It’s a cold Saturday morning and I’m glad to be home! Traveling is grand but there’s no place I’d rather be than here. The dogs are a handful but our joy, the house is small but we absolutely love it. We are blessed!
When we are asleep we are most vulnerable to carefully laid strategies of a very real opponent. A good marriage, which by God’s design is the best example of His love for Humanity, is a prime target for a patient enemy. And there’s no such thing as a fair fight with him, the only way we overcome and defeat him is God’s way, period!
In my lifetime I’ve heard enough sermons to fill an ocean and know enough religious jargon to write a dictionary. All my knowledge and experience did not make me impervious to a plan that gradually killed my marriage. The greatest miracle I’ve seen however is the resurrection of my marriage even after we were divorced! We’re living proof of what God can do with dead stuff.
On the front side of a love relationship it all looks good and we are in a true sense, “blinded by the light” a bit. It’s awesome for sure but the feelings most of us make lifelong commitments by are fleeting and deceiving. I can make no sweeping statements regarding other’s marriages but for my own, it has been very high and very low too! Nothing has tried and hurt me more and no other relationship holds the mirror up to me as vividly, where I see the core of my own shortcomings. What a good marriage will do is illuminate everything that lies within, good and bad alike!
My wife and I now find ourselves warring, not only for our own marriage but scores of others who are at deaths door as we once were. That’s certainly not to say we’ve been there done it and have it all figured out now. We are much more protective, work harder to communicate and listen well, but still have to practice putting some tools we’ve learned to use in order to get through any impasses and over walls we build over time. We do love each other more and are more committed than ever to doing life and love God’s way because we know first hand it works no other way.
When friends tell me of their deepest darkest hours I can relate much more than I’d care to admit. I may have never signed on for marriage had I known what I would really encounter. I remember one counselor saying to me, “you’re in Gethsemane and there’s nothing anyone can say or do to absolve of you of that experience.” Christ went through it alone and there’s a certain amount of the experience we endure alone, doesn’t mean God has forsaken us though! There was a time my instinct was to blame God. I do know this, He’s never ever left me but has allowed me nonetheless to go through hell and back.
Marriage is always worth the fight and you do have to learn to fight for it. You also have to learn to fight healthily as a couple. We come into a marriage with a tractor-trailer full of issues and behaviors that we’ve spent our lives with. We develop survival skills and they are ingrained in our being and guess what-the rest of your married life will be a journey of unpacking that crap and getting beyond an individual, self serving lifestyle. You are two not one any longer and while you can be selfish and do ultimately whatever the heck you want to, it will not lead you to a whole and holy marriage. It may well lead you back to alone!
If you have found yourself in a marriage you never imagined you’d be in, welcome! You are now in the very marriage God would have you be in, there’s no other Best Case scenario for you. He wants it to work and be healthy and knows what it will take to get you both there. Though there are times when one of the party opts out as you can’t control another’s choice, you can always do your part-your best! That’s where the miracle starts. Healing is not a magic pill or a single visit to the counselor’s office. It is a process and you can trust God’s process unlike any other! The one thing you have to do that no other can do for you is Choose. Resign yourself to surrender your own rights and wants and choose to stay in the fire just as you would stay in the bliss.
It would require a book to tell you our whole story but suffice it to say, part of my problem was a serious inability to deal with my own pain coupled with a very real propensity for depression, which made me a self focused human being in order to survive. So running from pain vs. dealing with it was my way and God let me run till I hit the wall and gave up. It cost me a lot and I’ve had to painstakingly go back through the muck and mire in my life to relearn how to survive without leaving my wife alone to deal with life.
You have your own stuff, your own way of dealing or NOT, and you have your own opportunity to flesh it out within your marriage. If you learn to do it now rather than later you’ll lose less in the process and get to greener grass sooner. If you neglect, ignore, run, quit, etc. then you’ll carry that caboose right into your next relationship! It never disappears or just goes away; the crap will always hit the fan, trust me.
There are many great resources and people that can help but God alone can prescribe what you need and you have to be willing to deal with Him first then you’re marriage! Coming from one who’s dealt with God a long time, there’s no greater grace, strength, mercy, kindness, and friendship anywhere to be found than in Christ alone!
Marriage: yes it’s worth fighting for!