Last week, Bob and I hiked the Pulaski Trail in North Idaho. It would not have been challenging for our mountain climber friends, but it was a serious five-hour adventure for us. As with many past hikes, we got part of the way in and began asking ourselves if we’d made a serious mistake. It was a warm day. We were sweaty and panting on the uphill stretches. And, as beautiful as it was, we were considering whether a glass of iced tea and a classic movie might not have been a better choice.
As we got closer to the old mine tunnel at the end of the trail we began encountering hikers on their way back. “Very much farther?” we’d ask. “You’re almost there,” would come the reply. Or, “You’re closer now than you’ve ever been!” Then, our second question: “Is it worth it?” To a person, the answer was, “Oh, yes! It’s amazing. Keep going.”
That’s our encouragement to you in your marriage this week. Many people are going through a difficult time. You’re spouse is overwhelmed with changes, scared for the future, maybe a bit grumpier than usual. And, if we’re honest, we may not be our usual delightful selves either. In times like these, it’s easy to conclude, “Why am I even trying to walk the trail with this person?” We begin looking for little ways of escaping the situation.
Instead of pulling away from your spouse, ask God how you can pull together. What needs might you and your spouse together be able to fill for your church? Helping with the benevolence ministry? Discipling a younger believer? Offering training in a skill you’ve developed? The key is asking God how you can be a stronger team instead of looking for ways to run away or anesthetize yourself from the current pain or boredom.
Are you currently involved in a married couples’ group of some sort? If not, this would be a good time to find one or start one. There are many great marriage curriculums out there. Most have participants guides. The information is helpful. The discussion and fellowship with other couples (even via Zoom) is essential.
Do you have a trusted, older couple you can go to with your marriage questions and concerns? Someone who will advise you from a biblical perspective and pray for you? These are the people who have gotten a glimpse of the “end of the trail.” They will tell you: “It’s amazing. It’s beautiful. It’s worth it. Hang in there.” And that may be exactly what you need to hear right now.