Wednesday, 7 March 2012

How Did We Get Here?

A couple asks, “How did we ever get to this point in our marriage?” One might quickly assume that the couple asking this question isn’t wondering how they have arrived at such a blissful, God glorifying state of matrimony.

Proverbs 11: 2 gives us one clue, i.e. it tells us, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Some of us avoid addressing difficulties in our marriage because of pride. What would people think, after all we must keep up appearances – so we avoid dealing with what is obviously broken.

Some of us are very good about being in denial, particularly guys. Husbands are usually many months behind their wives in recognizing that there is something wrong in Camelot. Because most guys are not known for their conversational ability they don’t sense that the relationship is in dire straits. It gets a little clearer when the wife throws a vase through the flat screen TV at half time during the Super Bowl.

There are some of us who will go out of their way to avoid confrontation. Husbands have been known to set records in the 440 yard dash at the mere sight of a tear in the corner of a wife’s eye. Some of us fear the reaction of our partner particularly if they are prone to anger. There are some who recognize their inability to control what they say in the heat of battle and attempt to withdraw before they say the wrong thing.

Some fear that having a discussion will only dredge up the past and make matters worse.

More often than not it is the wife who suggests counseling when she is still hopeful that change can take place. The husband often initiates counseling when the wife has threatened to leave him.

Let me be blunt. The biggest problem in marriage is self-centeredness, yes both of you. We, as humans, are incapable of being other-centered without the help of the Spirit of God, we are dealing with heart issues. There are secular psychologists and counselors who teach couples skills that may improve the marriage but in most cases the heart doesn’t change; only the Holy Spirit can enable us to make heart changes. True healing begins with the acceptance that marriage is to glorify God and asking God to “create in (you) a clean heart, and to renew a right spirit within (you).” (Psalm 51:10)

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