Archive - May, 2014

The Key to a Lasting Marriage

Marriage anniversaries are a big deal. They represent important milestones and signify the blessing of having held true to a promise.

I’ve had the honor of knowing several couples who experienced the privilege of celebrating fifty years of marriage. When I have the opportunity, I do some investigating to see how they accomplished such an admirable feat. They all have a common theme.

Older Married Couple

I can tell you what I’ve never heard, “It was 50 years of bliss. We made it this long because it’s been so easy.”

Instead, what I have heard time and time again is, “We hit a couple of spots where it seemed like it was going to end, but we worked through it. It was hard. It was painful, but we fought for our marriage.” That is the key to making a marriage last.

Here’s an important truth we all need to remember: Many of today’s best marriages were yesterday’s worst.

Most (if not all) healthy marriages today, at one point (or several points) were on the brink of failure. They had moments of intense counseling, arguing, crying, sleeping on the couch, and painfully hard conversations about ending the relationship. But the truth of 1 Corinthians 13:7 shined through because, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

What is the key to a lasting marriage? It is not having an easy marriage. It’s two people committed to working through the hard times, knowing that the best times are yet ahead.

How have you seen this to be true in your own marriage?

The School Dance: A Metaphor

School DanceI remember my first school dance well. The awkwardness of pre-pubescent hormones combined with a complete inability to look cool to the rhythm of music. The only highlight worth remembering was hearing an epic track from a new band called U2.

The school dance serves as a fitting metaphor for the Christian life. Lots of people call themselves Christians, but their experience of following Christ varies greatly. Most will fit into one of four categories:

1. No-Show

People in this category may have prayed a prayer at some point in their life and would profess to being a Christian, but the primary focus of their life is not for Jesus. No-shows miss out on what being a follower of Christ is all about and never experience the joy and abundant life Jesus offers.

2. Wallflower

These are people who go through the motions. Wallflowers get to the dance, but they never get on the dance floor. They show up to church and occasionally pray, but there’s little engagement. They get glimpses of what life in Christ could be and should be, but they never get to take part in it. They like the idea of dancing, but they won’t move their feet.

3. Reserved

People who are reserved not only get to the dance, they also get on the floor. They know the value of following Christ and living the life He intended, but there’s always something holding them back. They move their feet, but they can’t quite go all in because something’s holding them back. This could be personal comfort, fear, insecurity, a competing idol, or a variety of factors.

4. Enthusiast

The enthusiast is all in. They show up, get on the floor and go all out. Enthusiast often aren’t good dancers, they just care more about what God thinks than what people think. It’s not that they don’t have insecurities, it’s just that they’ve found something greater than their insecurity. Christ is the center of all they do- work, family, leisure, finances, schedule, etc. The result is a full, deep, rich experience and a life filled with great joy and purpose.

Which kind of person are you? Which do you hope to be? What needs to change to make it happen?