Part 3 – How To Get Rid Of The Lies that Damage Your Marriage
Vince Antonucci, in his excellent sermon “Tattooed,” talks about the bad “tattoos” the devil has given us. He doesn’t tattoo them on our arm, but on our heart. Loser. Unlovable. Stupid. Ugly. Hopeless. Not worthy. They don’t represent our true identity. (The one God gave us.) Most people decide to just live with their bad tattoos. Others try to cover them up.
Pastor Vince provides another way of looking at the topic of lies we have been discussing in the last two blog posts (Catch up with Part 1 and Part 2 on the blog). An event happened. The pain was real. The devil sells us a bad interpretation. We live our lives believing the lie and acting as though it were true. We damage ourselves and our marriage and we pass the lie down to our kids.
How do we conform our thinking to the identity God gave us rather than the lie tattooed on our heart? Pray! Have a conversation. Listen to what God says. Really listen. This may take some time. It may take a period of time. Keep asking.
- Ask God what you are feeling. What is the specific emotion that rears its head every time your spouse says certain words to you? Do his words make you feel anxious? Unloved? Do her words make you feel foolish? Ashamed? Disrespected? Be as specific as possible. Ask God to put His finger on the exact problem for you. (Note: If you have trouble identifying your emotions, Appendix A of The Marriage Dance is a list of Emotional Pain Words that can help you. Look at the list and ask God to zero in on what you are feeling.)
- Ask God to show you when you first started feeling that way. Was there an event or pattern of events that triggered those emotions?
- Ask God to show you the situations—past and present—through His eyes. When you felt so alone, were you really alone? When you felt embarrassed, what was really going on? Was your spouse really mocking you or do you just feel mocked because of unkind people in your past? What God shows or tells you will never contradict His Word. You might have to hang on to the truth God shows you believing that God is still working and will accomplish it one day.
- Then, every time the devil starts attacking you with the lie, “take the lie captive.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Be prepared with the truth God showed you and start quoting God’s truth back to the devil exactly as Jesus did when the devil tempted Him in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:1-11) I especially like the, “Go, Satan!” part. “Dwell on the truth” (Philippians 4:8-9) so the “God of peace” can be with you and with your marriage.
Jesus told us: “He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed.” (Luke 4:18b) Paul echoes this truth in Galatians 5:1: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”
I don’t know about you, but I want to live the identity God gave me. It is painful to remove a “bad tattoo” but I don’t want to keep living as though I’m enslaved to something that isn’t even true. I don’t want it to keep affecting my marriage and my family.
This is our true identify: God’s child. The one God loves. Chosen. Salt and Light. God’s workmanship. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Jesus told us, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32) God will walk us through our trials and we will be better for them.