My wife and I are participating in a six-week long marriage small group through our Church. The group that we are involved with contains eight couples of varying lengths of marital commitment. The is the second marriage group with which we have connected in the past two years, and both have been both fun and educational. With each passing week, everyone begins to open up a little more and the bonds of friendship begin to form.
Throughout our time together I have noticed four traits of these couples with whom I am sharing my life.
1. Everyone Has Struggles. Don’t believe what your friends tell you or what social media portrays. No one has a great marriage. Everyone struggles, even Christian couples, some are just better at hiding it. I am honestly encouraged by this truth. The difference between couples that make it and those that don’t are not the struggles, but how they handle them.
2. Don’t Let Little Problems Derail You. Last night was perhaps the most important one for me. As we talked about the conflict in our marriages, it was clear that most of our struggles come from petty differences. People leave cabinets open, don’t pick up their clothes, put their junk on the table and a host of other things that annoy their mate. If left untended, these small problems become significant issues that can destroy a marriage. Remember that termites do more damage in America than tornadoes.
3. Keep Working On Your Marriage. It is such a joy to see a couple who have been married for over 50 years still attending a class to improve. Don’t ever stop working on your marriage. Talk, pray, read, participate, connect and do whatever it takes to keep your love alive.
4. Let Grace Infiltrate Your Home. I think the biggest difference between a Christian home and non-Christian one is the presence of grace and forgiveness. We all make mistakes, and we all have annoying little habits, but do we have the mercy to let them go in our spouse. Love in a home is important but equally significant is the kindness to let go of the bad and hang onto the good.
Each year I plan on being a part of a marriage group with members of my Church. These classes both challenge and refresh me. I think everyone needs to surround themselves with believers who can help them on their marital journey. If you cannot attend one, I hope these lessons will encourage you today.