Earthquakes are a sudden, unexpected split in the earth’s crust. However, it’s not really so sudden. Underneath the surface, plate tectonic forces have been slowly pushing toward the moment of rupture. With the right measuring instruments, we can even predict, to some degree, that a quake is coming.
Relationship earthquakes are like that. They might take the form of a shocking retort from our sweetheart during a new stress. Or an unexpected decision to quit a job, made without discussing it as a couple. Or the discovery of unfaithfulness. We are taken by surprise, and suddenly we’re staring at a wide chasm between us. Bridging it seems impossible. We wonder, “How could this have happened?”
But forces under the surface have led to this, and if we look deeper for clues, we can discover the signs of an impending rupture. But here’s the good news, which makes our relationships wonderfully better than plate tectonics: Pressure from the underground forces can be relieved before they cause a surface breach. And here’s the best news: the causes behind these hidden forces can always be healed and overcome — even long after the chasm was formed!
There’s another force within both of you, and it’s more powerful than tectonic-like forces: erosion. We can use the power of erosion to smooth out the dangerous forces that lie beneath the surface, like an underground river that erodes sharp edges. Erosion is a slow and steady force made by the daily practices we choose to do, the continual movement of regular actions.
By paying attention to our faults, needs, unhealed wounds of the past, and the weaknesses and biases of imperfect past influences, we can exert power over them. We can make moment by moment decisions that erode old, craggy edges while forging new patterns.
And remember: The power of erosion is most effective when multiplied by following Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit.
If both of you want healing and the restoration of the relationship that you have committed your lives to, with the help of the Holy Spirit and the Sacrament of Confession and forgiveness and mercy and a willingness to humbly look deep within, your earthquake will turn into a blessing, because it will lead to a stronger relationship.
- How often do I look beneath my own surface to uncover faults and wounds that, if dealt with, could improve my relationship with my sweetheart?
- What fault of my beloved is really a sign that healing is needed from the past?
Strengthen your relationship:
Name one of your own underground forces that is affecting your life in a negative way. Share ideas on what you could do to render it powerless and thus live a happier life with a healthier relationship. Then pray together, asking Jesus to bless your efforts.
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© 2016 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries