It seems that there is a thread that runs through much of my coaching, teaching, and writing as I teach individuals and couples about the ways of God in relation to marriage and relationships. This thread can be summed up in this little phrase: this is what it looks like.
In a society without national affection (II Timothy 3:3), people will fail to know what healthy living and relationships look like. In fact, while in their dysfunction, couples will often come up with an idea of functional living that will be very far from . . . well . . . reality.
We enjoy a very high success rate with couples in need. Sure, we lose a few. But, to be honest, we win way more than we lose. To God be the glory.
The reason I say this is because when we are able to see couples move forward in a functional way, they are often unsure what a good healthy relationship looks like. That is, they sometimes convey that because there is still tension, then they must not be doing well, or because they have a disagreement, then they probably still have much more work to do. Couples in such a state are typically looking for what I call a new normal, and it is more than common for me to have to share with them what a healthy reality looks like.
What Does A Healthy Marriage Look Like?
A healthy marriage has tension. But, this does not mean that the divorce word is thrown around every time there is a time as such.
A good relationship still requires forgiveness and involves emotional pain. Yes, this is what it looks like to live in harmony.
Spouses that find themselves in favor with God and one another have days when their spirits fail to connect. Spouses in such a state will do well to go to bed in faith knowing that a new day often provides a new fresh approach to God and one another. Yes, this is what it looks like.
Sometimes, busyness causes couples to grow apart, and a conscious effort has to be made to adjust the schedule and take oversight. This is what a good relationship looks like.
There are times when feelings from the past will rise to the surface, and a couple has to learn to act according to principle rather than the emotions of the present in order to cause those feelings to subside. This is normal. We have a flesh and a spirit, and just because those feelings are sometimes present does not mean that all is lost. It means that the scriptures are more than accurate when they state that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
It may be possible that your marriage is what I call imperfectly normal, and as you continue your quest toward a more unified relationship, accept that we are not in heaven yet. We are still very imperfect beings that can enjoy a good marriage by showing perfect forgiveness toward one another.
Some may want a little more than I am offering. However, be sure not to look for something in life that does not exist. You will waste away your life passing up the good while looking for something that is great, not realizing that good is great until we enter into a state of perfection.