A lot of people are in love with the PICTURE of marriage!” That was the first quote that caught my attention today at church as it’s something so simple…yet so true! People often wonder why the divorce rate is so high and I would argue that this is one of the biggest contributors.
Marriage is beautiful and there are so many great things about it. But, there are some realities about it that must be discussed. It seems like when society is telling the story of marriage, they leave in all of the romantic chapters and leave out the chapters that aren’t so warm and fuzzy. And, then when people finally experience the full story, they end up hating the book.
As I listened to the sermon even more I picked up a few quotes from Steve Furtick that represent a few chapters that need to be added back into the marriage story!
1. Desire can light a fire but only duty can keep it burning!
Yes desire is important in a marriage and that desire is always the strongest in the beginning and the newlywed stage. Of course that strong sexual desire, that strong desire to make your mate happy, that desire to date your mate, and give them all of your emotional energy are all important.
But, what they don’t tell you is that sometimes that desire turns into DUTY! Sometimes in marriage it’s your DUTY to do certain things for your mate even if you don’t necessarily DESIRE it all of the time. Sometimes it’s your DUTY to have sex with your mate even if you don’t necessarily desire it at that time. Sometimes it’s your duty to give your mate that emotional support he or she needs at that time even if you don’t desire to do so. I could give more examples but I think you get my point and I think sometimes we have to have a GUT check about desire vs. duty!
2. Your marriage isn’t working because YOU’RE not!
The more I coach clients and couples, the more I hear people blaming and complaining. And the less I see people taking action. So often, we spend so much time trying to find someone to place blame on that we never step back to realize that we want something to change but we haven’t put any work into making that change happen. You want your marriage to be happy and fulfilling and loving but you haven’t taken any action or changed any behavior that might help that happen. You can’t complain your way to compromise and you can’t blame your way back to marital bliss. Somebody needs to add the chapter back into the marriage story about the effort and action!
3. Come to marriage for what you can give, not what you can get!
A lot of people come into marriage with their hands out looking to receive everything and never thinking about what they may have to give. The truth is that when you work on building yourself up before marriage ,then you can build up the supply of selflessness that it takes to create a great marriage. People complain about what they aren’t getting from their mates and what their mates aren’t doing for them, but not many step back and look at all of the things they haven’t given of themselves. You can’t go into an agreement that’s about serving and then have an attitude about having to actually give of yourself. Independent relationships take a different set of skills than interdependent relationships such as marriage.
The story of marriage can be a beautiful one but we must stop telling it as if it’s a fairytale. As married people, when you tell the story don’t leave out the important chapters that may just help save a marriage later. One of the final things the pastor said was “Sometimes when people only have the ROMANTIC expectations of marriage and they are presented with the REALITY of marriage many are left with RESENTMENT!”