I believe in happily ever after. But the road to get there is not necessarily paved with gold. “Any mature, spiritually sensitive view of marriage must have at its foundation, mature love and not romanticism.” True marriage thrives on a willingness to work hard and a resolve to fight for all the promises that marriage holds. In this post I highlight five obstacles to happily ever after:
A sense of happiness is very essential to the overall health of your marriage. Without it, the doors swing wide open to infidelity, anger and divorce. The problem with happiness though, it comes and it goes. Finding a way to bring it back by intentionally working on the things that make you happy is key to a successful marriage. Gary Thomas asked a very powerful question in his book Sacred Marriage that I think is a starting point to understanding happiness in marriage. He asked, “What If God designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?” I believe if we are seeking holiness in our marriage it will produce the happiness we so deeply long for. In fact, I insist here that pursuing holiness in Christ is the key to finding happiness in every area of life.
2. Preconceived Notions
It is painful and frustrating to know that your spouse has a preconceived idea about you. They hold a false perception about you, your leadership style, decision-making process, parenting skills, work ethics, choices, friendships, handling of conflict and communication style that can destroy your relationship. You get to hear it when there is a fight. No matter how much they say they didn’t mean what they said, you get to know what they really think about you. They take something you did or said in the past to define who you are in the present and decide what you are going to do in the future. But it is important to unconditionally believe in one another, speak the truth to one another and give each other the benefit of the doubt before making assumptions.
3. Greener grass syndrome
This one is a very dangerous problem that many couples deal with no matter where they are in their marriage. We all tend to imagine how great things would be if we were on the other side of the fence. The way to defeat this is to remember that the “greener grass syndrome”is just an illusion. The root of this problem is lust and greed. Lust never satisfies. It is full of empty promises. It leaves you wanting and lusting after more. It is important to intentionally and continually nurture your relationship so that it thrives and brings the deep satisfaction you can find nowhere else.
Un-forgiveness, in my estimation, is the most stubborn and difficult problem to conquer in a relationship. It’s like a wound that didn’t properly heal and every new offense is like a knife piercing the scab of that wound. If there is any time you are going to need a supernatural intervention in your marriage it is when you need to give or receive forgiveness. So, draw strength from The Lord, give it away liberally. With the measure you give it, it will be given back to you.
5. The little foxes
These are the little things we do toward each other everyday that add up over time. Selfishness, disrespect, inattention, unkindness, impatience, grudges, resentments, rudeness, arrogance and lack of trust will destroy a marriage in the long run. But Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Your marriage can thrive; you can have a happily ever after. Are you willing to fight for it?