Andy Stanley spoke this morning on Guardrails in our marriage and his wife Sandra joined him in the talk. The foundational verse for their family was Proverbs 27:12 “The prudent see danger and take refuge but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
And then from that verse, they developed this short family prayer…
“Lord, help us see danger coming and give us the wisdom to know what to do and the courage to do it.”
That prayer and that verse are incredibly powerful and applicable to so many areas of our lives – applicable in our marriage, in our finances, in our business decisions, in our personal activities i.e. what we entertain ourselves with, in our relations with other women, in our relations with our extended family, etc.
Lord help me see the danger coming…
If you are a parent, this is a HUGE prayer for you. Danger is coming especially if you’re going into the teenage years. As a parent, you want to see it coming (I am blessed with a wife that has this innate sense that something is wrong when one of our daughters tries to explain what is happening in her world) — we want to see it coming, then we need the wisdom to know what to do with it and then, perhaps most importantly, the courage to do it. As a parent of a teen, you are going to need a TON of courage to make the tough, unpopular decisions that need to be made to protect your child. The pressure to conform and not rock the boat is HUGE and the parents feel it as much as the kid. Your wife does not want to be “that Mom” that never lets Janie do the cool things. No Mom wants to make a decision that makes their already hugely self-focused, insecure child stand out from the crowd and yet, that is precisely what needs to happen a lot of the time.
Having largely made it through the teenage years I will tell you I am absolutely floored at many of the decisions I saw parents make (or not make) with their kids. It seemed the parents were so interested in the life they wanted to lead that the actual parenting got in the way and often, they would default to “After all, we all did that kind of stuff when we were in high school”. I digress.
For us, we need to see the danger coming and take refuge. We need to rest and trust in the Lord with our marriage, our kids, our finances, etc. We need guardrails. Seeing the danger coming is a huge guardrail. The danger is on the other side of the rail and we need the Lord to give us a heads up if are drifting too close.
Communication. Let me end with this. It came through very clearly in Andy and Sandra’s talk – in every point they make you hear them saying, “we talked about this”. I believe the key to marriage is communication. I believe the solution to almost every problem we face – be it in raising the kids, our money, sex, sexual temptation, work issues, etc. – could be or could have been solved with communication. The lack of communication is darkness. If you are not sharing your heart with your wife, sharing your fears, sharing what you are tempted with, working through money issues, parenting issues, etc. then you are keeping things in the dark. In the darkness, the enemy thrives and wreaks havoc. Bring it into the light. Tell your wife you are struggling with ______. Talk about money. Get on the same side of the table.
I can go on and on about this but I am convinced beyond any doubt that communication is crucial. Men struggle with this. We tend to be men of few words and we think the wives are the ones that share their feelings. That’s a lie and a cruel, savage strategy of the enemy. The LAST thing he wants you to do is sit down to be totally open, transparent and truthful with your wife. If you are struggling, tell her. Bring it into the light. Pursue her. Find out what she is worrying about and then pray over her.
We’ll have more to say on this later but wanted to get this thought out to you. Communicate. Bring it into the light and let the Lord work.