Quarantine and Marriage: Help!

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COVID-19 has certainly changed things a bit, or perhaps a lot, for some of you. With enforced quarantine, schools closed, vacation plans cancelled or delayed, and what we thought would blow over in a short time, has now turned into weeks. Our patience is running thin, our anxieties are high, and the snippiness with our spouse may seem like the only communication between us these days. Friends, you’re not alone.

We have a real enemy who is standing or sitting close-by, rubbing his hands together, with devious eyes, ready to attack anytime. You may have noticed he’s already been playing with your mind, filling it with lies and worry. Gosh, the news itself is enough to make our thoughts turn upside down and the enemy is all over that. Friend, the enemy is not our spouse. We can stand shoulder-to-shoulder, with our husband or wife, and fight against the enemy’s attacks. Satan likes to magnify even the smallest of annoyances we may have. And when we’re not close to the Lord and in his Word, Satan knows it, and becomes an unwelcome guest in our lives.

Satan wants us to think that we have to do our own thing, as individuals, to make it through these hard days. You may or may not know this, but men and women are different. We see things differently, we process things in different ways, and our perspectives may not always line up. I encourage you: Don’t let the enemy in on this. This is how he destroys marriages, especially in stressful times like we’re in now, to turn you against each other. Instead, let’s not give in to the temptation to do things our way, and be honest with each other in how we’re feeling or what we’re struggling with. Then, take some time to dig into God’s Word and remind ourselves that we’re on the same team, fighting the same spiritual enemies, united as one in Christ.

When we find ourselves snapping at our spouse or family, we need to take a moment and ask ourselves: What is at the root of my sinful reactions right now? Am I getting frustrated with my husband or wife because I’ve put my security and hope in them more than the Lord? Am I annoyed with my children because their being home is interrupting my normal routine? Am I taking my fears out on those closest to me because it’s simply easier than bringing my fears and anxieties to Christ and my spouse in humility?

If so, let’s remind ourselves that these circumstances, both globally and personally, are not out of our sovereign Father’s hands. Reminding ourselves of this truth can bring peace when life feels chaotic and when these circumstances seem never-ending. We may not know and understand God’s ways, but we can be confident that he is in control and he is good. He wants us to draw closer to him in times like this. He wants to build our trust and wants us to deeply rely on him.

Is this hard? Yes, but we can, and must, trust that God’s got this. Instead of allowing fears, stress, and anxieties to creep in and wreak havoc in our marriages, let’s kick them to the curb and invite peace and rest in. And this peace and rest will only grow as we remember to trust the One who has control.

We can look at times like these as “growth opportunities.” As we face these difficult days, squeezed in close quarters, remember, God’s grace is sufficient for each day. We have a choice to grow. How? We can look at the day as we see it, or we can lift our eyes to a hope beyond what we can see. And each day, we can look to the cross. The cross was the darkest moment in history, and God initiated it. God allowed his Son to give more, and lose more, than we ever could. Satan thought he won this battle. The little smirk on his face turned into great defeat.

It’s not difficult to imagine Satan smirking today, hoping to throw us into a frenzy for control, to snap at each other, and to doubt God’s goodness in allowing COVID-19. But! We get to send him away with his tail between his legs after he discovers that circumstances like this only draw us closer to the Lord in dependence and trust, growing our marriage in the process. And this “growth opportunity” in our marriage and family only reflects more of Christ.

So, we need to be in God’s Word to fight against the enemy’s lies. As our marriage becomes grounded more in his Word than the circumstances around us, we as individuals, and our marriage, can only reflect God’s peace and joy, even with the storm raging all around us.

The enemy may have tried to knock us down in the past, and we may be thinking he has won. But we can look back and see how God not only got us through, but he has grown us, strengthened us, and brought us closer to him. And he’s going to get us through this, even stronger.

Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 5:10-12 (ESV) – I encourage you to read Ch 5: 10-20.

Let’s build each other up. Let’s be like Aaron and Hur with Moses and hold up each other up when we’re feeling weary. Stay strong. Keep the faith. Hold on to hope. We will get through this, because we are BETTER TOGETHER.

Please, if you need anything during this time, whatever your need, or if you just need prayer, let us know by emailing pastorsteve@northpointe.org.

Hang in there!

NP Marriage

For continued reading:

Psalm 119; Philippians 1:27-30; Colossians 3; Romans 5:1-11

Marriage in Light of Eternity

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Summer is here! While you’ve been busy making plans for vacation and activities, what are you planning for you and your spouse? For your marriage? A weekend getaway? A fabulous cruise? What about plans to grow and strengthen your marriage? Quality time together is definitely a need, but what are doing for your marriage in light of eternity?

We’d like to share a resource with you! We are hosting a Couples’ Study, You and Me Forever, on Thursday nights, beginning July 25 at 7pm. Summer plans will be winding down. School for the kiddos will be right around the corner. Gather with some other couples from NP to learn from Francis & Lisa Chan (via video teaching) and enjoy some small group discussion. There’s nothing better than walking alongside others (of various ages and stages in life) who have the same goal as you–to have a Christ-centered marriage.

In their book, You and Me Forever, Francis and Lisa Chan tell us that marriage is great, but it’s not forever. Remember those vows you said on your wedding day, “Til death do us part?” Marriage is only until death do you part. After that is when the eternal rewards or regrets come, depending on how you spent your life. The Chans go on to say, “While we cannot allow lesser things to destroy our marriages, we also cannot allow marriage to distract us from greater things.”

As we pursue God first and foremost, life begins to make sense, and everything else starts falling into place. We enjoy love, laughter, and intimacy in our marriages because these were created to be enjoyed. There is a way to love our spouse and family without ignoring heaven. It all comes down to our focus.

The Chans believe Jesus was right; perhaps, we have it all backwards. The way to have a great marriage is not by focusing on marriage. You might be thinking, “What?” Many of us believe our priorities should be God, Marriage, Family, Work, etc., but are you really prioritizing and living your life in this order? Let’s get together and learn more. Join us on July 25. Get your book today and read the Introduction and Chapter One before we meet the first week. Invite your engaged and married friends. Help others grow and build Christ-centered marriages.

Joy in Him,

NorthPointe Marriage Ministry

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