The first God-tool we need in our marriage toolbox is COURAGE. Doing things God’s way isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it is always the right thing to do. Courage is not the absence of fear; it is determining something is more important than the fear. Your marriage is more important than your fear of conflict, your fear of taking off your mask, your fear of intimacy, your fear of disagreement, or your fear of honest conversation.
I (Mark) found that I was confident and courageous in business but not at home. I’d had role models in business but no role models at home. Because of this, my insecurity began to surface. The only way I knew how to assert myself at home was with anger, so instead of courage, I used my anger to control. It didn’t show up often, but when I felt fear, I responded with control instead of courage.
I (Jill) did not grow up in a home that experienced much conflict. It wasn’t that we didn’t have conflict, but more that we didn’t engage it. So there was very real fear for me in being honest, vulnerable, and dealing with anything that looked like conflict. Like Mark, I used control in place of courage. However, my control wasn’t usually with anger. While Mark’s tendency was reactive control, I leaned toward proactive control. I feared conflict and being out of control, so I liked my ducks in a row and things done my way. Obviously both of us needed to replace control with courage.
Want the good news? You and I have a God-tool to combat fear. It’s called courage. Psalm 31:24 reminds us to “Be strong and let your heart take courage…” This is one of hundreds of verses that address fear in the Bible.
Having a healthy, honest marriage that pushes through the hard places requires bravery. This is why we have to use our God-tool of courage!
‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the L ord your God is with you wherever you go.” ‘ Joshua 1:9
What about you? Where do you need to pick up your God-tool of courage in your marriage?