If You Want Your Marriage To Work…

Everyone wants their marriage to work. You never hear a couple getting married make vows to love one another “till it just doesn’t work anymore.” They always vow to love one another “till death do us part.”

No one wants their marriage to be difficult. Everyone wants their marriage to just work. But that’s the problem…everyone wants their marriage to just work. We want marriage to just come naturally, without much effort.

I don’t know why we would think this. We don’t have this attitude about anything else in life…except maybe sex, and that’s a completely different post!

No one believes that you’ll just be naturally good at photography, fishing, sewing, woodworking, parenting, public speaking, etc. But when it comes to marriage, we tend to think…

  • Marriage is about the magic.
  • Marriage should just come naturally.
  • Marriage that’s hard is wrong.

Whether it’s a young couple in premarital counseling, or an older couple contemplating divorce, they all come into my office believing that marriage should just work.

But let me let you in on a not-so-gaurded secret…

If you want you marriage to work…you have to work!

I know it doesn’t sound very romantic, and I don’t mean to bust your bubble, but marriage is not about keeping the magic alive. It’s about finding a method of living together well without killing each other. (OK…maybe it about a little more than that.)

I’ve got news for you. Marriage doesn’t come naturally. You can’t put two completely different people under one roof, 24/7, and have it just work…without some work. I know when you were dating, you thought you had so much in common and were just the perfect match. But that was just the attraction talking. The two of you have different upbringings, different experiences, different hormones, different personalities, different anatomies, and different outlooks on many things. It requires work to blend all these differences together.

Which is why, working at your marriage is not a sign that the marriage is wrong. It’s a sign that the marriage is normal and you just need to roll up your sleeves and work on it.

And the need to work on your marriage is a constant requirement. I’m not trying to rain on your parade here, but whether you’ve been married 1 year or 40 years, you will always need to work on your marriage. Just ask my wife of 40 years.

Remember…

Anything worth while is worth work.

So don’t don’t be fearful or defeated when your marriage doesn’t seem to be as smooth as you think it should be. It’s not a signal to pull the plug (or spit in their cornflakes.) It’s a signal to roll up your sleeves and put some work into it. Welcome to the marriage club!

Deuteronomy 6 – God’s Locker Room Instructions

Just before a big game, a coach will gather the players together in the locker room and go over instructions about the attitudes and behaviors they will need to win the game.

You would think that Moses would give the same kind of locker room instructions just before sending the Children of Israel across the Jordon river to fight for the Promised Land. But that’s not the case!

In Deuteronomy chapter 6, instead of telling them what they need to do to win the battle, Moses tells them what they need to do after they have won the battle. He warns them not about the struggle, but about the success.

It’s true. Once we’ve achieved the success we’ve desired, we must be even more on our guard, for complacency is much more threatening than combat. Struggle heightens your senses, while success dulls them. When we’re in need, we acknowledge our dependency on God. When our bellies and our bank accounts are full, we act out of self-sufficiency.

So Moses reminds them that when the battle is over, and they are living in the peace and prosperity they always dreamed of, then it’s even more important that they…

  • Revere God as the One and only sovereign Creator and Sustainer.
  • Respond obediently and promptly to His commands and directions.
  • Recall all He has done for them.

This sounds like a good reminder/warning for us. Compared to the rest of the world, we are very wealthy…even the poorest of us. We live in an abundance that much of the world can’t imagine. We’ve been blessed with this, but not guaranteed it.

So don’t forget to revere the God of your blessings. Don’t forget to respond obediently to His commands and directions. And don’t forget to recall His mighty interventions in your life.

What Can A Marriage Learn From A Suicide?

EV007909Last night I learned of the suicide of Robin Williams. I was shocked and saddened by the news. I’ve always been in awe of his ability to riff and improvise on the spot.

It’s confusing when someone with so much to live for can’t see a reason to live. It’s jarring to think that someone could be so bright on the outside and so dark on the inside. Yet this is the reality for many people.

This is also the reality for many marriages.

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