Who hasn't fallen into a rut? I know that about eleven years into our marriage (yeah, it took that long) I woke up one day realizing that we had fallen into the horrible cycle of disagreement, anger and discontent simmering into a full blow up argument, followed twelve hours later with "making up" and being extremely kind to each other until our human patience and kindness ran out. There had to be a better way to be married, right?
This was before I surrendered my life to Christ and made Him Lord. But it was THIS realization that there had to be a better way, there had to be something more that propelled me into His loving arms. I didn't know the story of the guy by the pool of Bethesda in John 5:1-9, but I knew I wanted to be well and the things I was trying wasn't working. How did he finally get well? Jesus asked him what he wanted, then told him what to do and he did it. There are lots of people in the bible who weren't well and wanted healing. My favorite is the woman with the issue of the blood. She knew just being near Jesus would make her well, so she pursued him at all costs- she was an outcast going into a crowd, unclean yet touched his garment, BELIEVING she would be well. And she was.
Do you want your marriage to be well? Do you want to be well?
Try this at home: A great place to start is Things to do Everyday as a Couple - a great list of simple, life changing things that couples with healthy marriages do every day. Read the list. Pray about it. Invite your spouse to join you. Start TODAY!!
Get help: Yep, if you are in the "irreconcilable differences" place we were in, seek BIBLICAL counsel. And when you do, take everything you hear back to the word. If it doesn't line up, find a different source of counsel. I knew when our first marriage counselor told me to "lighten up and drink a little", she wasn't the right counselor for us. Check your local church or visit www.nanc.org to find a biblical counselor. OH, and if you find a "free" counselor who encourages you well, show them your appreciation with a gift card or a check if they've invested in your life and marriage.
Do what the counselor instructs. Jesus told the man at the pool of Bethesda to pick up his mat and walk. The man did what Jesus told him to do. If the counselor gives you homework, DO IT. Don't worry about what your spouse is doing, do what you are called to do. Your Mission to be the man/husband/father or woman/wife/mother doesn't change based on what your spouse is or isn't doing. Just like if you want to run a marathon, you've got to follow a training plan, if you want change in your marriage, you've got to follow the training plan your counselor sets before you.
Go away. No, don't stop reading and leave the computer right now, find a marriage getaway and get away together.
- Weekend to Remember: We went to our first Weekend to Remember as a divorced couple, and it changed our lives and marriage. It gave us the tools to seek and grant generous forgiveness, then to build a new marriage together on the Word of God. We've read the responses from couples who have attended- this getaway changes marriages, healing broken ones, strengthening good marriages, and resurrecting dead marriages. We've got a discount code to save you some cash on registration, find one near you!
- The Art of Marriage: Not necessarily a get out of town getaway, but perhaps an oasis of truth in your own town. It's a dvd based event with the best bible and marriage teachers and pastors on the planet weighing in with truth, vignettes that will make you laugh and cry, and projects to get you and your spouse talking about the "elephant in the room" in your marriage. Find one near you!
- The Art of Marriage at Sea: We love The Art of Marriage so much, we're taking it on a cruise with us October 23-28, leaving from Charleston,SC. Will you join us?
- Love Like You Mean It Cruise: We'd love to have you join us on the only fully chartered Christian marriage cruise! February 10-14, 2014, we'll be headed to Grand Turk Island this year, with a couple of days at sea. It's going to be so much fun...so far the line up of speakers/entertainment includes: Gary Chapman, Dennis & Barbara Rainey, Laura Story, Chris August, Building 429, Nicole C. Mullen, FFH, Bone Hampton, and more to be announced!!
If you want different results than what you've got in your marriage, you've got to do something different. Get desperate like the woman with the blood issue, press into Jesus like your life and marriage depends on it, because it does.
We're linking up!