BECOMING one is a process, but it doesn’t ‘just happen’ over time.
After almost 42 years we are still on the journey. Our process has had highs and lows; but we are intentional about keeping our relationship on the front burner. Some of the ways we invest in the process include going to marriage retreats, praying together, working through issues instead of burying them, and speaking truth in love. We are in community with other intentional couples.
It’s never too late to become intentional about BECOMING one. Here’s a good place to start: Couple Checkup.
“and the two will become one flesh.”
Mark 10:8 NIV
Myths of Marriage
We’ve led the marriage ministry at our church campus for over 2 years and have seen some myths among couples who come to us for help. You might relate to these myths. Ted Lowe and Doug Fields write about these myths in their book, Married People.
- We don’t want anyone to know we have some small problems in our marriage and we’re pretty sure we’re the only ones who do.
- It would be great to fix these problems in our marriage by ‘working’ them out.
- But if we ‘work’ on our marriage everyone will know we have problems and we’re pretty sure everyone will think there’s something wrong with us.
- Therefore, we won’t ‘work’ on our marriage until the problems become overwhelming and we don’t know where else to turn.
‘Working’ on our marriage can be as simple as taking walks together. We were recently talking to a couple about this. We told them taking walks together is a great way to improve communication because you are not face-to-face. It’s often easier to begin a new level of communication when you are side-by-side. The couple laughed and said the neighbors would notice they were taking walks and would know something is up. They said they knew a couple who started taking walks together and before they knew it the couple divorced!
Isn’t that interesting, that just seeing a couple doing a pleasant thing like taking a walk is a sign that there is severe trouble? I think it’s a sign that we are all wearing masks, trying to hide the fact that we all occasionally have problems in our marriage. Most of the wives I’ve worked with in small groups are really encouraged to hear the stories of the other wives. They suddenly realize that they are not alone and that many other couples struggle, often with the same issues.
In the past 2 years, more than half of the couples who reached out to us for marriage help were in serious, devitalized marriages. They have been living in conflict for years, and they are ready to walk out for good. Unfortunately, we see very little success with couples like this. One or both of them have checked out, and are no longer willing to ‘work’ on the marriage. They waited far too long, sadly.
The Bible says that God’s plan for marriage is that the two should become one. The act of ‘becoming’ is a process, and along the way, there are many things that will threaten this process of becoming one. A shortage of resources like time, money, and sleep are threats to oneness. So are our priorities. Careers often threaten oneness, as do conflicts over roles, finances, goals, and intimacy. Couples often put their children’s activities before their marriage. Sports are seen as non-negotiable prerequisites for a healthy, happy kid. The family is forced to live in a stress-filled, never-ending road-trip as the sports schedule takes precedence over everything. We have seen many couples lose interest in marriage mentoring when they realized that it didn’t fit into the sports schedule.
This week, why not take a proactive step in the process to become one? The Prepare-Enrich people have created an online assessment you can take to understand your marriage strengths and growth areas. Just click Couple Checkup to get started. Along with the assessement there is a free downloadable discussion guide to help you build skills at communication, problem solving, parenting, and a host of other topics. It’s never too late to be intentional about becoming one.
…because your marriage counts, deb