Finding solutions to the hard issues in a troubled marriage
…And they lived happily ever after! While this fairy tale ending makes us feel all warm and fuzzy, it doesn’t help us to prepare for reality. The fact is, marriage is hard. Having a bad marriage is much easier. Think about why. Two people make a promise to one another before God to be - for the rest of their lives - completely faithful to each other. Theoretically, we think this is not unreasonable because when we marry, the bonds of love are powerful. Then life happens. Stress, jobs, children, changes, finances, likes, dislikes, opinions, moods - all of the human things that life is made of show themselves. You wake up one day and that bond of love that once looked impervious has faded into the shadows of everyday experience.
One of the basic questions we as Christians need to ask ourselves is, upon what are our marriages based? While the gut reaction answer would be things like love, compatibility and common goals, the real answer has a deeper basis. Marriage is a promise...but not just any promise. For a Christian, marriage is a covenant of God, which makes it a promise agreed to with God as witness. This simply means we are committing ourselves to a life-long contract of fidelity in the most sacred environment possible. Christian marriage is therefore based on commitment and not compatibility.
While this might sound limiting and even scary, it is actually really good news. It provokes us to work hard when things become challenging, to not throw it the towel when we may feel like giving up. A promise made in the presence of God is always worth fighting for! Keeping a promise made in the presence of God always brings ultimate spiritual blessing, even when our personal lives are challenged.
Now let’s get practical. How do you fight for something you don’t feel is worth it? What would make you want to protect something that seems to not only be causing you pain, but suffering as well? The answer, which may sound corny at first, is LOVE. The fact is, it is possible to love your spouse even when you DON'T love them! We need to get our heads around this unlikely approach. Once we do, we can begin to make a significant difference in the quality of our daily married lives.
Check out our March 2, 2020 podcast, “I Don’t Think I Love My Spouse Anymore. What Now?” for more. We lay out answers, but not from the viewpoint of being idealistic. That would be far too easy. On the contrary, we walk through the true story of a Christian woman who is currently in a difficult marriage. She honestly explains her daily challenges, the development of her thinking, and the conclusions and solutions she is finding. This difficult story helps us be realistic while also seeking God’s higher ways to manage these hard circumstances. There are answers when life gets difficult. Join us to find them!
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