One of the most heartbreaking things that David and I have been faced with since starting Teach Them Diligently is the realization of just how intense the attacks on God’s families really are. We have talked with countless individuals and couples through the last several years who have recounted to us the struggles they have had in their marriages, and far too many have crumbled under the pressure.
Why is this? Why would Satan have such a strong strategy in play for breaking apart the marriages of Christian homeschool families? Why would so many couples be facing such intense pressures and having such a hard time fighting for what was once the most beautiful relationship in their life?
Satan wants what is not his!
Since the beginning of recorded history, Satan has exalted himself and desired that which was God’s. He fell, along with a large number of other angels, because he wanted the glory and adoration that was due to God alone. Since that time, we have learned that he comes to steal and destroy and that he is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. If you and your family have determined like Joshua that “we will serve the Lord,” you have dedicated yourself to Him… and Satan is jealous.
The enemy knows that the strongest human relationship and God’s building block of culture is the family, and he has been relentless in his pursuit to tear it down. He has devalued culture’s view of it; he has distracted us from working on it; he has made us so busy doing “good things” that sometimes we find ourselves neglecting the best; and sometimes he has thrown temptations at us at just the right time to completely destroy the trust we had built.
How greatly we have underestimated our enemy!
Our Marriage Prayer
Many years ago, when we had but 3 tiny little children, I composed a prayer for David and I. Since that day, we have had it prominently on display in our bathroom to remind us to always lay our marriage on the altar and lift this precious relationship before God’s throne every single day.
This simple prayer I composed is based on my study of I Peter 4, and I pray it is as helpful of a reminder for you and your spouse as it has been for David and me.
“May we be clear-minded and self-controlled so that we can pray. —How important it is to exercise self-control in our marriages! When we allow our emotions to run wild and overtake our judgment, it really does become hard to even talk to God about what is going on in our lives. We first need to pray for clear-thinking and self-control, so we can pray effectively for our marriage.
Above all, may we love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.— Oh, how we need to allow love to cover a multitude of sins within our families. How easy it is to hold grudges, remember offenses, be easily offended, and lash out at the one we hold most dear. Love deeply, friends! Your spouse is a most precious gift on this earth!
May we offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. — Have you ever found that you are more accommodating of others than you are of your spouse? Should that be the case? Of course not! I want to make David feel wanted and welcome at all times. I want our home to be his favorite place to be. I want to show him even more hospitality than I show anyone else… and I want to do it without grumbling or making note of all that I’m doing. (Sometimes drawing attention to all we’re doing is a big temptation, isn’t it?)
May we use whatever gift we have received to serve each other.– God has gifted each of us in very special and unique ways. Do you utilize those gifts to serve your spouse– or are you only looking at opportunities to serve others? God really got my attention with this one. The gifts God gave me should most definitely be utilized in the service of my spouse and children. They should never just get what’s left-over of me. I wonder if many times this isn’t a big tool Satan uses in his quest to destroy our families. We are too spent to serve at home, so our spouses are truly only getting the brittle pieces of us that remain after we have given all we have to others.
When we speak, may we do it as one speaking the very words of God.– Oh, how our speech must be representative of the way God would have us communicate. Does your spouse get the very best of your speech? Are you as careful in the way you craft your words when you are talking to him or her as you are when speaking with others? If not, why? Why are we so careless in the way we speak to our spouses? Why do we expect them not to bristle at things we would never say to anyone else? (Or at least we would never say it the same way!)
When we serve, may we do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised!— May our marriages be strong and healthy, pointing a lost world to the God Who created family in the first place. May we recognize that it is only by His grace and in His strength that we can live peacefully and lovingly within our marriages. May we be willing to serve Him and serve our families in all things.
I would also love for you to download my ebook about praying for your children. It’s merely a compilation of verses that I use to pray for my kiddos, but it offers a lot of great prompts for you as you seek God’s face for those most important to you.
This month, we have been talking about our marriages in Teach Them Diligently 365, and on Friday, we’ll be looking even more closely at this prayer and how to protect our marriages. I would love for you to join us there. Learn more about TTD365 and how you can get involved here.
Finally, I sincerely invite you to join us onsite for Teach Them Diligently in 2018. A large focus of the events is on strengthening our marriages, and many have even noted that it’s like a “homeschool marriage retreat.” :) There is no investment too large to make in your family, and I believe with all my heart that attending a TTD will be a great blessing and benefit to you. If you have any questions about the event, or if you just want me to pray with you about your marriage, family, or anything else you have going on, please never hesitate to send me an email. I would love to get to know you!