Proverbs 29:25


The fear of man lays a snare, 

but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.


(Before you read on, if you are being physically abused by your spouse call the police and get to safety. If you are being verbally abused call a friend from your church and describe what is happening. Nothing good will come from keeping it a secret. This is not a post about enduring abuse, but about overcoming fear of man and putting away pride.)


The created differences between men and women cause a natural uncertainty in marriage that is overcome through intimacy. 

The process of overcoming those inherent fears is the work of being married, and not an indication that something is wrong. 

This is why when people tell us, "we just never disagree", we don't doubt that they're telling the truth, but we do wonder if they're overcoming that fear.


Some fools will heighten that fear through leveraging embarrassing information, sarcastic jokes, or subtle threats of divorce.


Proverbs refers to these people as madmen and says they're fools who tear down their own house.


Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!”

Proverbs 26:18



The wisest of women builds her house, 
but folly with her own hands tears it down.

Proverbs 14:1




One of the most powerful gifts a spouse can give is the gift of fearlessness. 


There are times when the Bowmans just feel like being fools.


Who knows why?


It's almost like the woman named Folly (from Proverbs 9) just strides into our home and starts handing out scripts from a play about a bad marriage. 


And we accept the roles!


We start reading lines written for unhappy homes:

  • "Well supposedly..."

  • "Well apparently..."

  • "Oh, so what you're saying is..."

  • "I know what you're thinking..."

  • "I was just..."

When we hear ourselves say these lines (and others), we know that we are getting back to our old ways.

All of those lines are examples of foolish, disingenuous language that never sheds light, only heat.

We only say those kinds things to heighten the fear between us.

It's about point scoring, the opposite of intimacy.

So how do you break out of the bad-marriage script?

When we say lines from the old scripts the best thing for one of us to do is to not fear what is frightening, and walk over to the sarcastic, point-scoring spouse and gently remind them, "You don't scare me."


Does that sound like a risky move?

Oh, it is. 

You could be shut down.

You could be laughed at.

Your spouse could double-down on the threats.

But to fear your spouse is a trap, and whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

A courageous spouse is able to make that risky move because their safety comes from the Lord. 

The Lord's safety creates a cushion that can endure the temporary emotional uncertainty created by Folly's scripted lines.


Besides, the alternative is no less frightening:

For some reason one spouse starts the foolish lines from a bad-marriage script.

In response, the other spouse arms themselves with the same kind of weapons, and an arms race begins.

"Well supposedly this is a Christian marriage, but apparently you don't even care about that anymore."

Is either spouse safer when they're both brandishing weapons?


Of course not. 


Here's some lines from a script about a marriage you can be proud of. These lines will sound different coming out of your mouth, but you get the idea.


Hey you. 


You don't scare me. 


I don't know what's going on with you today, but I bet you don't like it. 


I don't like it either, and we don't need it. 


I’m putting my weapons down. 


I’m putting up no verbal defense.


God is doing good things with us and let's not go backwards." <hug>

Marriage is difficult and strange.


It will always be scary to be so emotionally vulnerable.


But to live in fear your spouse is a trap.


Press On,

Brooke and Brian

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