You are probably thinking, “Awesome! Only four steps! I can be done next week.” But God made marriage to last a lifetime for a reason. The steps I am about to show you are real steps that we all go through at one time or another. But first, read Matthew 13:3-9.
Jesus uses the Parable of the Sower to speak about our receptivity to God’s words. Let’s consider how the parable also applies to marriage. The four types of soil in the parable match up with four types of relationships. From least to most desirable, these are Path, Rocks, Thorns, and Good Soil. The typical inexperienced couple begins as either Conflicted or Careless. Along the way, every couple experiences being Conflicted, Careless, and Choking before making it to Cooperating.
The Conflicted Couple needs to learn how to experience a basic positive connection. The Careless Couple needs to experience and resolve conflict to build endurance. The Choking Couple needs to find a deeper enjoyment amidst the busyness of life. The Cooperating Couple needs to refine and maintain what they’ve accomplished so far.
As no person is perfect, no marriage is perfect. No matter which soil condition most closely describes your relationship, you can decide to grow a godly marriage by cultivating the path, clearing out the rocks, pulling out the thorns, and planting in the good soil. When you do this, you will be well on your way to yielding fruit one hundred times what was sown.
My only comment is that it takes 2. With only 1, statistically speaking you have a 95% chance of failure.
Unfortunately, I am among the 95%.
Matt Pavlik says
Thanks for your comment. You point out an issue I face frequently with those who come to see me for counseling. When a partner refuses to work on the relationship, it is painfully difficult for the other. Yet at the same time, no partner can prevent individual growth. As long as someone is changing, hope is alive.
God doesn’t hold us responsible for our partner’s attitude and effort, only ours. God evaluates us based on our progress with what life deals us. He doesn’t compare us to others in an absolute sense. We all start in different places relative to the starting line. Some behind and some ahead. That some have more to bear than others is at least part mystery. To the degree that we compare ourselves to how others have it, we’ve weakened our position. Some of marriage is accepting and working through disappointment. God is with us through it.
I realize what I am saying is easier said than done. I hope you have or can find the support you need to grieve where you have felt disappointed.
Joseph sims says
Matt what if its already to late for everything bc my wife is already seeing someone else and I’m still trying to fix the marriage I mean she said that she can’t let go of the past and I don’t blame bc I have done so much damage to her that I don’t know if it could be fixed but I’m going to give up and I told her that I wasnt going to give up bc I still love her and care for her and I still wanna protect her. My biggest problem was my anger I lost it evertime we fought I physically attacked her not knowing it bc it happened so fast and I learned how to control that and I proved that to her but its not good enough I’m still loosing her and I don’t know what to do im starting to pray about and its not getting better its just getting harder and harder to talk to her and try to work it out so right now chances on fixing this marriage is like .2% of fixing it its that bad so yes I need help and I need it fast
Stephen T Johnson says
The information that is provided is very helpful and if possible my wife and I would love to use some of the tools in our married couples ministries.