Saturday, June 2, 2012

Marriage Tips for the First Decade: Take off the Mask (Mask #4)

Mask #4: If others see problems within your marriage, they might get the wrong idea about what a healthy marriage should look like.

Scripture to consider:Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16, NASB)

The General Reality: Based on experience, I think the opposite is true.  You can learn from others’ mistakes and you can also learn through others, that conflict can be a stepping stone to a growing relationship.  Additionally, I have experienced great comfort in knowing that when my wife and I are at our worst, we are far from alone.  Our problems were never greater than the resolution and this was made clear when I met others who had already experienced those problems and successfully made their way through them.  Knowing this was pure encouragement!  Additionally, sometimes visiting a marriage and family therapist can greatly help your marriage, much like it did for my wife and I.
Sharing our problems with others ultimately saved our marriage from destruction because there is something about receiving the perspective of a neutral third party or parties that makes the potential for resolution more clear.  Ignoring that opportunity takes away from the resources available to you to strive for and reach a high quality, successful marriage.  The very reason that God created marriage was so that man would not be alone.  Plus, considering that our God is a relational God, we can’t be so arrogant to assume that we, as His creation, can go at this alone.  We were made to work together!

Conversation Starters

·         Have you ever felt like reaching out to others for marriage help but did not because you were afraid of the results?

·         Do you think sharing some of your past relational challenges could help others get through the same challenges? 

Things to Try

·         If you are experiencing marriage trouble (even if it seems to be too small of an issue to bring up), try visiting a marriage and family therapist.  Doing this can not only help a failing marriage, but can also turn a mediocre marriage into a vibrant, joyful one.

·         Choose a friend or family member who has been married longer than you have and ask them what makes their marriage successful.  You may find yourself learning something new that could change your marriage forever.  You may even teach the older/longer married couple a thing or two.

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