This August my wife and I will have been married 22 years. We started dating 26 years ago. You would think we would have mastered this marriage thing by now. The truth is it’s always a challenge. Loving one another is easy. Learning how to do so in an understanding way is a constant roller coaster. I’ve learned over time there are 3 key areas that lead to breakdowns in any relationship.
One, you can’t ignore the Christ factor. In fact, any relationship without Christ is bound for separation. Only a mutual faith in Christ can keep us together. Only a mutual surrender to Christ can help us truly become one. This life is full of stress and marriage is just a piece of paper to most. Only two people who remain united in their devotion to Christ and their relationship can weather the storms satan will constantly bring.
Secondly, there is the communication factor. It’s one thing to date someone, but another thing to live together. The longer you’re together the more communication must be developed. It’s no longer just about where would you like to go on your next date. It’s about learning how to talk about the good, bad, and ugly together. That is without wanting to fist fight. It’s about learning how to understand your spouse not just get them to understand you. I still believe this is the most challenging thing for most relationships.
Thirdly, there’s the compatibility factor. I do believe there’s a lot of truth in saying opposites attract. Usually we find someone who has opposite strengths and qualities than us. Typically we admire in someone else what we do not see in ourselves. In many ways God uses two imperfect opposites to make a healthier whole. Underneath the umbrella of Christ and communication we’re able to feel like a match made in Heaven. But, any time any of these areas get out of sorts our relationship suffers and everything feels like a chore.
Please know these struggles are normal for us all. My wife and I have to work through things everyday. There are days that nothing comes easy or feels right. There are other days that come real easy and feel wonderful. Just because your relationship feels like work doesn’t mean it’s not meant to be. Anything worth fighting for requires dedication, sacrifice, sweat, and maybe even some tears along the way.
“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9