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!

Numbers 27 – Trust Your Provider

Ever since Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden, where they had everything they could want, people have been working hard to get what they want.

Working hard and acquiring things is not bad in and of itself. You can find many examples in Scripture of God blessing people who worked hard.

The problem is not hard work. The problem is assuming that what we have is a direct result of our efforts, rather than God’s provision. Jesus reminds us of this problem when He reminds us to look at how God provided for the birds. (Matthew 6:25-26)

It is God, and God alone, who provides all we need…as well as so many of our wants. (2 Peter 1:3) (1 Timothy 6:17b) (2 Corinthians 9:8-12) And it makes no difference if the need is large or small. God is the Provider of all…including the health, energy, and ingenuity to do what we do.

God’s provision is the theme of Numbers chapter 27. In the first half of the chapter, we see God providing an inheritance for five daughters of a man who died due to his own sinfulness. (Numbers 27:3) In the second half of the chapter, we see God providing leadership for an entire nation. Some might see the needs of the daughters as less important and pressing in light of the needs of a nation. But God treated both needs with equal care and concern.

This is God’s heart. He longs to provide for our every need. God calls us to work hard, but we should not confuse our work with His provision. May it be our heart to trust His provision. May it be our heart to trust Him.

Things You Need to Know Before You Get Married…or Divorced

“I wish I had known this before I got married.” I hear this a lot as a counselor. Sometimes it’s said in jest, and sometimes it’s said in frustration.

Before we get married, we think we know what it takes to have a good marriage. It’s only after we’re married that we begin to find out how much we really don’t know. The things we don’t know can bring an end to the honeymoon phase of marriage, and if left unaddressed, can bring an end to the marriage itself.

What is it we need to know before we get married…and before we get divorced?

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