 6:11
I can remember one time I tried to go an entire day without complaining. I failed within the first 2 hours! My complaining ways can make my man feel like a failure as a husband, father, and provider. This is not what I want him to feel. I want him to walk tall, but the complaining words that come out of my mouth can easily cause him to wither and feel defeated as a man.
Cure for this problem is gratitude. This is another small shift to breathe more life into a marriage. Changing our speech to build up instead of tearing down is always something I need to be mindful of.
Do everything without complaining and arguing. Phil 2:14
I’m not sure when we started this in our marriage but I remember it was in our early years. We made the decision to never threaten each other with the word divorce because it was like an emotional death sentence. It would erode the emotional intimacy and security that every marriage needs.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Cure for this problem is kindness. When Eric and I were dating, kindness was the norm. After years of marriage, it is something that we’ve had to nurture regardless of our past or present circumstances.
It’s hard to maintain a fulfilling marriage. It takes work. A lot of it. Continually being mindful of the other person and considering them, their feelings, fears, aspirations, and frustrations. This could be draining. Investing in them when you’d rather not either due to an overwhelming list of responsibilities or just because you’re tired of emotionally or physically investing in them is certainly the easier path to take. Putting our marriage on the back burner requires virtually no effort at all but complacency will kill a marriage.
Cure for this problem is intentionality. I don’t want a back burner marriage because when a marriage is placed on the back burner, it gets forgotten. Just like a pot on the stove, things will either burn or never get cooked. (I’ve done both!) Either way, the end result is not what I had intended.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Col. 3:17
Lying to my man or keeping things from him (lies of omission) will not create a strong foundation in our marriage. A marriage won’t flourish when trust is lacking.
Cure for this problem is developing integrity. I do a lot of stupid things but I have learned that truth always needs to prevail in our marriage.
In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. Titus 2:7-8
Definition: express complete disapproval of, typically in public.
Goodness, I could have a list of my husband’s wrong doings. It could go on and on. And I could verbally express where he has fallen short. But, this will not produce the type of marriage I want.
Cure for this problem is being a gracious wife. Well, this is an on-going life pursuit! Grace only comes from me knowing the One who is full of grace. It’s me choosing to emulate Christ instead of condemning my man.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18
Yeah, so this cold shoulder thing is easy to give in marriage. It’s a natural emotional default for me and perhaps you, too? It goes something like this in my mind…He hurt me and I withdraw because I want to preserve and protect myself. But really, I’m listening to the lies of the enemy who whispers, “If I show Eric my vulnerability, he’ll either hurt me again or reject me. I’m safe if I shrug him off.” And shrugging him off is a way I can punish him.
Cure for this problem is transparency and trust. When I want to punish my husband or protect myself, I need to choose to be transparent with my feelings, seek to restore our situation, and trust the reconciliation process.
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins. Proverbs 10:12
Let’s add one more for good measure!
In a matter of seconds, I can easily go into ‘mommy-mode’ with my man. But my man already has a mom and he doesn’t need another one! My husband wants me to be his lover, not his mother. I’m sure your man wants you to be his lover, too.
Cure for this problem is keeping my eye on my plank instead of his speck.
“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speckfrom your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matt. 7:3-5
When I look at this list, one area that I need to embrace is to be more encouraging to my man. How about you? What area do you need to embrace more? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Live a poured out life for Christ,