Some of you need to calm down! Before you get all upset at me, let me explain. Earlier today I went to the dentist. Recently I had a crown put on one of my back teeth. A few days after leaving the dentist’s office my tooth was still very sensitive. A trip back in to adjust the bite seemed to help a little. But now, nearly two months later, it was still sensitive to extreme cold. I explained my situation to the dental hygienist and then to my doctor. After a careful examination he gave me his report.
In his opinion, it wasn’t anything and eventually he expected the tooth to calm down. He said over the next days and weeks the pain and sensitivity should continue to subside. Then he dropped the bomb! If it doesn’t get better, then it will get worse quickly and you will need to come back in. It won’t stay the same. I’m sure praying for “better”!
But it caused me to think about marriages that are struggling, even a little. Maybe there is constant bickering, or maybe some distrust, or maybe some addiction issues – but something has caused a marriage-ache if you will. It’s not that it hurts all the time, but certain things seem to trigger some intense pain. In fact, much of the time, the marriage is pleasant and fun. But boy does it hurt when the pain is triggered.
Here’s my diagnosis! It’s either going to get better or it’s going to get worse, a lot worse. It isn’t going to stay the same. Genesis 2 calls us into oneness with our marriage. The challenge is bringing two sinners, different as night and day (man & woman), carrying a bunch of baggage from life and bringing all of that into a marriage and expecting “one flesh”. Good luck! As surely as eating sugar without brushing your teeth leads to toothaches; this set-up for marriage will ultimately lead to “marriage-ache”. Guaranteed!
Right now some of you are thinking, “Wow, what an encouraging thought!” Encouraging or not, nine times out of ten, that is exactly what happens. The only question is what will you do next. You see, if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, it will get worse and quickly. But, if you seek out help and apply some intentionality – not only can your marriage get better, but it can get way better.
So here are three quick strategies if you want to improve your marriage!
- Pray together. Marriage is God’s idea. Research has shown, committed couples that pray together, stay together.
- Incorporate date night and couch time. Guys you take the lead. Plan a weekly date night. In addition, commit to daily ending the workday with 10 minutes on the couch together just debriefing from your day. You won’t believe what a daily check in will do to the connection level of your marriage.
- Get some help. Find a marriage mentor in your church. They don’t have to be marriage experts – just a Christian couple that have been married longer and are willing to share their experiences with you. Our favorite resource, if you can find it in a church near you, is a ministry called Re|engage.
Finally, don’t settle for where things are! Remember, when it comes to your marriage, either it’s going to get better or it’s going to get worse, a lot worse! Just like with my teeth, my prayer is for “better”! What’s the best marriage advice you’ve ever received?