About six months after I married my wife, Veronica, the honeymoon phase wore off, and I started looking at her funny. I became very critical and began to wonder if the Lord really had told me to marry her. The enemy was busy planting thoughts in my mind: "She can't cook like she said she could. You thought she had this together and that together. But she ain't got it together. See, you married the wrong woman." These thoughts crowded my mind even though my wife was and is a very wonderful woman. I started trying to figure out how I was going to get out of the marriage.
You see, some things that I had witnessed between my mother and father as a young boy growing up had negatively shaped my view of marriage. My parents eventually divorced, and some things they said influenced my thinking. Words paint pictures inside of us that influence what we see and how we act—and react—in life. Pictures like this do not go away until we replace them with God's truth. I was about to understand I had a problem, and it was not my wife.
The Distraction of Ungodly Thoughts
In the middle of this crisis, one night I attended a meeting where a man was teaching about confession and how ungodly thoughts can reside in our lives, and we may not even know it. These ideas can actually control our minds when we live out of an incorrect image. The minister said, "Start confessing God's Word over your spouse." That statement impacted me.
I took him at his word, came home and started reading his book, Praying God's Word. I began confessing God's Word over my wife, drawing from Proverbs 31: "My wife is a virtuous woman. She always does me good as long as there is life within her. The bread of idleness, discontent, and self-pity she does not eat. She gets up early and gets spiritual food for the house. She assigns her maids to their tasks. She does not neglect her present duties by assuming others. I thank You that she loves me. She admires me exceedingly, and the Word is working mightily in our marriage. We have been transformed into the image of Jesus by the renewing of our minds. I thank You that my wife is a wife of the Word. She is a woman of the Word, and wisdom is flowing from her lips."
Every day I confessed this. When I first began, I thought I was saying it for my wife. Eventually I figured out I was saying it for me! I was the one who needed to change. The confession changed my image, and I began to act differently. I found out that you cannot move any further than your image. If your image is a bad marriage, then that is the direction you will move. Once I got my image straightened out, I began to see and act differently. I had judged my current situation based on my past experience, but I had poor judgment rooted in fear. All of that began to change as I confessed the truth about my wife. The image of my marriage began to change.
A True Blessing
Because of my confession, today my marriage is made in heaven. I even sit up at night thinking about how I can bless my wife more and more. This is the same marriage the devil told me I should leave! If I had changed wives before I had changed this distorted image, Satan would have gotten the best of me with the same trick again and again. My negative confession was a sacred cow within me, something I didn't think to distrust until that man's message challenged me to look at it differently. This is why biblical meditation is so important in changing ungodly mindsets and images. I call it the missing link of meditation in the body of Christ.
In the same way, Aaron and the Israelites made a "sacred" cow and began dancing lewdly around it. It greatly angered God, who had Moses crush it, mix it in water and make the people drink it. Maybe it tasted horribly bitter, or maybe it was a laxative—I don't know! But the result must have been strong if the purpose was to destroy that idol once and for all and change the way God's people thought.
This has been excerpted from Chapter 3 of Revelation of Royalty: Rediscovering Your Royal Identity in Christ (Charisma House).
Dr. Bill Winston is the founder and senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, the founder and president of the nationally accredited Joseph Business School and the founder of Bill Winston Ministries. Learn more at billwinston.org.
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