“Each day —a new beginning.” That is a little saying we have posted on our wall. It inspires us not to let yesterday’s failures dictate the victories that can be gained at the beginning of each day. A new day can escort in new beginnings, if we embrace the possibility. This New Year offers many possibilities of working towards new beginnings.
But with each “new beginning” there is also the potential for growth. And while growth can produce great things, it can also hurt when we are stretched beyond our comfort zones. That’s especially true in marriage. Growth can be exciting yet painful, good and yet uncomfortable.
Growing Can Hurt
We’re reminded of the song, which Wayne Watson released a number of years ago titled, “I’m Growing.” It’s a prayerful song addressed to God that expresses our hearts, as well. And maybe, as you look as you grow as a spouse, and a follower of Christ, you can relate too. The chorus goes like this:
I’m growing. But I don’t like it.
I’m growing and it hurts…
I love you, but I’m tired.
I guess I’ve got a lot to learn…
Yeah, I guess I’ve got a lot to learn.
And I do —we do. We’ve got a lot to learn, even in this later stage of marriage. Growing can hurt sometimes. But with that pain, there is growth and a better way to live together, as God ordains.
Steve and I are committed as God’s children to grow in our marriage relationship. But we’ve learned that we don’t just want to focus as much upon our problems, but on solutions.
That’s what Gary and Carrie Oliver discovered in their marriage. They were going through some tough times and had many things to work and learn through. As they were working through their problems, here’s something they learned and share (that we agree with).
“God doesn’t want us merely to ‘get’ through our problems. He wants us to “grow” through them. Jesus didn’t die and rise again so we could be mere survivors. In the words of Romans 8:37, Jesus wants to help us ‘become more than conquerors’ and experience ‘overwhelming victory.’ He wants to do ‘immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us’ (Ephesians 3:20). He doesn’t want us merely to survive the difficulties. Jesus wants us to thrive in the midst of them.
“For the first years of our marriage we prayed for growth. But we weren’t growth-focused. We discovered if we wanted our marriage to go from good to great, we had to take the next step. We had to move beyond merely solving problems to consciously choosing to look at our problems and our relationship from a new perspective.”
You can read of more of their focused approach to their marriage by going to:
Our Hope for You
We hope you’ll also work to make your marriage a “growth-focused” one. The Lord will lead you in this mission if you ask Him. He has shown us (and keeps showing us). It sure is working great! We’ll be married 45 years in just a few weeks, and we’re more in love with each other than ever before. We hope you get there (and beyond).
“And this is my [our] prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)