In my new series—Resurrect Me—I want to explore all the ways you and I let addictions, compulsions and bad habits drag us back to the “grave” of our former selves (Rom. 7:22-25). This unbridled and relentless hunger can be especially destructive in marriage—making it so very messy and ugly.
There’s an important passage in James that really gets to the heartbeat of where I’d like to explore in this series. Consider this …
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.” ~James 4:1-2
Sadly, one of the earliest and most obvious signs that my husband and I had a messy marriage back in the day was our propensity to fight. Now we didn’t have knock-down-drag-out fights (thank the Lord!), but we did have arguments that for all intents and purposes were hostile and ungodly. I am embarrassed to admit that our “discussions” often degenerated into yelling and berating one another. 🙁
Sometimes that “something” started out neutral or even good like respect, validation, honesty, unity, grace, etc. But then it morphed from wanting “something” like respect into demanding respect. Sometimes it went from wanting honesty to brutally saying a truth in a cruel or vicious way.
Our habit of allowing our “desires” to go unchecked turned into an adrenalin-fueled addiction to raking each other over the coals. In those moments, it began to feel not only “justified” but good, satisfying—dare I say it?—euphoric to pin each other to the wall whenever the tensions ran high. And it seemed the more we did this to each other, the more we began to run toward the “boxing ring”—not with physical blows but emotional undercuts that stung more deeply and left gaping wounds.
Thankfully, we learned to bring our addiction to arguing under the submission of the Lord. We still struggle with the temptation, but over time and through lots of humbling surrender and consistent work, through Christ we are free of that ugly addiction.
Now whenever we begin to argue or feel the pull of that temptation, we immediately surrender our “desires” to the Lord—turning the argument into a grace-filled discussion. Besides, once you begin to submit your desires to God, He gives you a whole new desire for what is good and right.
Now maybe arguing is not your “bad habit or addiction.” But according to the biblical author James . . .
Often when we talk of addictions, we think of drugs, alcohol, porn/sex or food addictions. Those are the biggies in our culture anyway. But I’d like to not just deal with the big four, but talk also about the subtle ones that sometimes start out with good intentions or purposes and go off the rails at some point.
I’m not exactly sure where God wants this series to go, though I do want James 4:1-10 to serve as our roadmap for where we will head in the weeks to come.
And I’d really love to have your feedback on . . .
What are the bad habits or even addictions (if you’re brave) that you’ve struggled with recently or in the past?
What are some of the “desires” within you that have fueled your hunger for what is unhealthy?
If you’re interested, one of the bits of inspiration that drew my attention to this series was the song Resurrect Me by Jon Foreman. If you’re interested, check out this video of the song …
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