September 14, 2012

The Best Marriage Advice: #2

Follow the links below for previous posts in our top five countdown:

#5

#4

#3

#2 Run to the Son (26 Points) 

Way too many people to name

 

I had a difficult time writing this entry. I am very aware that most of the individuals who read this blog would identity themselves as Christians. As such it is not surprising that these same individuals would send me advice stating that a dynamic relational pursuit of Jesus is of the utmost importance. Applied to marriage, both individuals should be seeking God and simply doing this actually brings them closer to each other (most people refer to the diagram below).

I've heard this "triangle referenced 198,867,000 times

I agree this is incredibly important. I cannot however, say this is the most important thing.

I will now pause and allow you to gather your pitchforks and torches.


The reason this advice finds itself in the "2-hole" and not the top spot is that I have personally known wonderful couples that have beautiful and healthy marriages that are not following Jesus. Now I know your response may be, "Don't you think they would have even healthier marriages if they were Christians?" Perhaps, but I also know lots of followers of Jesus they do not have healthy marriages. Therefore, there must be something even more important than each couples' personal and "collective" relationship with the Lord.

Stay with me...

I'll explain this a little more when I reveal the top spot, but allow me to briefly comment on the importance of the "sacred triangle." But before I do, could there be a more cheesy name for that diagram (I hope you all read that in your best Chandler Bing voice)?


The title "Run to the Sun" was also taken from my dad's wedding charge (the other part of the message is referenced here).  This is how my mom summed up what my dad said, "Keep growing in your relationship with God. Keep growing separately and together as a couple. Have Christ be the center of your relationship." I can personally confirm that this is true. When Sarah and I are passionately seeking after God individually and collectively, or marriage is like the Spinal Tap amp on 11.


I will also say, from a place of personal experience, this is one of the most difficult aspects of our marriage to cultivate. We find it very hard to pray together.  We both value it and think it is incredibly important, but for whatever reason find it tough to do. Ironically, it's actually much easier for me to write a blog post about the topic then it is for the two of us to read through a devotional together. But, I do believe there is hope. Most couples of a more seasoned age (lets say 40+) mentioned that this was the very best aspect of their relationship. I can't help but think there is a direct correlation between age, wisdom, experience and healthy marriage. So if you're reading this blog and you would consider yourself a "sage" on the topic of how couples actually do grow together in their faith, please comment on this blog or my facebook page. Us young whipper snappers will be eternally grateful.
  
I will conclude with a comment that was sent to me by a friend from Rowley, MA. I'll keep his identity confidential, but some of his friends know him simply as Speedball. I have to say, it was one of if not the richest, purist and most thoughtful reflections on marriage that I received. Instead of attempting to summarize, I will simply post what he sent me.
Before I got married, I was pretty confident that I knew what marriage would entail and what it would be like to have a wife. I thought I knew what it would take to keep her happy and myself happy.

But honestly, after being married a year, marriage is nothing like what I thought it would be... but so amazing in ways I would have never been able to comprehend ahead of time.

I would simply compare it to my walk with Christ. I am growing closer and closer to Christ by identifying all the ways that I continue to fall short... and recognizing more of his grace and love for such a fallen creature.

With my wife, I would argue that I am continuing to learn the things she loves/likes and dislikes, however, my ever-present insecurities, selfish/sinful self continues to pop up in new and creative ways making only her grace and unconditional love for me a very necessary and humbling gift....

These processes of insecurity, brokenness and recognition of undeserved love, have and continue to breed the level of closeness that trumps the physical and becomes a richer intimate communion with someone that I know is as broken and insecure as myself, making the communing worship of God a most natural thing.  
I will conclude this countdown hopefully this weekend, but before I do so I will pass along some "honorable mentions."


2 comments:

  1. The most important thing I've learned about marriage and keeping my wife happy is simply making her laugh from time to time. Arguing about miniscule stuff just breads tension and animosity.

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  2. Thanks for the comment. So true, laughter has a way of cutting through tension and putting things in perspective.

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