Last week Steve gave some marriage tips. The Insight was titled “45 Years of Marriage: What We’ve Learned.” It’s sure true; we HAVE learned a lot during all these years of marriage.
And because of our longevity together, and because we’ve built a GREAT marriage, I could give you many additional tips. Throughout our web site we have many.
And in the future (Lord willing) we will give more. But for right now, I think the best one that has helped us is summed up in the word, “together.”
No matter what we go through, we determine that we will make it up that mountain together. We will make it together as a couple with the Lord, as a “cord of three strands.”
Life is Messy
We’ve had a LOT of things happen to us —both before marriage and after marrying that have been difficult. Lets face it; we all have. How do you go through life on this side of Heaven unscathed? We live in a fallen world. We’re all fallen by nature, so how do you NOT have bad things happen? But it’s what you do with the “bad”, which is important.
There are SO MANY times I’ve/we’ve wanted to call it quits because something happens that has emotionally divided us. We look at each other and wonder, “Who ARE you anyway? Do I even want to be with you? CAN we make it through this and still stay married?” Thankfully, God has helped us to answer those questions with the answer, “Yes… I choose YOU, and I always will.” We determine that we will give each other grace and space, as needed. But we WILL pull through this together. Our vow and commitment to God and to each other should stand above all circumstances.
Trust me when I say that we aren’t extraordinarily strong people. We’re actually quite “normal” in being weak at times. But we trust in, and look to a God who IS our strength, who gives it to us as we join hands with Him. We’ve learned that no matter what comes our way, we cannot allow it to change the direction of our lives of being committed to Christ and to each other.
Trials Challenge Your Togetherness
“Trials change you.” That’s what author, and Christian radio host Chris Fabry says concerning what he and his family (they have nine children) has learned. Their home was invaded by black mold. Several of them almost lost their lives. And they all have encountered health issues —some more serious than others. When they discovered the source of all of this, they fled from their home. It was a tough choice. But below is what Chris writes about all of this (that is a good lesson for us all).
“When we first got out of the house, it was all about mold, all the time. Mold’s bad, mold hurt us, mold stole our house, mold stole our life. We were going to write a book about the experience. But the longer we’ve lived the more we’ve realized it isn’t really about the mold. It is in the sense you have to deal with the problems and struggles. But the deeper issue here is about what God is doing inside of you, what God is drawing you toward through whatever you’re struggling with. He’s bringing you to a new place in your life. And you can either make it about the bad that you’re trying to get over, or you can make it about moving toward Him, and moving toward life.
“That’s what we’ve seen with the level of losses we’ve had. This is the purpose—He came to give you life and give it abundantly. I don’t know that I would have stopped eating the way I did. Actually, I probably would have heart disease and die a lot sooner. I don’t know if I’d be spiritually where I am today, if that hadn’t happened. It’s just a fact of life. When you go through that kind of struggle and you lose just about everything, it does something to you, it does something inside of you.”
The point we’re trying to make is to CHOOSE to make it through your trials together. As musician Steven Curtis Chapman said after losing their 5-year-old daughter Marie:
“This is going to be hard. But we’re going to make it. We WILL find a way to make it together.”
He said this to his wife and his family, looking to God to help him/them to do so. And this is what we challenge you to do. Don’t let tribulations and differences split you apart. Trials and tribulations will come. It rains on the good and the bad. But determine with God’s help, “We will make it TOGETHER.”
“May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5)