Remember the days when you couldn’t stand to be away from each other? Your desire and passion to be together was overwhelming…even painful at times.
I remember those days. Debbie and I had a long distance relationship when we were in college, so we had to write letters to each other. (Yes, actual pen to paper, snail mail letters!) We wrote at least 4-5 letters every week to each other for 4 years. We were committed to fighting the forces (either real or imagined) that were pulling us apart.
The highlight of my week was calling her on one of the campus pay phones. I can remember pumping quarters into the phone just to talk to her for 15 minutes. Of course, this was before the days of computers and smart phones.
Here’s what I remember about those years…
Remember the opening line of the 80’s love ballad, Foolish Heart, (sung by Steve Perry)? …”I need a love that grows.”
Well, Debbie and I just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary, which has me in a reflective mood; and I would like to share one, simple question I’ve been chewing on lately. My hope is that you’ll chew on it in your own marriage. Here it is:
Hey, welcome back! Here’s 20 Lessons Learned After 20 Years of Marriage (Part 3). I’m picking up the pace with this one and covering #8 through #14. Keep in mind, these are not in order of importance. I’m simply writing them down as they come to mind.
8. Genuine apologies are gold. There’s been many occasions when we were stuck in a rut…arguing about something and getting nowhere, when one of us decided to push past our own emotions and say,
It’s a question many people have wrestled with, so it probably won’t sound new to you, but here it is: Is it possible for genuine change to occur in my marriage, and if so, what would that process even look like?
Whether you’re on the brink of divorce, or simply feel your marriage is in the doldrums, the answer is found (in part) in one short verse in the New Testament.
Is God able to raise a dead, hopeless marriage? Let me pose the question a different way. Is there a point of no return, so-to-speak, where the hurt is too deep and the relationship too toxic for a turn-a-round to occur?
I’ve often heard people in struggling marriages (and friends and family who love them) say, I’m praying that God intervenes and does a miracle. And while I whole-heartedly believe in the miracle-working power of God, the way that God works to turn a marriage around is somewhat unique in nature – as compared to, for example, a physical healing or financial provision.
Let me explain.
We’ve all heard the discouraging statistics about the divorce rate, but let’s talk for a moment on how to change it. Here’s a statistic that I know you’ll like. The divorce rate among couples who pray regularly together is less than 1%.
Yes, you read that correctly. Less than 1%. That’s in stark contrast to the 50% we usually hear. So, if you want to know how to completely eliminate the divorce rate, there it is.
With that in mind, I thought I’d give you a prayer I wrote a couple years ago that’s designed for couples to pray verbatim together…or alone. I originally wrote it for the conclusion of our Marriage Rocks event as a moment of prayer and commitment. Feel free to use it any way you like:
“Father we invite You into our marriage today like never before. Thank you for this journey we’re on as husband and wife. We pray that You would strengthen our love and commitment to each other, and to You.
We thank You for our unique story—how we met, our engagement, our wedding, our honeymoon, our favorite songs, our favorite movie, etc.