Understanding the little foxes that destroy 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.
Marriage is a privilege, a gift from God that allows us to reflect the love Christ has for the church. (Ephesians 5: 22-33)
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church [a]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [b]respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:22-33 NASB)
In our culture oftentimes the most important part of getting married is the wedding itself! Imagine if a vineyard owner spent all his time, attention and money on setting up a great vineyard only to neglect the vines after they’re in the ground? It would be foolish and a wasted investment.
A fox doesn’t come and only eat the fruit of the vine–they do much more damage. They like to gnaw on the trunk, dig holes around it and expose the roots. They don’t simply eat the grapes, they like to destroy the entire vine!
LITTLE FOXES THAT DESTROY MARRIAGE VINEYARDS
Fox #1: Unresolved conflict–this includes unforgiveness and anger
Fox #2: Uncharitable judgments–not thinking the best, but assuming the worst.
Fox #3: Neglect and selfishness
Fox #4: Busyness and lack of romantic gestures and adventures
Fox #5: Idols of the heart–video games, shopping, children, addicted to work, pornography, extra-marital online dating, pleasure, etc.
Fox #6: Lack of purpose
Fox #7: Various typed of substance abuse and addictions
Fox #8: External influences from family and friends
Fox #9: Poor management of finances
Fox #10: Career pursuits at the expense of family and marriage
Fox #11: Deceptive spirituality
Fox#12: Taking each other for granted
All of the above can cause lasting damage to the marriage if they aren’t caught and dealt with quickly. So how do we trap these little foxes? How do we recognize them in our own marriage?