Relationships require work. Marriage relationships require more than any other. Hard work, sometimes. Even marathon endurance challenges. And our natural, human method of coping is to seek escape from the labors. How quickly can we get back to what’s fun and romantic?
However, when we find ourselves looking for a shortcut, an easy way out, we need to pay heed to what this means. We need to see it as a red flag warning us that we’re contributing a danger to the marriage. We need to recognize it as indulging in spiritual and emotional laziness.
The best gift we can give to our beloved is the hard work of making improvements.
This means taking responsibility even before our beloved joins us in the work. It begins with the very hard work of humbly facing our own shortcomings. Next, it necessitates embracing uncertainty rather than fearing it; we don’t know what will be the outcome of our efforts. And it includes overcoming the messages of Fear, which always lies to us and gives us only negative views of the situation.
Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, for this burden is light” (see Matthew 11:28-30). When we yoke ourselves to Jesus — when we accept the yoke of partnering with Jesus in the hard work of plowing the field of marriage — his strength leads us and carries us through to the harvest of success and joy and unity with our beloved. The burden is heavy only when we try to handle it without him.
- What shortcuts or avoidances have I been making rather than deal with an unhappy or uncomfortable situation with my sweetheart?
- What can I do to help my beloved feel safe and encouraged in an area that needs improvement?
Strengthen your relationship:
What hard work in the past has strengthened your relationship? How can remembering this help you to work together in a difficulty you’re facing today? Pray together asking Jesus to provide you with courage to overcome personal shortcomings for the sake of a closer, stronger marriage.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries