Real marriage doesn’t usually happen in the bright of day.
Someone asked how Tina and I were doing in the midst of our traumatic house loss. Our answer is, “we are doing good.” Sure we are emotional about the loss and all it entails, but at 3PM today, it was behind us. And we are doing well. Our marriage is strong.
Real marriage is two people working out the “stuff.” I am not going to teach on marriage, as there is more than enough good and godly information out there by better qualified people than Tina and I. But I do know what legacy holds. And I do want to talk about it for a moment.
Tina and I are both on our third marriage. We have a blended family. We have weathered the storms of adolescents and teens, accidents and destruction, but we are here when a lot of our “supporters” are not. Divorce, separation, adultery took a lot of them out of the game.
Tina and I decided a long time ago to break the cycle of divorce and separation in our lives and the lives of our children. It never was about us anyhow. It was always about a generation to come. Because of that I have talked a lot about what I have felt and seen. Lately I have seen more and more evidence of the idea of individuality and “me, me, me” creeping in under the guise of grace. Let me tell you, it is not the result of grace, but of freedom of choice, selfishness and religion. True grace when understood, received and practiced works in a relationship what you could never do. Struggling in life or relationships? Let Him in. After all, the gospel from stem to stern is about reconciliation.
I quoted my friend Lynn yesterday;
Parents if you want to be your child’s friend now you will have to be there parent later. If you will be there parent now you can be there friend later. The Kingdom does not come from the White House it comes from your house. I am still a firm believer in the power of family and local church. The kingdom is the organic result.
I feel the same way about heartbreaking situations and relationships. Family and local church. Take either a way and you are in a “heap of trouble.” Are you avoiding the seedbed of grace and community? Are you trying to grow apart? Difficult times will reveal your answer.
My wife and I have strengthened in light of our difficult times. Divorce and separation are not an option (but as Ruth Graham once said, “she did think of murder once or twice!”) and life and light are!
In the last few months I have witnessed:
- Ministry over marriage
- Legalism and religiosity
- Individualism (the “me” syndrome.)
- Hurt in the hearts of children
My marriage did not get better by practicing any of the above. I can tell you. So, if you are experiencing difficulties in your relationship and marriage, look at that list, and say “is that me Lord?”