One of the biggest ways that Satan likes to attack and tear down Christians is to come between a husband and wife. That’s why part of this year’s Fourth of July festivities included a visit and talk from a counselor who focuses on helping Christians keep their marriages alive and healthy.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Ryan Pannell of Woodland Hills Counseling Center talked about the aspects of marriage that so many people forget when they feel the rush of love and dive in.
He shared one of his desires when conducting a wedding. He would make the bride and groom both carry large backpacks full of rocks. They could place them down during the “I dos” but have to pick them up again when they walk up the aisle together. He said it would be a good reminder that the joy of the marriage day doesn’t get rid of your baggage and issues and that you’ll continue to have issues after the wedding day.
Pannell spoke of the ways that we justify in our minds the actions we take but always assign ulterior motives to the actions of others including our spouse. He said casting those assertions puts us in a place where hostility can fester between spouses for slights that may not even exist.
He said that when couples work together to strengthen their marriage, to overcome adversity, to join together to show the fruits of the spirit, then God is glorified to all. He said that is a goal for all marriages.
The heart, Pannell said, is a key to God. The word heart shows up in the Bible over 700 times and Ryan believes that’s God’s way of showing how much our heart means to Him. How we need to make sure that He is number one in our hearts because that’s the only way we can truly be right for our spouses.
He reminded everyone of the promise of Psalm 139:14: That we all are fearfully and wonderfully made.