Last night Josh and I watched The Thing About My Folks with Paul Reiser and Peter Falk (it is a good movie but there is bad language in it). The story is about a husband finding a note, from his wife of 47 years, that she has left him. Paul Reiser and Peter Falk spend the week together as father and son discussing the marriage while they wait to find out where the mother went. I don't want to give the storyline away if you haven't seen it so that is all I will say. One thing that intrigued me about the movie was how a parents' marriage and its health has effects even on adult children.
The movie reminded me of Malachai 2:15 "Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth." I am becoming more aware of the importance of marriage because of its relation to our children. This verse points out that God made us one flesh with our spouse because He desires godly offspring. Our marriages provide a foundation for our kids, and it doesn't matter how young, or old they are, your marriage still provides a stability for their identity.
Spring is trying to come to Wisconsin and I have already noticed those awful prickly weeds starting to grow in our backyard. Our backyard has been notorious for having those weeds that are extremely prickly and if you step on them those pricklies get embedded in your feet. Last year, we hired a professional company to get rid of those nasties but they are coming back already! My desire for my backyard is that my kids would be able to run through the backyard barefoot. They should be able to enjoy the summer without a care in the world. And kids, especially Mercea loves to be barefoot but with those weeds it makes it difficult.
In our marriages it is very easy for weeds to grow in our "yards." Our "yards" is where are kids romp, play and learn about life. We need to weed our "yards" on a regular basis so that our kids can run through life, enjoy and not worry about getting hurt in their own yards.
Hebrews 12:14-16 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
One thing that can begin to sneak into marriages is a root of bitterness. Bitterness starts out small and seems like not a big deal, just like those weeds. If the bitterness is not dealt with, it will get deeply rooted and begin to spread. It might not seem to effect your kids because it is so small but as days and weeks go by it will continue to grow and spread and there will be a day your kids will stumble upon it and it will hurt them. When Mercea was 2 she was running in our backyard and her whole foot got filled with those pricklies. It was not a pretty moment.
I don't know where you are in your marriage and whether you have younger or older kids but no matter what I would just like to encourage you to do some spring weeding in your marriage "yards." If you need motivation, do it for the sake of your kids. None of us would purposely send our kids out in a yard full of weeds to run around barefoot and get hurt. However, we often allow the weeds in our marriage to get out of control and we probably end up hurting our kids more than if they stepped on a real weeds in the backyard.
Here are some verses that deal with uprooting weeds in the spirit realm:
James 3:13-16 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
Ephesians 4:30-32 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
My prayer for you and your marriage is that you, your children and your spouse can run barefoot through your "yards" this summer.