Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Eyes Wide Open

In Paul Tripp’s latest book What Did You Expect? his chapter entitled “Eyes Wide Open” provides some interesting insight as to how a onetime seemingly good marriage can go bad. He suggests that we have to locate the “potholes” in our marriages that have the potential of bumping your marriage out of alignment. For those of you unfamiliar with the term pothole, they are the large holes in the roadway that when driven over by your car might put your wheels out of alignment.

The first culprit is “visual lethargy”. This occurs when we fail to see the good in our partner that once was so obvious to us. From the sparkling eyes and great smile to the sense of humor or unexpected kindnesses that we now take for granted, we simply don’t notice some of the things that we so cherished when we first married.

Another robber of marital bliss is “habit inconsistencies”. Perhaps when you first married you spent much time together, talking about everything. You vowed to never let the sun go down on your anger. You were quick to forgive and to be appreciative for thoughtful gestures. Perhaps the man still opened the car door and the wife went out of her way to prepare something special. Now there is minimal conversation, going to bed angry is the norm, forgiveness is no longer requested or given and the last time a car door was opened Nixon was President.

Laziness is another contributor to the demise of a marriage. Marriage takes work and it requires attention. Just as we would regularly maintain an automobile so too we must do those things that keep our marriages running smoothly. Regularly scheduled date nights, an occasional love note placed somewhere strategic; flowers for no good reason, a specific time set aside each week to just talk and a thoughtful gesture are some of the ways to keep a marriage from going stale.

We are reminded throughout Scripture that we have an enemy. He doesn’t appear in a red suit, with horns and a pitch fork. He encourages us to work late nights at the office at the expense of our family; he makes us feel guilty if we take time for our marriage instead of taking our children to every event and activity imaginable; he goads us on to getting overly committed, overly tired, and always feeling in a rush and frenzy thus affecting our mood. He finds imaginative ways to drive a wedge between you and your spouse such that you begin to live parallel lives. The intimacy goes and the little annoyances that never bothered you are all of a sudden a big deal.

We are in a war, let’s open our eyes and see that the enemy is not the one lying next to us in bed.

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