“I’m not going to church!” That’ll show him. We had been battling the same “issue” for days. (It’s been a repeat offender in our marriage from the beginning.) Like two deer with antlers locked, there were big crashes, but we weren’t getting anywhere. You’ve seen the big deer on National Geographic that use their antlers to shove one another, usually getting tangled up, but not able to move forward. It always looks futile, like neither deer is winning. That was us, and so I said it…I’m not going! The stand off ensued, as if we became enemies battling to maintain control of our comfort zones.
The tragedy in all of this is that we have a real enemy, and it isn’t each other. Our enemy prowls around like a ravenous lion seeking to devour us, eating up our joy and peace. Our self-centered behavior is His prime rib.
At some point we decided it was time to call in reinforcements. Our counselor friend was called and he spoke to each of us, encouraging us to remember we are on the same team and to fight this battle together in prayer. We are smart people, but stubborn, and so we periodically require admonishment. Like the apostle Paul, we know what we should do, but we just don’t do it. Our biggest battle is often our own selfishness.
In the end, there was no “winner”. To be truthful, Randy laid down his preference for my comfort. It might have been done half-heartedly, but at least he gave half…my heart wouldn’t budge. His surrender, eased my discomfort, but didn’t make me feel much better. I was then forced to deal with my own fears and insecurity….which, when I was honest with myself, was behind the whole stand-off.
I’m thankful that my hubby surrendered. It enabled me to see my own shortcomings. His surrender was the beginning of a change in my heart and mind. It’s so much easier to fight external battles rather than the internal battles, that really help us grow. Locking horns with Randy had kept me from looking within. If we keep locking horns with others it will distract us from the real work of searching our own hearts and minds and allowing God to slay our emotional Goliath’s.
Are you locking horns with someone? What’s behind the stand-off? Pause and pray, or seek Godly wisdom from a trusted friend. Be willing to look at your internal, emotional Goliaths. God can help you slay them but only if you are honest with yourself. As you stop blaming others, you will find tremendous freedom in your life and you won’t feel the need to lock horns. Instead you will be able to stand together fighting the real enemy and taking on new territory together. Stop charging ahead. Look inward and upward so you can move forward. You can do all things through Him!
1Peter 5:8~Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Romans 7:15~I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
Ephesians 6:12~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.