If I asked you to rate your marriage today on a scale of one to ten with ten being ‘awesome’, what would you say? Some of you would say a ten or maybe your marriage is so good that you would say eleven or twelve! On the other end of the spectrum, some would say one or zero or less that zero! The majority of us would probably say somewhere in the middle depending on the day. There are some days you would give it a seven or eight and other days it might only be a four or five. No matter where you rate your marriage, this blog is for you!
As a counselor, this is what I see. The couples that have a ‘ten marriage’ sometimes put their marriage on auto pilot. They have worked very hard to get their ten and think they don’t have to work on it anymore. They can coast. They can sit back and reap the fruits of their efforts. The only thing really wrong with this approach is that it doesn’t work. If I were an artist (which I am not) and I painted a great painting, once I finished it, my work is over. I can sit back and relax and enjoy looking at it day after day. I don’t have to work on it anymore. Marriage is not like that. Sure all the effort reaps rewards but if the effort does not continue, the marriage begins to slip. It is usually a slow process and one day you realize while you have been coasting your marriage has gone from a ten plus to an eight or seven or five or lower.
There are a lot of problems with a one or zero marriage but the most damaging is that it is very easy to give up hope. You think, “we have been at one so long that we will never have the marriage we dreamed about.” Without hope, you will hammer the last nail in the coffin of your marriage but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. There is always hope. The hope is not in what you can do or your spouse can do, it is in what God can do.
For many of you in the middle of the scale, your biggest hurdle is getting over the temptation to just settle. You know it could be better and you know it could be worse so you become complacent and just accept where you are. It’s easier that way. Just exist together and maintain the status quo. For others you may have tried over and over to improve your marriage but the results have been a roller coaster. Things get better and then they get worse and then better and so on. Today you have given up on the ‘ten’ marriage. You too have settled.
No matter where your marriage is today, my guess is that you started out dreaming of a ten and then somehow doing life got in the way. It happens to almost everybody. It happened to us. At some point over the years of our marriage, we could have fit in every category above. We have had the ten plus and the zero minus. Our roller coaster has had some pretty steep hills and some unbelievable drops. Yet here we are today with a marriage that we cherish.
The day you committed your lives to each other, God made a commitment to you. His commitment was and is steadfast, even if yours was and is not. He is still there and He still has the answers you don’t. No matter where your marriage is today, it can be better. God has a perfect plan. Your first step is so simple, but it will change your marriage. Here it is. Turn your marriage over to God. That’s it. Put Him first in your life and first in your marriage. Do that every day for a year and you can not even begin to imagine all that God has in store for you. What are you waiting for?
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