Five Words That Saved My Marriage
Micah and I sat in our marriage counseling session in John and Shannon's living room where we met once a week.
It was bitter cold outside, but their living room glowed from a warm, crackling fire. I pulled my legs up under me and nestled into the soft sofa cushions.
I was healing from my husband's recent affair. He had cut off the relationship with the other woman, and now dealt with the harsh consequences of that action. No way around it, this was hard work. But here we both were, showing up, vulnerable, broken, healing.
In the safety of their cream hue'd living room, I shared what had become my lifeline, a freshly discovered treasure that saved me in the previous weeks, a small, unassuming verse in the Bible I found in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that packed a powerful punch, "we … take every thought captive."
That's it. Those five words began my healing. We. take. every. thought. captive.
I was in pursuit of healing. And I knew I couldn't be healed of something that was still occurring, even if only in my mind. If I let fear and insecurity run rampant in my brain, it would destroy me, and God told me to keep myself whole and not to entertain those thoughts. So when I indulged in them, it became sin for me.
[Wait. Thinking about your husband's affair is a sin? That's crazy. Take that back right now.]
If that's what you just thought, allow me to explain.
I'm not endorsing denial. I knew it happened. We were acknowledging said trauma and dealing with the shattering aftermath every day. Yet for me, obsessing over details, imagining about it, re-playing it over and over in my mind, wallowing there, in the recesses of the sin itself was a slimy pit that wanted to pull me in deep until it suffocated me completely. This could be said for any trauma, or event in your life, not just an affair.
Let me put it another way.
Anything that steals from me, destroys, threatens me harm, breaks me down and separates me from Father has the effects of sin in my life. So for me, rehearsing the occurrence, and torturing myself with replays, separates me from the freedom and peace Jesus provides for me.
So I began to see wallowing in despair as irresponsible and even lazy on my part. This task would take discipline. It wouldn't be easy. But God provided me a place of refuge. It was up to me to stay in it's safety.
As I shared the part about learning to take my thoughts captive, John interrupted,
"Stop right there."
He turned toward Micah. "As a police officer, when you arrest someone you are effectively taking them as your captive. Would you release a captive? What would happen if you released your captive?"
Micah responded, "They could turn against me. Depending on how dangerous he is, he could come after me. Ultimately he could kill me. I arrest him, secure him with handcuffs, and restrain him in the cruiser behind bars. Then I take him to jail to be detained."
John nodded. "He is bound up, not free to run around loose as he pleases."
See, the Bible instructs us to take our thoughts captive.
Sometimes we act as though we have no control over our thoughts. As if once they pop into our heads, we have to let them live there. How deadly can they be anyway? They are invisible. They are just thoughts. Everyone has thoughts.
Take them captive. They will kill you.
This concept has been such a powerful tool in my own healing, that I am thrilled to be able to offer you a brand new resource on this topic! My friend Kelly Balarie over at Purposeful Faith is guest-blogging about her new book, Battle Ready on the blog on Monday. If you don't already, make sure you subscribe to my blog for this exciting guest post and resource.
Have you ever experienced the difficulty of letting something go? Try re-routing your thoughts. Instead of re-hashing the bad experiences, think, "What does God say about me?" Go on a scavenger hunt through scripture and write down what you learn. Remind yourself often.
When you become convinced how much God loves you, and you realize he is working behind the scenes for your good, it's hard to remain frantic.
Fighting with you,
❤️ Shauna Shanks
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