My children have been enjoying the great outdoors this month (which has been a pleasant change after our very long winter). However, the outside activity has brought with it some new challenges… namely in the form of ticks.
In the past week, my husband has removed six ticks that have burrowed themselves into my children! Six! That is five more than the previous five years combined!
Our new nightly routine consists of examining our children’s bodies and combing through their hair to inspect their scalps. While I don’t think a tick is technically a parasite, it behaves in a very similar fashion. A tick will attach itself to a host where it then helps itself to a tasty blood meal. Last night, as I was intensely looking through my daughter’s long hair for any intruders, I began to wonder,
Is there anything that has implanted itself into my marriage?
As my mind considered the possibility of ticks being present in my marriage, I began to realize all the areas where my husband and I are vulnerable:
- My Smart Phone – Not only can it allow easy access to unfiltered activity, but it can distract us from each other through apps and texts.
- Other People – Friends, family, twitter followers, and exes (or memories of exes) can, in some cases, encourage us from the path of a godly marriage.
- Busyness – Ministries, commitments, extra-circular activities, and daily life can interfere with our relationship when left unchecked.
- Children – I adore my children (and that’s a good thing), but at times our family slips into being a “child-centered” home which certainly drains life from my marriage.
- Finances – One of the leading causes of divorces is money issues, so clearly, if this isn’t monitored closely it can become a huge problem.
- My Own Selfishness – A hard one to admit, but most often the issues that strangle my marriage revolve around my own self-centeredness.
There are many more possible ticks than the ones mentioned above, but those were the first examples that came to mind. While it is true that some “ticks” begin as a common part of life; the fact remains that if I am not carefully combing my marriage to make sure there are no parasites, something (as severe as an addition or as innocent as my own children) can quickly attach itself to my marriage without my even being aware of it. The intruder’s influence can grow larger and larger until it eventually wreaks havoc. Stephen and Alex Kendrick stated it best in their book, The Love Dare
“Watch out for parasites. A parasite is anything that latches onto you or your partner and sucks the life out of your marriage.”
How I remove the tick is of the upmost importance!
When I do see a metaphorical tick in my marriage, the manner in which I rid my marriage of this intruder is just as important as discovering its presence. My husband has, very gently, been able to remove each of the ticks from my children… no matter where on their body it implants. You cannot pull out a tick without making sure you tug gently so as to remove the tick completely rather than decapitate it. The same caution and grace must be evident when removing a tick from one’s marriage. If I don’t remove it with grace, I might harm my marriage more than help it!
After a tick’s removal, it must be destroyed.
Because my husband removes the ticks with such grace, they remain alive. It would do our family no good for him to place the tick down on the carpet and allow it free-reign in our house. It is designed to seek out a host and so would reattach itself to someone in our family. Because of this, my husband sets about successfully eliminating the tick. He usually crushes it with tweezers and then flushes it down the toilet. In doing so, he completely destroys the threat. Same can go for unwanted attachments to my marriage… I must not only remove them, but completely destroy their roots. It does little good to pornography-proof a marriage if I don’t deal with the heart problem behind it. I cannot simply render other people’s influence void until I deal with my sin of people pleasing. The Kendrick brothers continue to say,
“Marriages rarely survive if parasites are present. If you love your spouse, you must destroy any addiction that has your heart. If you don’t, it will destroy you.”
I am so thankful that the Lord gave me this wonderful word picture about the dangers of ticks in marriage. As I typed this post, I realized that I am not in the habit of regularly inspecting my marriage for ticks. Truthfully, when I do happen to find one, I am in the habit of covering it up rather than removing and destroying it. I no longer want to allow ticks to thrive by sucking the life out of my marriage. I must take the proper action steps to keep my marriage parasite free!
Will you join me in ridding your marriage of ticks?
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