Recently, we were attending our monthly marriage discussion group. One couple mentioned that their marriage wasn’t perfect. (Welcome to the human race, right?) We volunteered that our marriage wasn’t perfect either, and we wouldn’t want it to be. Here’s why. . .
In 2002, Bob and I decided we would like to do something in the way of marriage ministry. We thought we had such a good marriage that we would help others. We were blissfully ignorant. If you had asked us, we would have told you we didn’t fight. Well, we didn’t fight loudly anyway. It turns out that sweeping the problem under the rug or going to your own corner until the problem blows over doesn’t count as deep and loving communication.
We had heard about John Regier—a humble pastor turned counselor—and we’d watched all his videos. He spoke on topics we’d never heard before, like resolving your underlying wounds so you could unlock your heart and love your spouse freely. We decided to go to his advanced seminar. There were a few hitches: The seminar was only offered once a year. In Colorado. Only 10 couples got in, and you had to apply. To be chosen, you had to agree to be counseled in front of the other nine couples.
You remember I said we were blissfully ignorant? We figured, “What could go wrong?” When it was our turn, it took this kind and gifted counselor about five minutes to filet us. He explained we had some work to do, and he taught us how to do it.
For the next couple months, we set aside 30 minutes a day to do some deep talking. We knew how to do, “Taking-care-of-business” talking. But this was different.
“Every time I mention ‘x’ I get the cold shoulder.”
“When I do ‘y’ I sense you tensing up. Why is that?”
“Have you been hurt in this area, causing you to lock that part of your heart up?”
“My intention is never to hurt you. If I’m doing it unintentionally, I want to know.”
So, after two months, we got everything cleaned up and had a perfect marriage with no more issues, right? Be serious! Our marriage was definitely not perfect—but it was better than it had ever been. There was a greater internal freedom in each of us, and therefore we had greater freedom between us.
But here’s my point: I had a realization—an epiphany. I liked my marriage, but I knew there could be more. And that wasn’t bad news—it was good news. If my marriage ever reached perfection, that would be as good as it could get. After you’ve “arrived,” there isn’t any more. I realized God wanted a joyous, passionate marriage for me. And because God is infinite, there could always be something better if I kept reaching for it.
Your marriage is like that too. I believe God has good plans for your marriage. It may take some seeking, asking, and knocking. It may take some concentrated work on cleaning up your sins and allowing God to heal the wounded areas. But wherever you are, your marriage can be better.
We’d love to be of help to you. Check out The Marriage Dance: Moving Together as One on Amazon. We speak at Christian conferences and events. If you are in California’s Inland Empire, we’d be happy to demonstrate speaking to your spouse’s heart as we learned it in Colorado. You will like how much better your marriage can be.
This article first appeared on our blog on November 2, 2017.