I'm sure, though, that not many of us ever imagined the fighting and the hurtful words. We never pictured it to be like a battleground. But in a way, it is. There are many things that fight for our attentions and affections everyday. So, we have to go to battle in a way to protect our marriages before it's too late.
Not everything that vies for our attention looks bad. Which is precisely the point. We have to be so on guard. Song of Solomon calls these things "little foxes". And he says to get those foxes out of our vineyards before they are destroyed.
TV and internet can be a big one because those are things that take time away from each other. I have to be honest here. I struggled with the internet. Well, blogging. Man, I hated to admit this was a problem. I hated that it WAS a problem. The minute I had a free moment I ran to the computer. The instant the kids went to bed I was on it. And, I was staying up WAY too late at night. This caused me to be wiped out the next day and most of the time made for a crabby mommy and wife. I am sure I'm totally alone on this one, right??
It's not that those things are bad. They aren't. It's when the balance is off that it can become a problem.
Sometimes a "little fox" can be an unhealthy relationship. And I'm not talking about the male/female relationship either. Although, let's just go there for a minute. I know that there may be some of you that say you have some good male friends (obviously I am speaking to all the girls here) and that's great. I do too. However, if you are spending time alone with them... you are just setting yourself up for trouble. I don't care what you say about nothing ever happening. You are NOT in control of every situation. It's great to care about those friends. But care about your husband and your marriage more.
An unhealthy relationship is not limited to male/female. You can have a friend of the same sex that is bad news for your marriage. They could constantly bad mouth your husband/wife. They might try to push you to spend more time away from your family. Or they may just have a sour taste in their mouth about marriage and therefore not be able to give you the kind of support that you need. Anyone that does these kind of things is not worthy to be given the title of "friend".
Of course, any kind of addiction whether it be pornography, drugs, gambling will suck the life right out of your marriage. These types of foxes do the most damage and are the hardest to recover from.
We both as husbands and wives have certain responsibilities in protecting our marriage. For us girls, we have to constantly guard our hearts from being swept away through books, movies, or anything that distorts our perception of reality and puts unfair expectations on our men. We have to spend time building our husbands up. Proverbs 14:1 says The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down WITH HER OWN HANDS. That says to me that I need to be so careful.
For the dare today I am supposed to REMOVE ANYTHING THAT IS HINDERING YOUR RELATIONSHIP, ANY ADDICTION OR INFLUENCE THAT'S STEALING YOUR AFFECTIONS AND TURNING YOUR HEART AWAY FROM YOUR SPOUSE.
Okay, remember earlier when I said that I knew that blogging was a big time consumer in my house? Well, it was. And Frank did his thing of making little remarks or little jokes about it. I ignored them at first because I knew that was really his way of letting me know it DID bother him, but I was having a great time. And then I realized that he was waaaay more important than the computer.
So, I made sure that I did a little during the day and only did it at night if he was doing something else (like ironing or paying bills. And yes, I will explain the ironing thing later!) or after we had a chance to catch up from the day or whatever *wink*. And if he ever asked me to do anything, I close it immediately or turn it off right then.
Because nothing is more important than going on a little fox hunt!