On Sunday, Pastor Boyd led us through Song of Solomon 2:15-3:5, where he highlighted the idea of "catching the little foxes:"
Catch the foxes for us,
the little foxes
that spoil the vineyards,
for our vineyards are in blossom.
In order to help us "catch the little foxes" in our marriages (or to address these areas before we are married), Pastor Boyd encouraged us to communicate better in 12 different areas:
1. FAITH DISCUSSIONS
These types of discussions assure that you are aligned in the gospel, as well as other important theological issues.
2. WHAT IDOLS DO I HAVE?
Many sin issues have a root in one of four idols: Control, Power, Approval, and Comfort. Each of these manifests differently in each person, but knowing which idol your spouse fights with will help you come alongside them as they battle sin.
3. DO WE HAVE A CLEAR VISION FOR OUR MARRIAGE?
It's important to make sure that you are both on the same page as far as where your marriage is going. Having different ideas of marriage or what it should entail will make communication even more difficult in the future.
4. FINANCIAL CONVERSATIONS
Money issues are a large cause of marriage troubles. Knowing where your spouse or potential spouse is at with debt or money will keep surprises from coming up later.
5. SEXUAL SIN
This may seem like a pretty clear topic, but it's important to bring this up only when appropriate. This isn't a first date conversation, nor is it a night before the wedding conversation.
6. PERSONALITIES AND LOVE LANGUAGES
Knowing your spouse well and them knowing you well in these areas will make communicating effectively much, much easier.
7. ADDICTIONS AND/OR ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR
Similar to money problems, this shouldn't be a surprise to come later in the marriage, but rather something to come up before marriage is on the table, when possible. Your spouse will be responsible for helping you walk through this, so they should be able to have time to assess if they are prepared for that.
8. FAMILY HISTORY
How you relate to your family will also affect how you relate to your spouse. Knowing this will help make sense of many behaviors in your relationship.
9. WAS THERE ANY ABUSE AS A CHILD OR AN ADULT?
It's unfortunate to say that we live in a time where people use their positions of power and their relationships to abuse others. This is another difficult topic, but to know and to be known is part of the process of marriage.
10. PAST RELATIONSHIPS
Much like your relationships with your family, the other relationships you've been in will also filter how you view your relationships today. If you're divorced, make sure you let your potential spouse know. If you have kids, be sure to tell them that too.
11. FEARS AND INSECURITIES ABOUT YOURSELF
Ultimately, your fears and insecurities will be what keep you from discussing a lot of these things. It comes naturally to many to be preoccupied with acceptance from another. Fears will rise up about losing the relationship. The good news is that Jesus knows everything about you already, and pursued you nonetheless.
12. WHAT WOUNDS ARE YOU CARRYING THAT HAVE YOU LIVING LIFE IN A ‘PAST CREATED FUTURE’?
Your past wounds will often create idols, fears, and insecurities in your life. Sharing them with your spouse or potential spouse will allow you to work with one another in addressing them and ultimately give them to Jesus to heal.
So maybe you're already married or pursuing someone to marry, and you are overwhelmed by the idea of sharing all of these things. If you aren't married, it may just be that you need some time before you are ready for that step. If you are married, you must confess and share these things with your spouse. It's through confession that we can find healing and restoration.
Aside from talking about these things, there are several things you can do to have these areas transformed. First, we should pray for the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts to reflect Jesus in these areas. Being involved in gospel community can allow you to discover, expose, and confess the idols in your life. If finances are your struggle, Financial Peace University can teach you proper, godly management of your income.