UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE –“Fences/Freedom – Part 1”

When someone in society breaks the law, the greatest punishment we can give them is to put them into prison. Lock them up; take away their freedom. Ask yourself this question right now, and try to visualize the answer; “What would my greatest freedom look like today?” If you have an answer to that question, let me ask you another question. “Is that picture of freedom within the boundaries of your marriage?”

One of the greatest joys we can experience in this life is to be free in who God created us to be. Jesus Christ died on the cross to set us free from our self imposed prisons of guilt, shame and punishment. Yet, without realizing it, we create our own prisons in our marriages with that ugly word, control. To some degree we are all little control freaks. We have a vision of what life/marriage/husbands/children should look like, and we will be comfortable and happy when that reality matches our internal picture. So we control to make it so; sometimes at the expense of robbing our husbands (and children) of their freedom and potential to unleash their best qualities.  Now hear me correctly on this because there also need to be fences.

I’m not saying we can allow each other to do whatever we please.  If you husband is golfing five  times a week and missing dinners and the children’s bedtime, it is time to have a “fence chat.” If you are spending every evening scrapbooking, out with your girlfriends or on Face book all night, it’s time for your husband to have a chat with you and establish fences (boundaries). There is a fine line between allowing each other the gorgeous gift of freedom, but establishing fences in your marriage that are agreed upon by both of you and that work for you at this stage in your marriage.  

I read a story about a young pastor in the United States who had small children at home. One day he asked his wife how he could help her so that she could experience some freedom. Her response was that the most difficult time for her was between 4:00 P.M. and bedtime, when the children were hungry, tired and cranky. This amazing young pastor made a bold choice to leave his church office every day at 4:00 to come home and help his wife cope with life so that she could experience some freedom. Now, he obviously got some flak from the church staff and members, but his priority was creating a marriage and family that would allow everyone to be the best that God created them to be. That is one example of how we can bring freedom into each other’s lives; sometimes sacrificially.

The bible says this, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor. 3:17 NIV). When we allow God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to direct and motivate our lives individually and in a marriage, we will be compelled to pursue freedom in our own lives and the lives of our spouses. If you or your husband are squelching each other’s gifts, abilities, character, personality or God given purpose, it is time to sit down and discover the source of the insecurities which is causing you to control the other person. Control is ugly and will imprison you every time. When we try to control each other, we are not giving the Holy Spirit permission to unleash all that God wants to do in our lives. Control in its various degrees can squelch our personalities, God given gifts and abilities, or abuse our soul to the point where we become depressed, feel worthless and hopeless.  How do we know we are being controlled?

  1. Do you wonder/worry or are afraid of what his reaction will be before you make a decision?
  2. Do you second-guess yourself when you are being criticized or corrected?
  3. Do you give in, shut down or go along with most decisions to avoid anger or conflict?
  4. Does he put you down at home or in public?
  5. Have you lost friends or other relationships because it would cause friction in the home if you were away a few hours?
  6. Do you feel pressure to let him know at all times where you are and what you are doing?
  7. Has your family or friends noticed a change in your personality since you married him?
  8. Does he check your e-mails, texts and receipts?

There is a huge difference between establishing healthy fences and control.  Healthy fences, defined by both you and your spouse, will bring healthy freedom and joy.  Control will destroy your soul and eventually your marriage. Next week I will talk about how you can find your voice and how this plays out in the various life stages of our marriage.

 

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