Tuesday, October 9, 2012

31 Days to a Happy Marriage: Day 9: Vain Imaginations - How to Deal with Them? - Part 2

Yesterday we covered that vain imaginations were dangerous.  They are the thoughts and ideas that we believe as reality even if it's not the truth.  They can creep into our relationships and cause us to create scenarios that don't even exist.  They can cause us to question our spouse's motives, compare our relationship, and hold onto offenses.  When we have vain imaginations, we believe we are right and it's almost impossible for someone to change our mind.  Vain imaginations can be extremely blinding.

So, how do we deal with vain imaginations?  Well, if you're like me, it takes a lot of time, patience from others, and openness to God.

One of the first things you can do is ask God to reveal them to you.  Allow yourself to be wrong.

Besides being open to direction and correction from God, the first step I took to walk out of my vain imaginations was to make a decision to face the truth.  I opened up to Jeremiah about my issues.  I came to him from sincere truth.  I decided to lay it all out, to not hide behind lies.  I knew that being so honest could have cost my relationship, but it came to the point where I was either going to live in the truth or live in confusion.

The next and one of the most important things you can do to deal with vain imaginations is to be thankful!  When you are thankful for your spouse, your home, your job, your church, your friends, etc., you don't have room for vain imaginations to come in.  If I had been thankful for what I had in Jeremiah, I wouldn't have questioned everything and brought him along for the horrible ride.

If you're thinking the worst of your spouse, stop!

Philippians 4:8- 9 tells us, "Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."

God can work you into His most excellent harmonies when you're thankful.  It gives Him room to work on and in your relationship.  Thankfulness is the root of happiness!

2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to, "Cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."

Find out who you are in Christ.  Know you're free from condemnation.  Know you're loved by Him!  You have so much to be thankful for!

I'll leave you with this....when I read this passage I knew it fit in perfectly with vain imaginations.  If you would, read this by replacing the woman in this passage with vain imaginations.  It really gives a glimpse at the danger of what vain imaginations can do to your life.  

Proverbs 5
 1-2 Dear friend, pay close attention to this, my wisdom;
    listen very closely to the way I see it.
Then you'll acquire a taste for good sense;
   what I tell you will keep you out of trouble.

 3-6 The lips of a seductive woman are oh so sweet,
   her soft words are oh so smooth.
But it won't be long before she's gravel in your mouth,
   a pain in your gut, a wound in your heart.
She's dancing down the primrose path to Death;
   she's headed straight for Hell and taking you with her.
She hasn't a clue about Real Life,
   about who she is or where she's going.
7-14 So, my friend, listen closely;
   don't treat my words casually.
Keep your distance from such a woman;
   absolutely stay out of her neighborhood.
You don't want to squander your wonderful life,
   to waste your precious life among the hardhearted.
Why should you allow strangers to take advantage of you?
   Why be exploited by those who care nothing for you?
You don't want to end your life full of regrets,
   nothing but sin and bones,
Saying, "Oh, why didn't I do what they told me?
   Why did I reject a disciplined life?
Why didn't I listen to my mentors,
   or take my teachers seriously?
My life is ruined!
   I haven't one blessed thing to show for my life!"

Make a decision to not let vain imaginations control your life. Choose happiness for your marriage!

*Find a list with links to the other posts in this series here.*

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