Temptations…

A holy character does not stop one from being tempted. Neither does seclusion nor the utmost consecration of spirit.

Remember our Lord Jesus Christ, most Holy and full of the Holy Spirit was tempted even while in the wilderness?

Temptation does not respect many things; it will always knock on your door. And you can’t only choose to pray it away…you must resist also. That means work on your part; not the tempter’s part. Marriage does not ward off temptation either; marriages face their own dose of temptations. Your actions will determine whether or not the temptation will lurk in the darkness to continually afflict you. With every form of temptation, you’ve got to make a choice. According to the wisdom of Martin Luther:

“You can’t prevent the birds of the air from flying over your head, but you don’t need to let them build a nest in your hair”.

That means you may not be able to prevent temptations from coming your way, but you have a choice to make.

For married people, one Dr. Beverly Yahnke, a Christian psychologist admonishes that we:

“make the tough decision to honour your spouse even if it means you won’t ever know what a relationship with someone else would have been like”.

Perhaps the grass on the other side that looks so green, tempting and relishing to you is just artificial grass. Better still, if you would focus on your own grass and put in the work, and create favourable conditions for growth, sooner or later your own grass would be greener…and rather more tempting to others (but there too you will have a problem o. Haha).

Many times we make the mistake of thinking that what we can bear, our partner can also. We are all different and the very thing you take for granted because for you it can never lead you into temptation is what will lead your partner into it. Someone said he’s been away from his wife for 3 years and all the while didn’t cheat on her and doesn’t understand why the wife did. Well, maybe you could handle that length of distance; maybe she couldn’t (not justifying her action). But the posture of taking it for granted that absence easily predisposes her to temptation than you should not be encouraged. Maybe you don’t crave attention so don’t see the need to offer it…but maybe for your partner, that’s what feeds his/her love and without it can predispose him/her to temptations. Maybe you can do without sex for days; maybe your partner can’t and will fall without it. Maybe outings don’t mean anything to you; maybe it’s the prime need of your partner. Maybe public display of affection (PDA) means nothing to you; maybe that’s what makes your spouse feel super and as little or frivolous as you may think that need is, don’t do it and you put him/her at risk of nursing feelings for someone who does. Maybe you think building heart-to-heart friendship with your spouse is a waste of time and that women are just too annoyingly emotional; maybe they will soon fall for someone who tries to bond with them at that emotional heart-t0-heart level. Don’t take things for granted.

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May God grant grace that we do not create unfavourable conditions in our marriages/relationships that easily predisposes our partners to give in to all manner of temptations. May we find grace to create suitable environments in our marriages that our partners will not be drawn to nursing thoughts of looking elsewhere to have their needs met…but can look to us and have their every need met.

So get to work and watch those prime needs now…don’t leave them unmet! It could be a need for attention, friendship, companionship, a lot more affection, cutting down the times apart, a lot more talking, a lot more kind words, a lot more playfulness or fun time together, a lot more sex, a lot more respect, a lot more empathy, a lot more creativity or spice, a lot more surprises,….a lot more of everything! If you have to, readjust your plans or life goals to create the much needed balance all marriages need.

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God help us!

Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

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Image sources:
http://revivenations.org/blog/
unveiledwife.com

 

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A LOT OF ADJUSTMENTS…

It is often said that women marry expecting the man will change while men marry expecting that their hot, sexy and beautiful women will not change.

Often times, problems arise in relationships and marriages because people just presume their partners will never change; however possible that is! They often submit to the perception that they will always have the same needs 2 years, 3 years and even forever into the relationship/marriage as at the beginning of the relationship. They don’t want to buy the idea that their needs could even change almost abruptly just a month into the union. But truth is life changes our expectations and us.

If marriage is expected to grow or couples expect to grow together in marriage, then change is inevitable and we must embrace it. Some people are afraid of change but truth is a lot will change so better brace up! Change indeed is difficult but that’s just the hard truth.

It’s funny how sometimes our lovers will jump down our throats with retorts like “this is the way I am, better accept me for who I am and don’t expect me to change” only for them to totally change years later (after you’ve struggled to adjust to them) and still forget and continue to give same retorts. Come on dear, you’ve changed from who you were 2 years ago and I’m still accepting you for who you were 2 years ago as you asked me to, or should I now forget about the “old” you and accept you for the “new” you? But didn’t you know you were going to change into this “new” you when you were telling me to accept the apparently unchangeable “old” you? Haha!

Maybe I guess we shouldn’t just accept people for who they are and let it end there; we should accept them for who they are and make a lot of room to accommodate the many changes to come because they sure will come.

“The sex is going to change; your partner may be very gorgeous now but those looks are going to change. Interests, ambitions, things that you like to do together are all going to change. So if it’s the person underneath that you’re really attracted to, then the relationship’s got a really good shot”.

Even your priorities in life will change and a lot of adjustments will have to be made. It’s a reality that most young couples overlook. But we must know that as the years roll by, it will bring with it a lot of changes to our lives and marriages and we will need to change our lives to adapt appropriately to the changes. And it will be easier to manage the changes when you put your mind in ‘ready mode’ for them than to keep living the ‘lie of permanence’ and be rocked by many unmanageable surprises and stress.

The first change my marriage had to deal with (and still dealing with) is the long-distance marriage phase we entered into just about a month into our marriage. Hard as it is, we are managing just fine by God’s grace and we look forward to conquering the many other changes and adjustments ahead of us.

In any case, I think those who fear change or can’t manage change must not marry then because marriage is so full of change. A lot will change you and your marriage for good or for bad; and it’s a very tall list! But there’s joy in knowing that it’s all manageable as long as you are committed to working it out for your good. Just trust them into the hands of God as they come and see them work out for your good because without God in the equation, I bet the many changes will overwhelm you.

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Cheers!

Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

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