Potty training – someone taught me
Reading and writing – someone taught me
Respect for my parents – someone taught me
Riding a bicycle – someone taught me
Yes, as a child we are taught to do almost everything. We haven’t ever done those things before – so, how would anyone expect us to know how?
Later on, we were taught how to throw a baseball, or tackle an oncoming football player, or dribble a basketball. Someone showed us how to fish, to hunt, to play an instrument and to drive a car. As we got older the decisions, the tasks and the responsibilities grew with us.
I vividly remember learning how to snow ski. My college friend told me I didn’t need any lessons, he would tell me “everything I need to know on the way up the lift”. After an embarrassingly awkward fall getting off the lift, I discovered I was at the very top of tall, cold mountain and my only way down was to ski. Same was true with learning to drive. Even though I had several driving lessons, when I finally got behind the wheel of the family car I discovered I had learned only a fraction of what I needed to know.
It was on-the-job training at its best. I learned almost immediately that skiing and driving were serious endeavors, and I better learn to do it well….and fast…or the consequences could be severe.
So, who taught us how to be married? Were you one of the fortunate few who grew up with a mom and a dad, who loved each other deeply and modeled what a great marriage should look like? Or, were you like me and grew up in a divorced family with a step-dad, step siblings and step grandparents? Many of you grew up with only a single parent at home.
Then it happens. We meet a fabulous girl, we fall madly in love, and decide to get married and live happily ever after. We seem compatible enough and since we love each other, everything will be okay. Then we walk down the aisle, out of the church, into a car, and off to a honeymoon (if we’re lucky).
We are now behind the wheel of our own car, completely responsible for a new relationship, and there are no training wheels. Even though most of us had little or no pre-marital training – we find ourselves at the top of a high, dangerous mountain and the only way down is to learn to “ski”…and fast.
On the job training can be an excruciatingly difficult way to learn. You can get hurt; cause damage to yourself or others and suffer consequences that can last a lifetime. But, what if there was someone always with you, teaching, mentoring, empowering and showing you how? We can’t keep the ski instructor or the driving instructor with us for long – but the marriage Instructor is always with us. Every minute of every day, He is available to speak to us, lead us in the right way, give us wisdom we wouldn’t know otherwise, and keep us from falling.
But instructors aren’t any help if we don’t seek them, or do what they tell us. God’s Word is full of practical, everyday wisdom and advice to help your marriage flourish. His Spirit is literally dwelling inside us, whispering and guiding also. I hope we all are listening. I pray we are all taking advantage of what is being offered to us today, and every day, so that our marriage will be everything it was created to be.