Thursday, May 31, 2012

Marriage Tips for the First Decade: Take off the Mask (Intro)

Scripture to consider:Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, NASB)

Our culture is absolutely spectacular when it comes to setting the pattern for how we are to live, look, and act.  This issue exists as much in religious culture as it does in secular culture.  It is no surprise that this mental construct bleeds into our marriages as well.  We come face to face with it daily behind the closed doors of our homes as well as in the public eye.  At one point or another, we all feel the pressure of the gap between how our marriage “should look” and what the true reality of it is.  Some of us tend to internalize the pressure while others express it externally.  Regardless of the form of expression, this type of pressure is bound to affect our marriages.

I have been in a relationship with my wife for almost 13 years and married to her for almost 9 of those years.  During those years, I have learned several things that I would like to share with all of you.  I may include some Scripture but my main point with this series is to teach others about the reality of marriage instead of the Mask that so many self-help books, magazine articles, online articles, friends, and even family members just love to paint for all of us to see.  My intent is to teach those within the first decade of their marriages or even those who are thinking about getting married in the future.  Perhaps some of my experiences may help young married couples and young relationships see past the Mask and grasp onto hope that they never thought they had.

Marriage and wedding rings
So with this week’s topic, Take off the Mask, I would like to start with (13) cliché ideologies about how marriage should look vs. what is more likely the true reality of things.

Please click on the links below to read the commentary for each item:

8.     Marriage issues should always stay private.
9.     Your marriage problems are unique and no one will understand them.
10. For wives: If your kid’s outfit’s match, your husband’s outfit coordinates with yours, and you volunteered for every opportunity that you’ve come across, then no one will see the frustration behind the perfection.
11. For husbands: If you have all the money your family needs, you have a great job, and all of your family’s basic needs are accounted for, then your job is done.
12. If you’ve taken care of all your known responsibilities, you are entitled to some freedom of your choice.
13. Some transgressions in your marriage are beyond repair. If there is no hope in the relationship, throw in the towel.

Conversation Starters

·       How might your marriage or premarital relationship be affected by masks such as these? 

·       Can you identify any other masks not mentioned here that are challenging for you and your spouse?  Please share them.

Things to Try

·       Try doing one act of kindness for your spouse today without actually saying anything to them or attempting to research the idea from an outside source.

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