As an men's ministry leader, an Elder, I can tell you that I have walked with a lot of men in their walks: Struggles with personal sin, struggles in their walks, struggles in their prayer life and struggles in their quiet time with God. The one theme that really rubs a chord with me (not anger but in sympathy) is that of men who find themselves in a marriage that is barely on life support or has been dead for several years.
Common stresses to marriage:
- Lack of honesty
- Keeping Score
- Unfaithfulness (this could be physical, emotional and or psychological)
- Men neglecting their role as Spiritual leaders
- Lack of support
- ____________ (fill in your blanks)
Whatever the cause, the effect is unavoidable if we leave it uncured. For instance, how many of you (guys) if you were concerned about your health or the doctor told you that you had to change something in your life (exercise, diet, proper daily care) wouldn't do that in a heart beat. For instance, almost 9 years ago I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. It was discovered by my nephew on my back. Left untreated and undiscovered, I would not have been here blogging this entry today. I changed my lifestyle (sun exposure, skin-care, suntanning lotion and the like).
Almost 5 years ago (and then 4 years ago) I almost lost my wife. She had some health complications that almost lead her to renal failure - that was an unbelievable time for me and still leaves a lasting impression on my life and on my marriage (a reminder of how important she is to me - to my family and to God).
So then, this begs the question of why do we know so many people who settle for a mediocre marriage? Through this journey of Legacydad and through my own personal relations, I cannot begin to tell you how many marriages are in trouble - so how can we re-direct this:
- Before marriage, seek a bible-believing marriage ministry and get some pre-marriage counseling (this will give you the realities in life and some personal experiences of those who traveled these roads before you)
- In marriage, seek other couples who have strong marriages and healthy boundaries (get accountability in your life and ask your wife to get accountability in her life)
- Before you deal with your wife's problems (trying to fix her) deal with yours
- Read these following verses: Genesis 2:18, Ephesians 4:2-3, Proverbs 17:14, 1 Peter 3:1-7 and Ephesians 5:22-33.
- Get involved in a Men's bible study (get accountability)
- If you are struggling, join a genuine bible based Celebrate Recovery progam (you cannot do this alone)
- Surrender (if you know Jesus as Savior) then repent and turn and ask for the Holy Spirit's guidance
What if you took these steps? What if you actually read your bible daily? What if you got involved with other men in a bible study and/or a Celebrate Recovery program? What if your wife noticed these changes and eventually started to deal with her stuff and the two of you took a comatose marriage and turned it into a vibrant Christ-centered marriage? What would that look like to you? Would this be above your wildest dreams?
Don't settle, Don't give-up, trust and obey for there is no other way!