My wife and I have counseled and mentored many couples over the years and one thing they all have in common is…. a desire to have a better (more fulfilling) marriage. We have also discovered the bottom line for why most couples fail to experience what they say they want……I think Solomon agreed with us.
Here is my paraphrase of the last 5 verses of Proverbs 24:
I went past the home of a lazy spouse,
past the marriage of someone who has no sense;
problems had come up everywhere,
the relationship was covered with issues,
and their spiritual walls of protection were in ruins.
I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and unhappiness will come on you like a thief
and unfulfillment like an armed man.
Everyone who gets married sincerely wants a fulfilling, happy married life. Christian couples pledge to make Christ the center of their relationship and to love, honor and cherish each other in good times and bad…until they are parted by death.
The great majority, however, (myself included) don’t have any idea what it takes to actually fulfill those vows.
Truth is – we work hard to achieve/enjoy many things in life:
- a healthy body
- a good income
- a nice lawn
- a respectable golf score
- God-honoring, well-adjusted children
And do any of these just happen? Obviously not. They take effort, hard work and deliberateness on our part. Somehow we find the time and the physical/emotional energy to work hard for things like these that we truly desire.
So, why is it that we hardly lift a finger to enjoy a deeply satisfying, God-glorifying, amazing marriage? See Proverbs 24 above. The answer is really simple (and sad)….
We simply don’t want it badly enough. We settle for an “okay” marriage. We settle for “pretty good compared to….” – because we simply don’t want to work at it.
Our marriage counseling/mentoring is simple – if you’re not willing to put in the work, then you’re wasting our time. God’s word is true and if you “sow sparingly, you WILL reap sparingly”.
We don’t need more knowledge – we need more action.
If you really want a great marriage – you will do whatever it takes to have it – and if you don’t know how, you will ask someone who does to show you.
It’s really that simple.