I can secure the finest black powder and the best cannon balls, but if the angle of the cannon is off, then I should never expect to hit my target.
Why is it that a number of spouses have made what they feel are all the right changes, yet they are no further ahead in their marriage? Many times, the problem is that they have picked up what I call 5 smooth stones only to put them in the wrong sling. In other words, they have failed to add the foundational building blocks that must be present if they are going to see long lasting change in themselves and their marriage:
Here are a few factors that many seem to miss when it comes to securing long lasting results in their marriage.
The Need for the New Nature
The longer I coach couples, the more I believe that the greatest need for spouses is to receive a new nature from above. Some call it a new creation in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17) while others call it being saved or born again (John 3:3). Either way, without being made a new creation in Christ, I find that spouses lack the power to implement what we coach them to do.
God is love, therefore, if I want to be able to love at optimum capacity, then I should ensure that I am filled with Him who is the very definition of love. (I John 4:8)
Happy Before I Even See My Wife
My wife and I do not have a great marriage because we have one another. We have a good marriage because God fills us before we even see one another. This is why chapter one of our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting With One Another, is more than vital. In this chapter I wrote:
A great marriage is when two full grown adults wake up with their cup of happiness and fulfillment full to overflowing. What spills out of that cup is what should land on the other person.
I go on to say:
The promises of God concerning your own happiness and contentment never hinge upon your spouse’s obedience or disobedience to God. In fact, the promises of God concerning happiness and joy only rely upon your faith in the faithfulness of God. Any other approach will cause your emotional state to be like a yo-yo on the string of your spouse’s inconsistencies, and you will be prone to be up one day and down the next.
An Eternal View of Marriage
After our accident in May, 2016, I see the world so differently. Consequently, I also view marriage from a much more eternal perspective.
We live a few short years in this life in comparison to eternity. Consequently, I often hear people say things like, “I’m not getting any younger.” or “If I don’t jump ship now, I’ll be too old to start a new life.”
Um . . . . ur . . . if I read my Bible right, this life is just a dress rehearsal for the real show. Therefore, to think that God will be slighting us by using the medium of marriage to win a spouse to Christ is a huge misnomer.
Mark it down. If you fail to have an eternal perspective on marriage, you will be tempted to throw in the marriage towel when things get difficult. However, if you see your marriage from an eternal perspective, I believe your ability to persevere through the more difficult times will be greatly enhanced.
For Individual or Group Study
Our marriage book, How to Fight For Your Marriage Without Fighting With One Another, is designed for individual as well as group study. Check out our online resource center for ordering options. Also, available in Kindle for an immediate download.