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Picture it…a nice warm fall day in the desert of Las Vegas. You have a brand-new black Mustang Convertible on the perfect sunny day. You just spent the past few days laying poolside and eating buffets (nothing like a Vegas buffet). You are feeling fabulous after a great weeklong vacation. You get one last ride in that amazing car before you must return it, hop on a plane, and then drive your boring minivan home. That’s what I was experiencing a few years ago. It sounds pretty awesome, especially right now as it’s winter in KY, freezing outside and still rocking a minivan. However, this amazing getaway ended very stressful.

In Louisville, we always use the airport location when renting/returning cars. I assumed that every car rental “store” was like home…and as big as the airport (palm to forehead). I did not do my research of where the car needed to be returned or how far it was from the airport. The result? We had very little time to return the rental and catch our plane. It was a full-on Home Alone moment. My husband was leading the way, my 1st grader was running behind him, my toddler was in 3rd place, and I’m trying not to lose either one of them like the McCallisters lost Kevin. We eventually caught the plane and our breath.

All of this could have been avoided if I would have taken the time to do my research and allow time for everything to be taken care of that morning. We could have prevented a lot of stress, frustration, and sweat from our sprinting. Our marriages can be very much like the end of our Vegas trip. If we don’t do our research, formulate a plan, or allow time, we can find ourselves frustrated, angry, hurt, and missing out on the marriage God has designed for us.

When Jesus was in the desert (not Vegas) being tempted, he was already prepared for His struggle. Before Jesus even stepped into the desert, He had studied the scriptures, put them to memory, and it said He was filled with the Holy Spirit. He was well prepared for this encounter with Satan. No matter how Satan attacked, Jesus was ready to respond with the Word of God and be led by the Holy Spirit (Luke 4: 1-13). From this, we learn that there is power in the Word of God, but we have to know it, use it, and we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us.

Our marriages require the same action to be healthy. We face many attacks in our marriage on a daily basis: negative comments from others, offers for affairs, pornography, comparison, apathy, unforgiveness, jealousy, greed, lust, not being content, unrealistic expectations, judgment…the list can keep going on and on. When these or other topics begin to take over the forefront in our minds and marriage, we have to yield to the Holy Spirit and rely on scripture. However, if you do not know what the scriptures say, how can you rely on it?

Satan IS out to destroy your marriage. I challenge you to take your weapon and practice your craft (read it, study it, and put it to memory — Psalms 119:11), and be led by the Holy Spirit.

When can you devote time in your day to studying scripture and yielding to the Holy Spirit?

Take time today to devise a plan to grow in understanding of The Word and putting it to memory.