Monday, July 4, 2011

Marriage Mondays ~ Freedom Fighters

Today is Independence Day in my country when we celebrate our freedom.We remember that freedom comes at  price, and it's never guaranteed. Freedom can be lost or slowly diffused over time. Since freedom is often attacked, Freedom Fighters protect and guard what's so precious.

God wants us to LET GO in marriage. He means for a man and wife to experience a divine level of freedom together. The world may present a counterfeit version of freedom that comes without commitment, outside of marriage, without exclusive boundaries, and without consequences, but it's a lie. God's gift of freedom to one man and woman brings confidence, trust, strength, and comfort. 

Like national freedom, marital freedom comes at a price, without a guarantee, and can be lost over time. Experiencing real freedom with each other is worth striving for, and you might first realize you've reached it when it's just the two of you alone, and your sense of inhibition, self-protection, and insecurity falls away.  Have you been there yet? Have you LET GO?

Though God wants us to know a divine level of freedom in marriage, it isn't always "Independence Day."  It's easy to hold back. Attacks on freedom can sneak up, cloaked in the flags of common things like:

  • selfishness (Pursuing yourself above your spouse in possessions, schedule, wants, etc)
  • dishonesty (Lying openly or just not completely sharing the truth)
  • deception (Believing what isn't true from Satan, the world, other people, or ourselves)
  • minefields (Letting unforgiven, unresolved issues become deadly traps of bitterness)
  • wedges (Allowing something or someone come between the two of you)
  • suspicion (Not thinking the best of each other, but allowing Satan's suggestions to take root)
  • distraction (Fixing your devotion on something other than your spouse)
  • repossession (Taking back your body from the spouse you presented it to in your covenant)
  • injury (Experiencing a deep pain or wound that doesn't receive the care it needs to heal)
Have you experienced attacks on the divine abandon you're mean to enjoy together? In 21 years of marriage, we have. You may not realize you've lost your freedom and been taken captive by one of these attackers or a similar one. You might just start to feel "far away"  or "distant"  or  "restricted" or "like strangers" to each other. It may be first sensed when one approaches the other intimately and feels coldness or lack of response, when you try to have a private conversation and it feels strained or defensive, when time with just the 2 of you feels awkward and forced. If any of that describes the vibe between you, your freedom is being attacked. 

Freedom Fighters like these help restore the divine ease and familiarity of two who live as one:
  • truth (Seeing God's truth as our standard of thought, behavior and life the 2 of you share)
  • independence (Walking with God independently, so together you can walk with Him & enjoy freedom)
  • time (Investing time in enjoying each other, knowing each other, and caring for each other)
  • surrender (Giving up your own rights to yield your life and love to your spouse)
  • commitment (Determining that we're devoted for life; that gives us confidence to let go!)
Have you found a Freedom Fighter in your own relationship?  Truth always breeds freedom (John 8:31-33).

I'll never forget the 2nd morning of our honeymoon, when I woke up and looked at Jeff and thought to myself, "I hope I got this right. I just gave my entire life to this man, and he could be the difference between ruin and blessing!"  I am thankful to tell you that I've been so blessed, but we're so surrounded by stories stirring up our doubts, feeding our fears, and whispering that we're never really totally "free" in marriage. In a world diminishing marriage, it's getting harder and harder to LET GO.  I have done some battle with old perceptions, wrong ideas, and insecurities that have attacked my freedom, and every now and then, I hit a minefield and limp around for a while.

God's plan for marriage provides for us to LET GO. He wants us to experience divine freedom as a husband and wife joined in the covenant of marriage. If you have a moment wash over you (or a day or a week ..) where you feel as if you're living in a relationship without freedom:
  • cry out to God and ask Him to show you what has attacked your freedom
  • ask God to conquer that adversary in your life
  • tell your spouse you are yielding that area to God's control
  • pray for God to sow Freedom Fighters between you and your mate
  • feast daily on His Word, so His truth flows through your heart and mind and body

Truth always breeds freedom (John 8:31-33).

Marriage is the one place where we are invited to completely LET GO and enjoy freedom. Too much is at stake. Freedom comes at a price, and it's worth it to die to ourselves daily, so we can totally give ourselves to each other and enjoy the freedom within a marriage joined in heaven. THAT's worth setting off a few fireworks to celebrate!

Let's not hold back, friends! LET GO.  Even in marriage, "if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36).  Maybe you can make 2011 your year of Independence!

2 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

LeAnn Hilemon said...

This is so rich, Julie. I plan on printing it out and just mulling it over for as long as it takes. Thank you for packing it so well. I pray that God unpacks it in many lives and that freedom rings in numerous marriages.

Julie_Sanders said...

I'm so glad, LeAnn, and thank you. Much freedom to you, friend!

Julie Sanders