I mentioned a few days ago, that I am in the editing phase of a book on marriage. I have been so encouraged by those who read the premise of the book and have been praying for me and motivating me to finish it. It will prayerfully serve as a biblical and practical resource to help equip marriages. The thought was to call it “What God Has Joined Together” and each chapter would be a particular item that could possibly separate the marriage.
The reason I am working on the book is I want to see marriages finish strong.
So many people dream of living happily ever after with their soul mate. They envision what it must be like to be in the perfect life next to the perfect person. Our culture points in a direction that causes each of us to desire to live in a state of happily ever after, but do we know how to get there?
If you want to end up happily ever after with your spouse, you have to be heading in the same direction now.
So many marriages struggle due to misalignment. The two people are simply pointed in different directions. In reality, the danger is in the subtly of it all. Rarely do people marry someone else who has a completely opposing worldview and system of objectives. So, why does it often feel that way in marriage? What causes a couple to get so far off track?
It started way back at the beginning of the relationship. Instead of possessing opposing directions, they simply had different orientations by seemingly insignificant degrees. The compatibility of the two worked in the beginning because it appeared as if they shared the same values. They were side by side but slightly misaligned. If you looked closely, you would have noticed that they were off by the slightest of infractions. They just differed a few degrees from one another.
Consider two arrows side by side yet slightly tilted away from one another. At first, the difference is barely noticeable. Over the years though, the widening gap is almost too immense to reconcile. As the marriage mileage increased, their distance from one another endangered their relationship which all started with a minimal difference they failed to address.
If you and your spouse don’t share the same goal for your marriage, you will end up in two different places.
- If you make it about your happiness, you will go in different directions.
- If you make it about each other primarily, you will pass each other in the process.
- If you make it about worldly pursuits, don’t expect heavenly benefits.
The goal of marriage is to secure undivided devotion to the Lord (1 Cor. 7:35).
Any marriage that isn’t built for that heading will struggle. You can’t love each other without being loved by God (1 John 4:19-20). Is the Lord the authority in your marriage or an associate of your marriage? You don’t need a consultant – you need a commander!
Maybe your marriage is struggling because you are trying to do it by your own wisdom. Your spouse might also have other ideas that combat your efforts. The standard inside you disagrees with the standard inside your spouse, and your marriage is heading in significantly different directions. So, who is going to lose? Hopefully, both of you. Whoever loses his life for Jesus’ sake actually finds it along the way (Luke 9:24).
My prayer for this book and your marriage is that you can step back, assess the situation, and determine if you are both heading in the same direction. If you feel very distant from your spouse, it might be due to an allowance of different directions. Establish the goal of your marriage and work together to end up happily ever after with one another.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.