Thinking through a troubled marriage PART 8

 

Fear and Suspicion

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Ephesians 4 v 26 – 27 In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

It stands to reason that fear and suspicion will destroy any relationship or any marriage. Fear can exist for numerous reasons. Sometimes it is the crude and craven fear of physical assault. This is hopeless. There can be no marriage to salvage if physical abuse is part of the problem. It usually does not stop and the victim should leave and not listen to the promises of the abuser, even if the abuser seeks professional help. Without a radical and miraculous change the abuser will continue this deadly behaviour. This does not mean that abusers cannot change at all. They can and do. But unless the abuser becomes a committed Christian with the inner strength the Holy Spirit imparts, there is always a fear that they will return to their old ways. Incidentally it is possible for both men and women to play the role of the abuser.

 

However, it is also true that fear can exist for other reasons, usually because trust has dissipated. If your partner has become unpredictable you cannot know what a reasonable future looks like for you and the children. If money is a problem, or gambling, or lying or deceit these all have the capacity to engender either fear or suspicion and thus constitute barriers to a meaningful reconciliation.

 

But I reiterate that human beings can change, especially when God is brought into the equation. So, are you both willing to talk about the causes of fear and suspicion? Is there a willingness to seek help to change? Unless there is such a desire you might as well give up. There is no hope when a marriage is dominated by fear and suspicion of any kind.

Look again at Paul’s words quoted above. The devil has been given a foothold. Your marriage is coming apart. How will you dislodge the evil one and find the strength to change? The Christians answer is through a real faith: The Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Prayer: Dear Lord, we cannot live together as you call us to do because we do not trust each other. Please change our hearts and our attitudes to each other. Amen

 

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