Karen and I have taken on a challenge this coming February. As the date approaches we’ve been wondering if we should’ve thought this through a little bit more. But like it or not, the first weekend in February (5th & 6th) we’ve decided to do a marriage conference at Grace community Church. Check out this link to find out more about the conference.
We’re taking this on, not because we have the perfect marriage or because we have it all figured out, but because, like you, we’ve had our share of struggles and pain, successes and failures, heartache and joy. In the midst of all of that, it seems that we have learned a few things over the past 27 years. And today we are more in love than we have ever been in our lives.
Of course there have been plenty of times in the past few weeks where we’ve looked at each other and wondered what in the world have we gotten ourselves into. Even as I’m writing this sentence, I’m thinking that maybe we should have talked through this a little bit more before volunteering to do a conference.
Recently we were driving home from dinner with some friends of ours and we started talking about this conference. At some point in the conversation Karen says to me; “I don’t really want to get up and say anything because I feel like such a hypocrite. I feel so unqualified.” So, as men are prone to do, I took some time to think before responding. As I’m thinking about it, I suddenly realize that I’ve been quiet for too long and panic begins to take hold; because if I don’t say something quickly, it might look like I’m ignoring her; but if I speak too soon, I won’t have anything intelligent to say and she’ll think I’m not taking her seriously. Then I realized that these thoughts cost me another 20 seconds and I still had nothing. I realize that I am nearing the point of no return and better come up with something quick or we’re going to spend the next 30 minutes fighting about the marriage conference we were supposed to be leading in just a few weeks.
So, I take a chance and decide to try and think out loud. I know this is risky but I’m starting to run out of options. So I start talking, partially to keep myself out of trouble, but mostly because I’m a sensitive caring husband who wants to meet his wife’s communication needs. Anyway, I tell her maybe that’s what will make this conference different. Because were not coming at this as experts (as if that’s not obvious by now) but as fellow strugglers who are determined not to settle for mediocrity.
We still have plenty of fights. But we always make up (that’s my favorite part). And while it seems that we are often still fighting over the same issues we did 20 years ago, things are still getting better. There are times that are worse than others; and there are still times when we may be just a few bad decisions away from ending it. But while we sometimes fight in our marriage, we always fight for our marriage. And that’s the fight neither one of us are giving up on.
In 18 years as a pastor one of my biggest frustrations was the number of people I saw who were surviving in their marriage. It seems like the goal, for some, was to simply not get a divorce. Their parents were still married. Their grandparents were still married. So on and so forth all the way up the family tree. And there was no way they were going to be the ones to get a divorce so they did whatever it took to survive no matter how miserable it got.
Still others think that if things work out well, especially if you have a good spouse, you can at least keep from fighting in front of the kids, making a scene at parties, and present a façade that everything is okay at home. That’s true sometimes but it’s not true sometimes, and people seem to be okay with that. I’m not saying that there aren’t ups and downs. That should be expected. But it doesn’t have to be the norm. To me, a good marriage isn’t worth it. I want a great marriage
Marriage is not meant to be survived. Marriage is not meant to be good. Your marriage is not meant to be better than someone else’s. Marriage is not meant to be endured. Marriage is meant to prevail.
It is God’s intent for your marriage to get better and better and better, every year of your lives together. It is and always has been God’s intent for you to be able to look at your spouse today and feel such intense and passionate love for him or her that you would do it all over again in a heartbeat, no matter the cost.
That’s what God wants. That’s the kind of heart God is looking for. That’s the kind of marriage God wants to bless. That’s the kind of marriage that God wants to infuse with his power. Not a perfect one. Just one that is submitted to Him. Because in today’s world that’s the only way your marriage will prevail.
There is so much more than I would like to share with you on this subject. If you would like to know more, please continue reading these blogs, come to the conference if you can, or read my new eBook, “Marriage Is Worth Fighting For.” Get your FREE copy below.