My husband and I are leading a marriage group through our church, using the book, Intimate Encounters. In the first chapter you’re asked to complete a marriage inventory that reveals how strong you are in specific areas of your marriage. It wasn’t a surprise to me that our strongest area is and has always been the spiritual area.
I’m certain that if we didn’t have that spiritual strength in our marriage, we wouldn’t be together today.
|May 30, 1987|
As you might have read from my “Beth’s Story” page, my husband and I have had a messy marriage and it hasn’t always been easy to stay or feel committed to our marriage. I’ll admit, I’ve certainly been “tempted” to think that divorce would provide that much needed “escape” from my pain.
Don’t get me wrong—I realize that in some situations, divorce is not a “choice” or at the very least, not a choice you necessarily would want.
I’m not talking about that today.
What I’m talking about is having a messy marriage that has worn you down, mess after exhausting and hurtful mess, and you’re tempted to give up but God doesn’t want you to …
That’s where my husband and I found ourselves years ago.
Thankfully, God met us there in that pit—in our time of despair and hopelessness—on more than one occasion. I give Him full credit for lifting us out and giving us a “firm place to stand.”
So what am I saying kept us together?
And what keeps us growing closer and more deeply in love even today?
I believe it is Christ giving us the ability to persevere. As we trust and surrender our marriage to Him on a daily/minute-by-minute basis, He teaches us to love each other better even in the worst of circumstances.
After all, it’s one thing for me to love my spouse when all is going well and he’s treating me like I’m the center of the universe. But that’s not reality … at least not sustained reality. Anyone who’s been married for longer than a year will tell you that!
In other words, Christ taught us to truly love one another because of, not in spite of, the messy and painful situations we went through, and even now, on occasion, go through.
I really don’t think I would’ve known how to be a conduit of God’s love in my spouse’s life, without the training ground that difficulty and pain provide.
What about you?
What keeps you and your spouse together?
What practices do you have that strengthen your bond?
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:1-2 (NIV)
One more thing … Messy Marriage is beginning a new Link-Up for all of you “Blog Hoppers” out there! Yay! Please come on by and link up with your stories of marriage and parenthood at Wedded Wednesday starting on the 30th!
Today we’re happy to join e-Mom for Marriage Monday on the topic of “commitment.” Check out who else we’re linking up with – NOBH, Monday’s Musings, Marriage Moment, Matrimonial Monday, and Playdates with God