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In today’s era we must be on guard not just for our marriages, but our families and friends as well.  As the world progresses, it accepts new efforts to accommodate the flesh by adding morals that go against God’s Word leading to the alterations of existing laws and adding new ones.  We as Christians must refrain from following the new ways of living and ensure our morals and values are in line with the Word.   Though we are told to obey the laws of the land, be on guard and test all things against the Word.

This chapter discusses the basic issues in life that we all have heard growing up in one form or another, and even witnessed either through those close to us or personally.  Divorce, love, family, wounds, and most interesting how women discern emotional situations more precise then men will be the topics.

Why is marriage so crucial?  Think about it.  If Satan can get a marriage to fall apart, who feels the pain or sees the damage?  As for the effects, the two individuals in the marriage are not the only ones to feel the pain whether children are involved or not.  Are you wondering who if not the children?  Well let’s not forget the parents or close friends.   Parents feel the pain when they have grown attached to the person in their child’s life.  When this attachment is formed, they not just love having them around, but they have a sense of concern for their well being too.  When this person is gone all of a sudden, society makes it hard for them to just pick up the phone and check on them without upsetting their natural child who has been scorned or is the one who chose to no longer be married.

Friends who had both to associate with before now find it difficult to remain friends with one and not the other and usually if they can’t decide they lose contact with both causing pain to themselves and the two in the marriage that fell apart.   As for seeing the damage, this can be a vast area when you think about it.  As I already mentioned family.  If siblings are involved, their children, if the two in the marriage had children, the kids, grandparents, and cousins.  I also mentioned friends’ right, if they have kids, their kids, co-workers, people you may associate with either frequently or from time to time, strangers who know you in the neighborhood or the community who are watching and expecting to see God’s light knowing you are saved.  Think of the damage you cause to your testimony as a couple.

That is why we are learning about key points, warning signs, or as J. Franklin says, “Marriage assassins” in order to avoid a divorce.  Whether a divorce is nasty or peaceful, it is not what God intended from the beginning.  Most of the time a marriage can be saved if the two are willing to love unconditional, FORGIVE, and be non-selfish.

Well, let’s discuss the chapter at hand now.

He begins with the verse, “Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your WIVES, and your houses.” –Nehemiah 4:14.  If society would fight to re-instill family values and work morals, perhaps a great portion of our society could spread stability in children, a sense of self-assurance better then what we see in young adults today.  We hear of young children even teens disrespecting authority and tossing aside the laws and common boundaries as if uncivil and untamed.  Is it too late to change the damage done?  I don’t think so, for my hope is in the Lord God Almighty.  We just read where He tells us to fight for our families and more, so do as I have done, seek ways to improve you as a parent and re-instill the discipline disparately needed in teaching respect for authority, laws, and God.

We read in this chapter about the intimacy gap, which we have read similar things in other books.  To reiterate the highlight of this, women desire the emotional intimacy and men want the physical intimacy.  Women tend to go on feelings, where men are attracted to what is evidently visual.

Pastor Franklin discusses the path to destruction and list different assassins of marriage.  Assassin #1, a long marriage is a secure marriage.  Assassin #2, selfishness and a preoccupation with you.  Assassin #3, Immaturity.  Assassin #4, Manipulation.  Assassin #5, lack of commitment.  Assassin #6, Promiscuity.  Assassin #7, Stress.  Assassin #8, economic pressure.  Assassin #9, outside interference.  Assassin #10, unforgiveness.  Assassin #11, comparing.  Assassin #12, the wrong environment.  This is a lot of insight, good story he shares.  It encouraged me each time I read this chapter.  I read it a few times a couple of years ago, again about a year ago, and now again to finalize my notes on this chapter.  You should take the time to read it.  I will do my best to give my insight as God directs.

We all know Satan’s number one weapon, deception.  What is our number one weapon as a Christian, rather as a child of God?   Discernment is our weapon, which we discussed in previous chapters.   How does one know if what we decide is due to the discernment given by God or by our own intelligence?  For me, looking back in life when I made decisions, I didn’t have a peace as I do now when I make decisions.  I still have those moments when I act in the flesh, quickly His Holy Spirit is there to correct.  I can’t find the right words to describe what I mean, but if you are listening, then you will know His voice.  Just as a child knows the voice of his or her parents even if you can see them.  Or, a brother knows the sound of his sister and so on.  I will say that for me, I have a strong sense of peace when I am right with Him verses when I am not.

I was going to break down each assassin into my own words, but that would make this blog extremely long and Pastor Franklin does a great job in his book, so I suggest this.  Read chapter 12; write a comment with your questions or insight.  I will respond accordingly.  God bless!

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