The toughest times of our marriage didn’t come during the early years of married life, we never experienced the seven year itch. We made it through our silver anniversary without a hitch…we figured we would sail onto the golden anniversary with no problems. Then, around year 33 or 34 of our marriage, we found ourselves floundering. It was around this time in our marriage we began to lose our businesses, our home, and just about any other item we owned. It was then the blame-game started.
I hope you never experience playing the blame-game…I hope you don’t know how it is played…But, we did…when the tough times came, we learned how to play. We played well when the really, really hard times came. You see, to play, there is only one rule…it states, “EVERYTHING, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING is the other person’s fault.”
Fortunately, we didn’t play long by this rule. We had wise counselors giving us advice. Seeing what we were doing, they counseled us to stay best friends, hold hands and talk, talk, talk. And so we did. Ken and I made up a new rule, one we could live by. It began by developing our prayer life together and seeking God as our Refuge. Then perseverence, knowledge, self-control, endurance, Godliness and love to each of us began to develop. So what was the rule?
Number One Rule of not playing the blame-game: WE WOULD NO LONGER BLAME EACH OTHER BUT WOULD SEEK GOD AND GIVE EACH OTHER GRACE!
Grace Replaced Blame, God became our Refuge
When we determined we would no longer blame each other for any financial, physical or spiritual hurts we thought we had experienced, our marriage started to recover. Yet full recovery didn’t happen until we determined daily we would pray together and seek God as our Refuge. We would run to Him when times were hard. We would run to Him when we were tempted to blame the other. We would run to Him daily and sometimes, hourly, when times were hard.
Now fast forward ten years, as we are about to celebrate 43 years of marriage, we run to Him daily, for guidance, for grace, for wisdom, for help in tough times. We run to him daily and sometimes, hourly. We have learned God is our Refuge, a Strong Tower, a Mighty Fortress.
The lesson we learned through this was how we were playing into the hand of the enemy. Before, by playing the original blame-game, we followed the rule of our enemy. We hid behind sin as an excuse for what we both did. What was the name of this sin? Greed, impatience, choosing to not trust-each other or God, chasing other gods, bowing to societal pressures, and overabundance of pride. I am sure there are more but you can see the picture of where we were.
Maybe you see yourself and your spouse in the same place? Are you playing the Blame-game? If so, let me help with the scriptures we used to help us get past the sin we were part of and become unified in God.
Isaiah 25:4 “But You are a Tower of Refuge to the poor, O LORD, a Tower of Refuge to the needy indistress. You are a Refuge from the storm and a Shelter from the heat.”
Psalm 18:30 “As for God, His way is perfect. The Lord’s word in flawless, He shields all who take Refuge in Him.”
Psalm 46:1 “God is our Refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”
Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is your Refuge, and His everlasting arms are under you. He drives our the enemy before you; He cries out, ‘Destroy them!’ ”
2 Samuel 22:2,3 “The Lord is my Rock, my Fortess and my Savior; My God is my Rock, in whom I find protection. He is my Shield, the Power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my Refuge, my Savior the One who saves me from violence.”
Ruth 2:12 “May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take Refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.”
Psalm 2:12 “Submit to God’s royal son…what joy for all who take Refuge in Him!”
Psalm 5:11 “But let all who take Refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love Your name may be filled with joy.”
Psalm 17: 7 “Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. By your mighty power You rescue those who seek Refuge from their enemies.”
Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take Refuge in Him!”
Psalm 91: 2 “This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my Refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him.”
Proverbs 14:26 “Those who fear the Lord are secure, He will be a Refuge for their children.”
Proverbs 14:32 “The wicked are crushed by disaster, but the godly have a Refuge when they die.”
Jeremiah 16:19 “Lord, You are my strength and fortress, my Refuge in the day of trouble!”
Joel 3:16″The Lords’s voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth wiill shake. But the Lord will be a Refuge for His people, a strong fortress for the people Of Israel.”
Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a strong Refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in Him.”
Hebrews 6:18 “So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Thereore, we who have fled to him for Refuge, can have great confidence as we hold to the hope thate lies before us.”
Never quit seeking your Refuge
Marriage can be tough. Besides two sinners learning to live together, add pressures from family, jobs, children, society and more, and you have the recipe for a disastrous mess…UNLESS you are willing to seek God as your Refuge. I’d love to hear from you if you have any other favorite verses helping you in your marriage. et me know. We all need prayer.