While many marriages and relationships have embraced this time of quarantine for the better, others have realized their marriage isn’t what they thought it was. Or maybe deep-down they knew things weren't that great, but the option to live parallel lives has been removed. They are living together 24/7 with nowhere to hide.
Exposed is a harsh-sounding word and it can be a scary experience. We run from exposure. We try to cover it up and smooth it over and NOT expose things; our sins, our failures, our dark thoughts, and our pain.
Our first parents - Adam and Eve – showed us our typical response when we’re exposed…fig leaves and hide-and-go-seek with God. It didn’t work out too well back then and it doesn’t work now. Although for a time we may feel like we’re getting away with it, but we are quickly reminded...not so much!
The methods of our cover-ups have gotten more complicated and elaborate. Our “fig-leaves” have turned into sports, a nice house, a secret sin or relationship, a job title, busyness, etc. We may not even realize it, but deep down we’re trying to cover up an insecurity, a personal loss, or maybe a struggling marriage.
The recent events in our world with the pandemic virus, COVID-19, causing an economic shut-down and stay at home orders have done many things. Not the least of which is serve as an effective tool for revealing some serious issues within each of us. We are being exposed and we may not like what we see.
Now stuck at home, we are forced to face a marriage or family situation that was once hidden or put on hold. Sports are gone!! The usual routine of silence and going to work and maybe 3 days later you start talking again is not cutting it.
For many marriages and relationships this quarantine is pushing you to a breaking point. You may be reaching a place of decision about your marriage future, and what you decide to do will have significant ramifications for generations to come. If you find yourself in this place, here are a couple things we want to encourage you to do.
Ephesians 5:8-11, 13 - 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
- Step Into the Light
Paul reminds us who we are – we are “Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light”. God lovingly restores our identity and the longer we run and the more we try to cover-up the worse it gets.
Recognize this time as a gift from God and embrace it. It’s time to walk in your real identity as God’s children. God wants to bring a breakthrough in your marriage, but He has to expose the deeper issues as part of the process.
- Look Inward
Pride whispers that “you deserve better” or that “you will be happier someplace else or with someone else”. Pride blocks you from looking at your own issues and instead blames everything on your spouse.
Humility doesn’t take ALL the blame for your marriage struggles, but it takes two to tango, and you’ve got stuff to own. The Lord promises forgiveness when we humble ourselves and repent. Stop focusing on the stuff your spouse needs to own and start owning your stuff first.
This has been a very challenging time for our nation and the world. God is always working and is using these trials to shine His light into our marriages to expose our darkness. It is a painful process that doesn’t seem very loving at the time, but if we will allow Him to work on us, our marriages could start down a path of healing that we didn't think possible.
Christian Family Life is a marriage discipleship ministry. We are here to offer resources and support no matter what condition your marriage is in. Our passion is to Build, Enrich, and Reconcile Marriages. Find out more at https://www.christianfamilylife.com/