A Message for You — March 4, 2010

My dream marriage

BridgeWay Community Church

What makes a great marriage? How would a person know if they were really experiencing the dream marriage that they signed up for? Why do some marriages thrive, while others fizzle or flame out? I thought these would be good questions to wrestle with now that Valentine’s Day has come and went.

I enjoy doing premarital counseling. I meet with young couples and they have all these dreams and ambitions of what they expect their marriage will be. They don’t have a clue.

Let me give you an accurate picture of “till death do us part.”

It looks like dirty clothes and bounced checks and layoffs and time pressures and mortgage payments. Your kids will climb into your bed in the middle of the night, all soggy wet with urine or throw-up, or worse. Lots of issues, and two completely different people God has placed as close as he possibly could to solve these daily dilemmas.

One of the most dangerous dishes to eat is wedding cake. And one of the most rewarding ways to honor God is by showing the world that it is all worth it.

You can refocus your marriage by taking an inventory of the C.R.U.D. that inevitably builds up over time. Every marriage has some issue, and a thriving marriage looks to get rid of it. C.R.U.D. is a term I use for the criticism, resentment, unhappiness and drifting desires that have incrementally stolen the love.

Take unhappiness as an example. I have this theory that the more a person looks for fulfillment and satisfaction in someone else, the more miserable they will become. Your joy comes from God, and you are to rejoice in Him, not your spouse. Yes, together life is richer, but your spouse is not responsible for your happiness. Take some time as a couple to identify the C.R.U.D. and get rid of it.

Marriage is not easy. It is an incredible gift, but not easy. It involves two people who are prone to make mistakes. When a marriage is in the most trouble is when one person focuses more on the other person’s mistakes than their own. The only force that will hold two people together in a relationship is grace. The only place to go for grace is God. So bring your marriage to God and reclaim the dream of marriage.

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