It happens. I don’t know when couples cross that line, but they do. It’s that invisible, yet very real line that transforms a man and a woman from a fun, romantic, and loving married couple to nice and cordial roommates. It’s a line that has been crossed way too many times by way too many couples, and Christians are not immune to it at all. Maybe it happens when kids come on the scene, or maybe its just an issue of time. Whether or not we can pinpoint the time when that line was crossed, husbands and wives need to face the reality of what state their marriage is really in. A marriage that is not growing is crumbling, and most couples don’t realize it because marriages usually take years to erode.
I’m sure you had different dreams of what your marriage would look like. That fairy tale line of “…and they lived happily ever after” is met with a little more cynicism than hope now. You husband isn’t keeping up his end of responsibilities, or your wife is too invested in other people and not you. I think that we have to ask ourselves one simple question, “Why am I disappointed in my marriage?” Is it really all the other person’s fault?
I have a simple reason why marriages, and even “Christian” marriages are falling apart. I believe we have let our cultural stories (movies, TV, music, and novels) determine what romance and love looks like. We’re disappointed because we’ve been inspired by Jerry Maguire to find someone to complete us, and when that person we are married to doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain to “complete” us, the friction begins.
I also have a simple solution. I believe we need to let the Bible and the gospel define what romance is. Our marriages will continue to fail even when we go to the professional counsellors and work on our behavior modification techniques because the foundational lens we see our marriages is flawed. We need to see them through the lens of the gospel, and it’s harder than we think. Just because you go to church and are a Christian doesn’t mean you understand how the gospel defines your marriage.
Whether you have a good marriage or whether your marriage is a disaster, there’s a great opportunity this weekend to do something about it. The Gospel Romance conference hosted by Exodus Church this weekend is going to be an amazing time of growth for every couple that attends. Ray and Jani Ortland will be leading the teaching sessions. I can’t think of a better way to spend your Friday night and Saturday morning. It’s only $25 and childcare is limited, so sign up soon. This weekend could be the turning point in your marriage.
To find out more go to http://gospelromanceconference.com/.