What do you do when the pressures seems to be taking the pleasure out of your relationships and marriage?

2Co 4:8 KJV
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Pressure is anything that exerts undue strength in a negative way on the mind, reducing productivity. Pressure (especially in relationship) usually affects the mind adversely. An issue becomes a pressure when it brings mental distress. The pressures of life and relationships are very real. It is better to be prepared for any inevitable challenge before they emerge; in this way, you would be pressure-proof! Before entering a relationship, understand
that it has its own challenges just like every other thing.

One effective way of handling pressure is to focus your thoughts on things that give you inner strength rather than on those that generate so much negative energy, draining life away from you. The law of attraction explains it beautifully; it says that you attract into your life, your most dominant thoughts. In other words, you will have what you always think about. Your thoughts can either be a source of pressure or excitement. If you focus on the negative sides of situations, you’ll attract more negativity into your life.

Supposing you are faced with financial challenges in your relationship and you need more money to enable you attend to some pressing issues, it would be wrong to focus your mind on regrets of absence of money (which would cause pressure in your mind). It is rather more beneficial to see yourself living in abundance no matter how ridiculous and crazy it may seem, given prevalent external circumstances.

Your thoughts make things; they create things, and you can make your beautiful imaginations work out. You can simply eradicate all forms of pressure in your mind by refocusing your mind on positive things.

There are several causes of pressure in relationships including:

a.    Fear and uncertainty
The fear of getting the right spouse who wouldn’t treat you harshly or abuse and jilt you is a terrible source of pressure. There is also the fear of not meeting and having your right spouse in time. The right way to handle this fear and its pressure is to focus your mind on the truth that God has the right spouse for you, and he or she will come at God’s appointed time.

Fear can immobilize and incapacitate. Fear can also cause you to hasten unnecessarily into dangerous terrains. Whichever way, you need to know that God has not given you the Spirit of fear. Don’t end up marrying an unbeliever because of fear of old age. You cannot try to fix a pressure by violating God’s injunctions. It’s not going to work that way! You cannot jump ahead of God’s timing and expect things to work out. At the end of the day, what you venture into out of fear keeps the process elongated.

2Ti 1:7 KJV
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Cast out the Spirit of fear and trust your father to give you the best.

b.     Comparison Traps
Another dangerous source of pressure is comparing yourself with your friends and colleagues, especially when they are all either engaged or married. You can either be strengthened or intimidated by your friends; do not be intimidated. Understand that you are uniquely different from every other person; your destiny is quite different from theirs, so your life’s story is also different. A friend’s success should not determine your direction. It is comparison traps that often drive one into adulterous relationships all in the bid to ‘belong’ or to meet financial pressures. Avoid this trap as much as possible, because when you keep trying to be like everybody else, you will be like nobody else at the end of the day.

2Co 10:12 KJV
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

c.    Parental Pressure
Parents usually wish to see their grand children on time. Also, they get anxious about your success in life and wouldn’t want you to miss out on any advantage of life they feel is due to you at the time. This can also constitute pressure. Do not yield to such pressure just to satisfy your parents when you know in your heart that God isn’t leading you yet.

You cannot please your parents at the expense of God. Your parents cannot sustain your marriage, it is only God that can. While it is good to obey and listen to your parents according to the scripture, you cannot obey them when what they are asking you to do clearly violate the principles of God.

d. Environmental and Media Pressure
A lot of destinies are warped today because of warped outlook of a given society at any point in time. We live in a sexualized age aided by print and media broadcast, which makes available pornographic and other sinful materials.

However, the environment is not an excuse in any way as God expects that your light shine forth in the midst of the darkness. God expects that you stay chaste and refuse to compromise despite all the pressures that come your way. That is how to show your maturity in God.

As married couples, you will also face a lot of pressures from in-laws, from work or even from your spouse. What is important is to learn to cast your care upon Jesus because He cares for you! Don’t hibernate into your cocoon of ‘self and me’ when pressured, remember you are now married. It’s not all about you again but about the two of you! 

CONFESSION FOR THE DAY
I refuse to stay under pressure of any kind. I am in control through the Spirit of God. I exercise authority over all situations and circumstances in Jesus name. I will not crumble under pressures in Jesus name.
PRAYERS FOR THE DAY
Lord, strengthen daily to withstand every kind of pressures in Jesus name.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Jas 1:13 MSGDon’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way.
ACTION PLAN FOR THE DAY Identify all stress sources, and work towards eliminating one at a time.

written by Ibrahim Gana Malgwi

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