EU laws require me to tell you if I have cookies. So many jokes there. I have ads installed, so I suppose I have cookies. By using this site, you agree to its use of cookies. Learn more. Sing along.


The topic of marriage has been a prevalent theme for me this year. It has come up about a thousand times from dozens of different angles. I've watched marriages fail and I've watched marriages begin. I've seen marriages struggle and come out stronger than ever for it. In my own marriage, I've seen us learn more about this dance of marriage, somehow surprised to see that there is always more to learn.

Though married for nearly two decades, this God-designed institution is still such a mystery to me. It's obviously important. It obviously has great benefit. It also offers room for great tragedy. My marriage has brought me deep bliss and grievous heartache.

While I've always loved him and considered him my best friend, my marriage was basically a minefield of daisies for many years. It was anyone's guess how the day would go. Often, we'd go beautiful months without an argument, but sometimes it was a matter of only hours. We nearly always walked around suspicious of the other's sincere affection.

Several years ago, we went to a marriage conference that inspired much discussion. It was not fun, but it was very healing to get some of that stuff brought out into the light and we were determined to work through it. "Work through" is code for "argued". We argued our way through it over the next couple days and it was wonderful.

We got down to the heart of the matter which was this: both of us did not fully trust that the other truly loved. We tried to believe it and assume the best, but each time he would say something hurtful, I thought to myself, "See? I knew he didn't mean it. He felt the exact same way. When it came down to it, we had nothing to go on other than the other person's word for it, but we decided together to just take the leap and believe each other. Assume that all decisions and interactions come from someone who loves me.

Once we had that foundation set, we were able to move forward to a more mature, more fulfilling marriage. Television has taught us that the does-he-or-doesn't-he element is an exciting part of romance. It may be, but it is neither exciting nor romantic in a marriage.

For anyone seeking to "work through" the impediments and move on to a satisfying marriage, I highly, highly recommend these four books, in this order:

  1. Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy? 
  2. Guys Are Waffles, Girls Are Spaghetti 
  3. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts 
  4. Mountaintop of Marriage: A Vision Retreat Guidebook (Every Great Marriage)
The last one is something Chris and I read every year. It is short and simple and is perfect for a weekend getaway project. We take our tax return each spring to get away together for a couple days and we bring our red notebook to work through. It has the answers to the questions we've asked each other for four years now. We get to see how far we've come and how far we have to go. It helps us align our goals and our hearts. 

It's certainly not a perfect marriage, but it's pretty stinking good. We had a tiff last week that surprised us both. We hadn't argued, not really, in over a year. But then this odd squabble came up and pushed us apart for several days. They were a miserable few days, inspired completely by spiritual warfare, I have no doubt. Nothing works when you're out of sync with your spouse. 

After 3 days of being polite, but distant, we finally sat down and talked and cried and hugged. And all was right with the world. Cue "birds singing". 

If you're out of sync, I pray your hearts are softened. Please take that painful step and work through your stuff. Sometimes it's fixed in an afternoon, sometimes it is simply the first step to years of a healing process. Sometimes, it's never fixed or reciprocated, but requires you always being the one loving generously and obeying God. Always, it is worth the risk. It's worth the investment. Honor your covenant. Go fix your stuff. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

"Man lives by affirmation even more than by bread." - Victor Hugo