How to identify and deal with the little foxes that spoil Marriages
When a marriage is consummated on any reason outside of the original Biblical purpose found in Matthew 19:4-6, that marriage will not stand the onslaught of the little foxes that attack every marriage relationship.
Below are some of the foxes that destroy the vineyard of marriage.
Fox#1: If there are tension or sharp responses to each other then there is most likely a fox of unresolved conflict lurking around.
Be sure to quickly resolve every conflict or disagreement as soon as you can. When an unresolved conflict lingers, it breeds tension and communication breakdown.
Fox#2: If you are quick to judge your spouse’s motives as to why they did or didn’t do something before asking them why, then there may be a fox of unforgivenes chewing at your heart.
Be sure to learn and know the details and motives before passing judgment. Don’t be quick to judge one another.
Fox#3: If you have not been purposeful in setting aside time alone together at home, or on regular date nights, then you should look more closely for the fox of neglect.
Be sure to have date nights planned, just both couples without children and job interference. This is how water and nourish your marital vineyard.
Fox#4: Maybe you find your mind constantly going to your job, even when you’re “off”, and it keeps you from being totally “there” for your spouse. You don’t look at them when they speak and you only listen to them halfway. This could be the fox of all work and no play.
Be sure to spend QUALITY time with your spouse. Focus on them while he/she speaks to you and give he/she undivided attention when communicating with each other.
Fox#5: The fox of idols of the heart can be much more difficult to catch. This is because our idols are the things that have not only caught our attention, but our affection. To discover them we must examine where our thoughts go when we have nothing else to think about? Or what do I want to do more than anything else with my free time? Just because we desire to do something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an idol, but it could be. The only way to know for sure is to ask God to help you discover this little fox. He will be faithful to help you see it.
Be sure not to allow anything immoral, obsessive and possessive to control your thoughts and emotions.
Fox#6:Lack of purpose or vision leads to a division. The couples are drawn apart and are moving i the opposite directions.
A couple should have a common purpose or try to discover one for themselves. A common purpose is the key to a longer fulfilled marital life.
Fox#7: Substance abuse-especially done secretly can wreak havoc to a marriage. It is the quickest way to betray the trust your spouse has on you.
Be sure to come clean with your spouse on your substance abuse or addiction. An understanding spouse may be your only chance of deliverance from the incapacitating power of substance abuse.
Fox#8: Family, friends, in-laws, ‘out-laws’ etc, may become intrusive in a marriage. If the intrusion is not properly handled, these can seriously affect any marriage.
Be sure to protect the culture, values, integrity and purpose of your marriage and family from any conflicting ones from anyone including your friends and families.
Fox#9: Lack of or too much money can cause a lot of problems in any marriage. The issue is poor management of the financial resources not really the money itself.
Be sure to live within a budget. Never spend more than you earn. Discuss financial management with professional financial counsellor.
Fox#10: Career-minded couples can spend their energy on their job with nothing left for their spouses. Career pursuits must not be esteemed above marital health.
Be sure not allow your job to control your marriage and your family. Plan your time properly and do not forget, home is where the heart should be!
Fox#11: Hyper-supernatural people use God and working for God as an excuse to abandon their marital obligations and family responsibilities. This is against Scriptures!
Be sure not to allow ministry, church or religious institutions to become your god! God never requires anyone to abandon his/her family for any religious reasons.
Fox#12: The wise saying: “familiarity breeds contempt” is true for marriages. Couples are too easily prone to ignore and take each for granted after many years of marriage. This is a little fox that can cause a huge rift and crisis if not checked.
Be sure to continually let your spouse realize he/she is the most important person in your life. Send a romantic text message, send encouraging emails, verbalize your love and randomly surprise each other with acts of love!
While the list above is not exhaustive, the little foxes mentioned are the most common ones. Marriage is a work, just like a good vineyard-keeper, be sure not to allow these little foxes to intrude and destroy your blossoming vineyard. The more your vineyard blooms the easier it is to become the targets of these little foxes. Be watchful! Be unguided! Your adversary, the devil roams around seeking marriages to devours! Determine not to let the enemy win! May God bless your marriages, now and in the future for those hoping to get marries soon!
Written by Dr. Godwin & Blessing Ude