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  1. Hi everybody I'm sharing this article written originally in french. I translated it in english. Even if most people on this site are not married, I think this article make good points and help in the reflexion about the attitude of our hearts. It helps for the preparation for marriage I think. I hope that will bless you Original article found here : We live in a society more and more confused about marriage. The high divorce rate (even among Christians) is a clear sign that many couples are sick. Behind this faintness and lack of harmony often hides the root of idolatry. What is idolatry? It's so easy to think that we have no problem with idolatry. Someone would say: What? I'm never prostrated myself before a statute, I never sent prayers to a statute or a picture ... I am not an idolater! The average Christian knows that an idol is anything that takes the place of God in our hearts; and that all that is elevated to the status of God in our lives is an idol. Idolatry occurs whenever we love the creature more than the Creator (Romans 1: 25) and when searching rest, salvation, satisfaction, and happiness in anything other than God. Idolatry has always provoked God's wrath and devastation. What can be an idol in our lives? How idolatry seeps into our hearts is usually very subtle. It's so easy to fall into idolatry because all we cherish more than Christ in our heart, all that we think and say : " I ABSOLUTELY MUST have that to be happy and blooming " is certainly an idol. An idol is anything or anyone to whom you utterly all your time, your money, your attention; what you worship and that is not God. As idol we may have: The marriage. Many women idolize marriage, married status without even realizing it. For them, being married, wearing a wedding ring, to be called Mrs. So and So is everything and is the source of their happiness, their well-being and fulfillment. And suddenly, during the period of celibacy, they suffer from not being married and feel unhappy because of their single condition. But it is nowhere written that to be happy and to flourish in life, you have to get married! Self. Somebody takes the role of God in his own life. Behind pride, refusing to humble oneself before God and expecting to Him, there is very often hidden idolatry. Her husband. Many women idolize their husband / their fiancé. They define themselves only through him and held him responsible for their happiness. They feel confident when he is there and totally destabilized when he is absent. Their identity, their values ​​are in him. So when it happens that there is a separation, they feel completely devalued, it's as if life had no meaning ... or was no longer worth living. Some go as far as suicide. Because basically this man was an idol for them! If your main shelter is in your husband, if your hope is centered on him, if your sense of security lies in the fact that he approves you and if you do anything in order that he accepts you, then you have given to a man the rights due to God alone. And that means your marriage is a cult of idolatry. (Gary Thomas) His wife Some men also idolize their wives, considering that their happiness depends on her, she is completely responsible to meet all their needs and satisfy them permanently. So they are frustrated when there is an area where she does not meet their expectations. And such thoughts eventually predisposes to adultery because no woman can perfectly and constantly meet the needs of a man. Only God can do it! Sure it takes a minimum of admiration in marriage and we must cultivate the habit of valuing and honoring the other. We must cultivate love. It’s very important ! But we must have very clear boundaries in our hearts and never give to anyone the place that belongs to God alone! Idolatry in a couple creates unbalanced and unhealthy relationships. Note : We can make the same observation concerning other members of the family. OF course, God wants us to love each member of our family and to have good relationship with them. But it’s dangerous to love father, mother, children, brother or sister more than God Himself. Clearly, it’s a sin. The sin of idolatry. Knowing how to identify poisonous relationship If a man / woman definitely wants to take the place of God in your life and wants you to do a lot of compromises, you compromise your relationship with God to please him/her it is not normal. If you are ready to compromise your faith, to stop to obey God for a man / woman, then that person is an idol for you. And I do not need to be a prophet to know that this relationship will end badly if you do not correct things now. Other things that can be an idol: children, money, career, power, popularity, property, people (some friends or family members, Stars), music, reputation, TV, etc. Signs that you may be idolize your spouse Here are some questions you might ask yourself to know the state of your heart compared to idolatry: Your world does revolve around your husband / wife / girlfriend? Are you completely devastated (e) when he / she disappoints you? To whom do you turn to firstly when you are afraid, or you feel lonely, frustrated, depressed, tired? To your spouse or to God? What would be unbearable, unlivable for you? Being big, poor, single, alone? What or who do you look to, to make you avoid this situation? Whatever thing or person comes within this framework, he / she is potentially an idol because it is this thing/person that you consider as a savior. One of the signs that your spouse or the person you are dating is an idol for you could be (not exhaustive): Since you / know him/her, you spend very little time, may be, not time at all with God and invest all your time in your relationship with him / her. You believe and live as if you'll never be happy or blooming without your spouse or without this person you are dating. Sentences like "I can not live without you" or "I do not know what I will become if you ever leave me" are a clear sign of idolatry. And this way of thinking is often instilled early on by and non-Christian songs and movies. Be careful with that. You put your trust completely in him / her and not in God. You are ready (e) to compromise and offend God to please him. You depend totally on him / her and consider that he / she is the source of your contentment, your joy, your satisfaction, your happiness. The consequences of idolatry If we live for something / someone other than God, we can not have HIM in our life. Idolatry involves the worship of anyone or anything that is not God. Behind worship, there is always the communion (see 1 Corinthians 10: 20-21). And who says communion says exchange, sharing. What you should know is that behind all that we worship and that is not God, there is a demon that is trying to enter into communion with us, to give us its nature and destroy our lives . I do not say that the person you idolize is a demon but that idolatry opens doors to demons in your life and allows them to tackle your soul freely, to steal your peace, your joy, your vitality, etc. and bring destruction into your life. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I am come that they might have life, and have it in abundance. (John 10: 10) So when there is idolatry in marriage or engagement, idolatry for which there is no repentance, it brings destruction, devastation. I do not count the number of couples in difficulty with whom I have discussed and have traced the problems in their relationship to idolatry situation: "We moved away from God ... God was no longer the center of our marriage " they say that most often. To idolatry, you can often associate the loss of intimacy with God, anxiety and constant worry, discontentment, anger, bitterness, extreme jealousy, etc. So many things that mistreat, injure the soul, break the heart and rot life. How to avoid idolizing spouse/fiancé, or to idolize marriage? The happiest couples are those who put God at the center of their marriage, focus on Him and expect to receive their happiness and fulfillment in Him, rather than marriage or their spouse. (Results of research S. Feldhahn) Realize that true happiness, true inner contentment is found in Christ, not in marriage or the spouse or anything else, and your spouse is not responsible for your thoughts, your feelings and your inner satisfaction . Your spouse is not your Savior. Jesus is your Savior! Develop an authentic intimate relationship with God, may God be the center of your life and His Word the foundation of all your decisions. Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart turns away from the LORD! It is like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; It shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. (Jeremiah 17: 5-6) Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Corinthians 10:14) May God help us ! Aisha B.