Every once in a while I'm reminded that I can't leave my marriage on autopilot for too long. For Jono and I, autopilot is waking up every day and doing our daily routines of making breakfast, taking the kids to school, paying our bills, and basically navigating the hamster wheel that is life. Sometimes we have these stretches of time where we do this for a while, rushing through the day-pushing stuff like prayer together and taking time to really check in with each other emotionally to the backburner-and then BOOM.
We have a HUGE argument. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones where cuss words are said, or yelling is involved, and words like "divorce" are thrown around.
And we're left wondering, "Wait, how did we get to this point?"
When we stepped back, we realized how much we had hurt each other, and that our marriage is precious to both of us, and that we have some work to put in to make sure that we treasure each other the right way.
It also makes me realize that as humans, no matter how much we love someone else, our relationships eventually SELF-DESTRUCT if we depend on ourselves. Here's why:
1. Broken people can’t love broken people. Each person comes to the marriage with scars from past trauma, addictions, and deeply rooted flaws that can be toxic to the relationship. Despite our best efforts to love the other person, there are times when our patience with their mistakes and weaknesses will run out and we will feel like giving up on the relationship. It’s only human to feel that the struggle is not worth it. I’m talking addiction to pornography, gambling, alcoholism, PTSD from sexual abuse-these things really take a toll on relationships and have the potential to kill the love. Having God at the center of our relationships will help us see the other person through God’s eyes, and be just as committed as He is to their healing and redemption-even if it means going through tough times with them.
2. Forever really means forever. Life will be full of ups and downs, challenges that take you by surprise, tragedies that can break your spirit. When you have God at the center of your relationship He will hold you and your spouse together and you’ll come out on the other side closer to one another instead of life’s curveballs alienating you from one another. You’ll have hope because you’ll know that God has our best interests in mind and strengthens us for whatever trials we have to face.
3. Every other foundation is temporary at best. Yes, it’s great to have a partner who is wealthy and can go on family vacations every other month. It’s great to be with someone that everyone else clamored to be with-it feels good to know you were the one they chose. But at the end of the day, good looks fade-body parts start drooping and looking flabby at some point-kids grow up, the economy fluctuates, and then the bare bones of your relationship are exposed. Have your marriage centered in the love of God ensures that your camaraderie and friendship will always be there. No matter what happens, you know that this is your best friend for life, your soulmate, and temporary circumstances won’t change that.
Till next time!