First Weekly Blog: My marriage is in trouble.

Posted: Mon. Feb, 22 2016

This is the first in a series of Pastor John’s weekly blogs.

There will be a new article submitted each week on timely subjects - things that really matter -  written with a  Christian, Biblical perspective.

Get ready for a fresh take on practical daily living, as well as answers to life’s biggest questions. Expect to be built up, instructed, convicted, and challenged. That’s what the word of God does!  

Also, as you read these, don’t be surprised if you start thinking about a person in your life who could really benefit from reading the same thing. When that happens, don’t be shy …. Pass it along!

All to the Lord’s glory.

 

My marriage is in trouble.

It sort of creeps up on you.

For a while now, you’ve had this dull pain in your heart. 

Or maybe you just find that you are on pins and needles when you are around him, around her.

Most conversations turn into an argument at the end. But mostly you don’t have conversations any more.

The sex is obligatory and cold. Unfeeling.  Mechanical.

If you even have sex at all.

How could something that started so good turn out to be so bad?

We loved each other when we tied the knot, I am sure we did.

At least we thought we did.

What was it that about him, about her, that made me think I loved her way back when?

We had things in common.  I looked forward to the next time we would be together.  I really did. I think he did, she did, as well.

But…

 

Strangers in a row boat

Now we are like strangers sharing a row boat.

And it’s past nightfall.

Neither one of us feels much like rowing any more.

But we keep rowing anyway.

I guess it’s because rowing is easier than trying to get through to you.

It’s just
Easier.

Row, row, row your boat

I row by cooking the meals. He rows by working all the time. 

We row, row, row

But we’re not getting anywhere.

Probably because mostly we keep rowing in opposite directions. Or the wrong direction.

Which is a problem -  when you’re in the same boat.

He keeps trying to give himself respect. She tries to love herself.

It does not work.  It’s just not relaxing to massage your own shoulders.  When you scratch your own back, you miss spots.

But who wants to be the first to say

We’re in trouble.

 

The # one answer

If any of that struck a chord, rest assured that you are not alone.

I went to a pastor’s luncheon a few weeks ago. The invited speaker was a man who ran a Christian counseling practice.

After he was done speaking, I asked him a basic question. I wanted to know the top reasons why people seek out counseling these days.

#1 was marriage trouble.

By the way, #2 was depression, and #3 was parenting. ( I figured you’d want to know the others.)  But # 1 was trouble in the marriage.

Then he said something that shocked me at first, but when I thought about it a little bit, it did ring true.

He said that only 7% of American marriages today are healthy. Only 1 out of every 14!

This certainly seems to  line up with  something in the Bible.

Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you.

That comes from first Corinthians chapter 7 verses 27 and 28 (1CO 7:27-28).  

Paul the apostle  wrote this (well God composed it and then gave it to Paul to pen), and he wasn’t kidding!

All right. But you ARE married -

And you need help STAYING married. 

 

Two dirty little secrets

Here are the two dirty little secrets about being married.

First, there will always be elephants in the room.  Problems to solve.  Rivers to cross. Mountains to get over. Pick your metaphor. 

Men will look at pornography.  Women will shop too much.

You will disagree about how to handle what’s going on with one of your kids.  Each of you will keep on doing that THING that is so annoying to your partner.

One of you will lose their job.  Or get sick. Really sick. 

Or your daughter gets pregnant. Or your son gets in trouble with the law. Or you do.

Remember those words you heard or even said on the day you got married….

For better….well but it was followed by - for worse.

Did you mean it?  Better question:  Did you consider how you would  respond if (and when)  things went in the worse direction? 

Probably not. You were you being optimistic and hopeful and positive… and didn’t pay much attention to those words “for worse”. 

It’s understandable.   

It’s just not realistic. But then, who’s realistic on their wedding day?

For richer…but then, what? ….for poorer.

In sickness as well as in health.

In good times…AND in bad.

And I won’t say the last one because it’s too probably just too painful to hear right now.

OK so that’s the first dirty little secret about marriage.

No matter how long you stay married, there will always be something you two face that falls into the “for worse”,…  “bad times”,…  “poorer”,…  and/or “sickness” category.

When the only thing that can help is the power of God in your marriage. How Jesus Christ fits into your marriage.

Something that you are meant to work out together. 

That calls for the two of you to row in the same direction.

Watch out for the other person.  Have one another’s back. 

There just will.

Here’s dirty little marriage secret #2:

To measure how much trouble a marriage is in, simply interview the husband and wife.  Ask each of them what share of the problem he or she blames his or her spouse for.

A healthy marriage is one where the husband says “this is my responsibility. Time to put more love in the marriage bank account”,

While the wife says “this is on me. Time to  put more respect in the marriage bank account”.

A marriage is on life support when it gets so bad that both of you are saying “It’s all her fault”  …  &

“He’s completely to blame for why our marriage is falling apart”.

 

The 100% rule

So that brings us to the 100% rule:

Marriages don’t heal until the husband and the wife each decide to take 100% of the responsibility for the health of the marriage.

And since you can’t control your spouse’s thoughts or intentions, guess what? You make the first move! 

Decide one area of your life where you are going to give more respect to your husband. 

Find a way to pour your love into something that really speaks to her heart. 

Jesus has your back on this one!  If it’s impossible right now to do this for her, for him, then just do it for Jesus , the one who loves you and died for you!

Marriage is NOT a 50/50 proposition.  Marriage is a 100%/100% proposition.

 

Your secret weapon for the marriage

And now, are you ready for the secret weapon to heal marriages? 

One word:

Forgiveness.

You have to start here.

A man won’t put new energy into loving his wife until he forgives her.

A woman won’t start to respect her husband again until first she forgives him.

It’s like when you owe somebody some money.  Nobody likes to run into somebody they  owe money to.  What do we do to them?

We avoid them.

That’s what’s going on in too many kitchens and bedrooms in America these days. Avoid. Avoid, and avoid again.

 

Drop the rock

Forgive the debt.  Like you’ve been forgiven by God.

Drop the grudge. 

Holding a grudge is like holding a rock in your hand. You do it thinking you might throw it at the person who wronged you someday.  But in the meantime it makes it impossible to hold anything else.

Besides -  no one wants to make love to somebody who’s standing there holding a rock in his hand.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (EPH 4:31-32)

 

Until the next time, we’re all ….

In His grip,

Pastor John

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