On a Friday night a couple of months ago my husband and I sat on our couch and watched the movie War Room. Now if you don’t know the story of War Room, it’s about a marriage that is hanging together by threads, and a daughter who is grieving over the discord between her parents. The wife (Elizabeth), played by Pricillia Shirier, seems resigned to the pain and disconnect she experiences with her husband (Tony/T.C Stallings) who is angry and distant. Until Elizabeth meets an older woman, Miss Clara, whose direct and confident personality draws Elizabeth into relationship. In her wisdom, Miss Clara begins to encourage her to fight for her marriage with spiritual strength. And the story unfolds.
Jon and I found ourselves surprisingly emotional watching the movie, as it spoke of so many issues that married couples deal with. So, I wanted to take a blog post to share some of the powerfully important “marriage wisdoms” we can glean from the movie.
If you haven’t yet seen War Room, put it on your schedule for family movie night next weekend! What I will share won’t give anything away–if anything it will just lay out the welcome mat for the teachable moments.
MARRIAGE WISDOM #1
There is a battle waging against our marriages. Our spouse is not the enemy.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
We often don’t look at the tensions in our marriage as anything except problems the other person is causing, but in reality there is a spiritual battle in full force. The bible says the enemy (Satan) comes to seek and destroy what is good, and one of the most powerful forces for good on earth is the family.
Do you believe that Satan wants to create discord, conflict and insecurity in your marriage? You bet he does.
You may not be sure if you quite believe in the “spiritual forces of evil” or “powers of this dark world”–I get it, it can sound bizarre. But evil in this world is undeniable. It is all around us in visible form. Just today sixty men, women and children died and over three hundred were injured on Easter Sunday by the hands of evil men. But look at the verse above again…is it just the fleshly man causing the evil, or is there a larger story going on? It is definitely something to ponder.
MARRIAGE WISDOM #2
“Victories don’t come by accident”.
This is a great quote from Miss Clara. Her point? We cannot sit back and let small or big issues in our marriage fester and divide.
We need to be proactive about communication (regardless of how difficult that is) and getting help from a counselor if needed. Most importantly, we need to pray for our marriages every day. Prayer is what gives us the victory over that which wants to destroy our union with our spouse.
We are to fight for our marriage in prayer, asking, pleading with God to help us with whatever is difficult or dividing. We need to trust in God’s love for our marriage and that he will give us answers in time.
Remember, some battles are fought and resolved in a weekend, and some may take years, leaving scars and deep wounds. But we have a God who walks with us through it all, and fights for our marriage alongside us every step of the way.
MARRIAGE WISDOM #3
“It’s God’s job to do the heavy lifting in our marriage. It’s our job to seek him and trust.” (Miss Clara)
The gavel would declare me guilty countless times in trying to do God’s job for him. It’s in my controlling nature to try to fix and solve and worry about any issues my husband and I might have–BEFORE taking them to God.
God can handle anything that we are facing, any hurt, any addiction, any conflict, any wedge that is threatening our marriage. But do we really trust that? If we fully did, I think we would be much more God-dependent and much less Co-Dependent.
Who gave me the job description of “Chief Solver and Fixer” in our marriage? Myself. I gave that to myself. When it is not my job at all. My job is to love, respect and pray for my husband. Period.
“Be Still And Know That I Am God.” Psalm 46:10
Do you want peace in your heart? Do you want to stop fretting and worrying and frantically moving the levers of control? This verse is our respite, our open gate of freedom.
Be still: Often we are in an emotional frenzy over the difficulties we experience in this raw, beautiful, turbulent journey called love. We control and worry our marriage to death. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
God calls us to quiet stillness. He invites us to sit at the feet of a good Father and rest our heads in his lap. Sometimes we have great fear, and fear is the opposite of trust and love. Let us be still in expectant hope of changed hearts (ours first ladies!) and victorious battles.
Know that He Is God: Let go. Believe. Trust. Don’t stop fighting, but fight with the right weapons of prayer and peace, and let God do the heavy lifting.
In Part 2 of this marriage series, I will share ideas for setting up a “War/Prayer Room” in your house, and 5 steps to go through in praying for your marriage.
PS. Please comment below and share any thoughts you have on this topic. And if you know someone who might need some marriage encouragement, please share this post with them!