Someone once said, “there’s nothing like marriage when it’s workin’ right...and nothin’ like marriage when it ain’t workin’...I agree.
There Are Two Distinct Paths In Marriage. Debbie and I were exposed to these truths on a “Weekend to Remember” with Family Life Today. These concepts have been very helpful in our marriage.
1) The Path to Isolation And Despair. Every relationship will go through various phases…
A. Romantic Phase
Oneness and happiness are goals, but the couple has no plans to achieve them.
Intense feelings characterize this phase, but they cannot be sustained.
A couple begins to make adjustments to each other in their values, habits, and expectations.
Twinges of disappointment strike the heart, but they are either quickly extinguished by overwhelming feelings for each other or they are ignored.
The realities of life sober the relationship and feelings begin to vary greatly.
The struggle to change each other sets in.
Emotional or even physical retaliation becomes an alternative
Resentment and bitterness begin to take their toll
A man sells his life out to his profession or interests outside the home.
A woman pours her life into her children, seeks social identity outside the home, or seeks a new career
Emotional separation – withdrawal.
Physical separation – divorce.
2) The Path to Intimacy And Hope.
A. Follow God’s Purposes. When I was first exposed to these purposes, they had helped me live my life and marriage on purpose.
B. God’s Power - Not only do we need to know God’s purposes but we must rely on Him and His power. It is impossible to build a marriage on our own strength or power. It must be with the very life and power of Christ and the Holy Spirit working in and through us. There are many times in marriage that I have to say, “Lord, I can’t but you can. Jesus be my love to Debbie in this moment.” It is not acting like Christ but letting Christ in us be our love to one another.
C. Good Plans - After we know God’s purposes and power, we must have plans for these things to become realities. For example, what plans do you have to grow in your communication or friendship or romance or finances? We will look at this in more detail later.
What path are you on today?
What will you do today to make the choice toward intimacy and hope?