Thursday, 17 June 2010

It's Just That Simple - Or Is It?

In his book Love That Lasts Gary Ricucci, author and Christian counselor, writes, “And so often when I raise with a husband his relationship with God, he wants to focus on his relationship with his wife. Men, there will be no progress in leading and loving your wife if you fail to fellowship with God. In my experience, healthy and growing marriages are invariably led by men who are consistent and intentional in their pursuit of God. Struggling marriages usually are not. It’s just that simple.” Or is it?
                                                                                                                       
Yes, no and maybe. I think I’ve covered all my options.

If fellowshipping with God is the key why do so many Christian marriages end in divorce? Because in most cases I believe the husband is a causal Christian (attends church primarily on Christmas and Easter) or a Christian by default (he doesn’t follow Islam, Buddhism, etc. therefore he must be a…). As one humorist said, “If I were to sleep in the garage it doesn’t make me a car.” To assume that a husband who refers to himself as a Christian is actively pursuing the disciplines of a Godly man would be a gigantic miscalculation.

What about those marriages that appear to be thriving, who are admittedly not based on Christian principles. I so want to talk about a high profile golfer at this point but I will refrain. I think the operative word is “appear”. Does that mean that there are no solid non-Christian marriages? - Absolutely not. Do I think the odds of a marriage being exceptional are much higher if the marriage is headed by a husband who is God loving, God fearing, and God seeking? – Absolutely.

Who decides what a healthy and growing marriage is anyhow? In the short term – you do. From a more eternal perspective – God does. I put on 25 pounds within months of my wedding day but that’s not the kind of growth Ricucci had in mind. I think healthy and growing refer to the couple’s spiritual, emotional and physical relationship. Are they more deeply committed to one another today than they were yesterday? Do they understand that they are part of God’s pre-determined growth plan for one another? Is the couple earnestly seeking to extend the love and respect that is commanded by God in Ephesians 5:33? Does the couple laugh together? Does the couple enjoy to the max the incredible gift of intimacy that the Lord has provided? Does the couple approach areas of disagreement as opportunities to grow and better understand themselves and their spouse?

What do you consider as being growing and healthy descriptors of a marriage and what are the contributing factors to having such a marriage if it is not tied to God?

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