Sarah; Trust in Your Marriage

In Study the Women of the Bible by revealadmin1 Comment

I have written in regards to Sarah in my first One a Day; 30 Days of Prayer with the Women of the Bible.  In book 1, the Lord put on my heart her story of being motherless, surrounded by children and thriving families.  Her heart ached for children.  Sarah knew the promise of God, but it had not yet arrived.  Barren as she was, there are other details her story encompasses within her marriage to Abraham.  Twice, she was given to pagan kings as part of their harem of wives.  The Lord spared her from any atrocities hindering His plan for beginning a new nation from her womb.  But, I can only imagine the distrust that may have developed as she was returned to Abraham completely in tacked. Was the ability to trust again difficult?

Sarah was “unusually beautiful” (Genesis 12:11).  “Hebrew folklore has kept alive stories of her remarkable beauty and ranks her next to the most perfect woman the world has known, Eve, ‘the mother of all living’.  Sarah seems to have had beauty that grew more attractive with the passing years.  ‘Of the things that are unfavorable to the preservation of beauty, the Orientals count travel as one that is most baneful, even fatal to it,’ says Gustav Gottheil.  ‘Yet when Sarah arrived, after a long journey through the dusty deserts and under a scorching sun, at the frontiers of Egypt, she was more beautiful than ever, and this explains the curious speech of Abraham to his wife at that juncture:  “Now I know that you are a woman beautiful to look at.”  Did he not know that before?  Not so convincingly, explains the rabbi, as after he had seen that even traveling had left no touch on her countenance.’

With Sarah it was different, for even when she was 90 years of age she was so lovely that Abraham feared the kings would fall in love with her bewitching beauty – which Pharaoh and Abimelech did.  As one of the most beautiful women who ever lived we can imagine that wherever she journeyed the admiring eyes of all were cast upon her.” [1]

Abraham and Sarah journeyed into the land of Egypt due to a famine.  No where in the Bible does it announce God approved of this journey or if Abraham questioned and prayed to God first.  Traveling through the country, Abraham conjures up a proposal that if they were to be taken prisoners, Sarah should represent herself as his sister.  Although half true, Sarah was completely mistaken and wrong yielding to her husband’s scheme.

Abraham believed if the foreign rulers knew Sarah and he were married, they would murder him and multiply their harem by one beautiful woman.  Fear caused this man to plot and arrange for his wife to willingly be taken to spare his own.  As the story unfolds, you can imagine what happened when the king’s men saw Sarah.  She was escorted expeditiously to the palace.

God is merciful and good. Although her husband would not protect her, our precious Lord intervened, twice, and rescued His daughter from what would have been a life-changing ordeal.   Abraham never should have been in Egypt in the first place, already placing his wife and extended entourage in jeopardy.  But to twice carry out deceit and not trust God to interject or guide you in the direction you should go has to break trust issues in the marriage.  I cannot imagine what Sarah felt as she was taken, twice, to a harem wondering what her fate would be?

God views marriage as a sacred covenant,  “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)  One of my favorite authors, R. Kent Hughes writes from Genesis; Beginning and Blessing, “The term “leave” here indicates that marriage is to be viewed as a covenant.  Leaving and cleaving involves a public declaration in the sight of God.  Marriage is not a private matter.  It involves a declaration of intention and a recognizing of relationship.  The idea of a purely private marriage is a recent aberration spawned by the culture of individualism and the demise of community.” [2]

I believe Hughes has made an excellent point.  Marriages begin breaking down when “individualism” rises in the heart.  So, where does the trust building and healing begin after one covenant partner decides to be an individual succumbing to affairs, using finances wrong, addictions, or abandoning the family unit?

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines trust as assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone of something, one in which confidence is placed.  The only trust relationship that will never be broken is your relationship with Christ.  God has hundreds of verses drawing His people to trust Him.  I personally love reading the Psalms, for they are like songs to my heart.  Eighty-three of the one hundred and fifty Psalms have some sort of trust verse portrayed in them.  Most of them encourage believers to “trust and lean on the Lord, trust and take refuge in the Lord, and trust, lean on and be confident in the Lord”.  Not one verse in His Word emboldens believers trust the hearts of man, for it is written,  “And He (Jesus) did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man, needed no evidence from anyone about men, for He Himself knew what was in human nature, (He could read men’s hearts).” (John 2:25)

Trust issues arise from a variety of reasons as mentioned before: affairs, finances, addictions, self-esteem issues, or irrational anxiety.  There are signs which suggest you may have trust issues in your relationship: continually thinking the worst of your spouse, fear, overly possessive, jealousy, accusation and anger, monitoring social media, and tests.

Broken trust in your marriage, for whatever the reason may be, will take time to rebuild.  Both husband and wife need to be dedicated and intentional to the healing process.  Whether through Christian counseling, marriage counseling, or pastoral counseling, covenant partners need to have study time together in the Word.  There is a root cause to the lack of trust.  If you know the root cause, then counseling and therapy may be somewhat easier by touching on these roots: abuse, violated, mistreated, social rejection, being the outcast, loss of a loved one, adulterous acts, isolation, or maybe attacked are a few situations where individuals develop severe trust issues in relationships.  Learning to NOT project your issues on to your spouse will be a key learning process through counseling.

Forgiveness is essential in trust.  1 Corinthians 13 is where the Lord led me when I needed to forgive most.  The beautiful, life changing verses of 4-8 opened my heart towards the people who hurt me badly.  It truly is God’s mystery as to how the Holy Spirit softens and penetrates a broken relationship and fills the void with love.  I could never on my own forgive those who have scarred me, but with the help of Christ, I was able to let go of the pain.

Healthy relationships with trust include give and take, ups and downs, highs and lows.  It is never perfect all the time, which includes friendships.  Taking time to reconnect, spending that time listening to one another’s hearts, finding out what each other’s love language is vital. When communication breaks down, someone usually begins to develop mistrust.

Spouses need to be aware of each other’s faults, not holding them against one another, but as Paul says, “patiently bearing each other’s faults with love.” (Ephesians 4:2)  This by NO means you are to be a doormat, allowing a person to continually embarrass, shame, manipulate, and control you. God graciously gives us boundaries into which we have relationships.  The marriage covenant, where two are now one, will definitely take more time to heal for this relationship is extremely intimate, personal, and revealing.

I pray this has opened your heart to trust again.  If there are trust issues in your marriage, please find the root cause of them.  I’ve seen the enemy reek havoc on a marriage through lies and manipulation.  One partner believes something that is false such as an affair, while the other is subjected to constant scrutiny.  It can be completely emotionally, mentally, physically, and psychologically draining.

I implore you, for your family and your marriage, seek help, keep in constant prayer, fasting and I know the Lord will open your trust in your marriage.  Remember, trust, lean on, and take refuge in the Lord.  He will never leave you nor forsake you.

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