It never ceases to amaze me just how fickle my feelings are in my marriage!
One moment I can look at my husband and think “we have such a good relationship, I can’t imagine ever fighting with him again,” and then, not even an hour later, I am furious at him because of something he said or did and I am trying very hard to remember those feelings of love and contentment I had been experiencing earlier on in the day.
The following quote by Mignon McLaughlin sums this up perfectly: “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person”.
To have a successful marriage, we cannot rely on our feelings! I often feel that marriage can be likened to a hill made of solid rock covered with vegetation at the mercy of the weather. The husband and wife are the vegetation covering the hill, the hill is God and the weather is our feelings. Deuteronomy 32:4 says: “He is the Rock; His works are perfect”. God ordained marriage, therefore He wants to be the Rock that sustains it.
The hill and vegetation on a hill are subjected to all kinds of weather conditions. Sometimes it is bathed in sunshine and shadows, the weather is calm and peaceful and at other times the weather can be cold and stormy. For days, it can be covered by dark clouds, storms may rage, little trees are uprooted and debris is strewn everywhere.
The hill, however, does not move. No matter how much the surface of the hill changes, no matter how dark and stormy it becomes, no matter whether the sun shines or not, the rock under the surface stays firm.
No matter what happens in the marriage, good or bad, if the marriage is centered on God, it can weather any storm or calamity.
We need the times of good weather in our marriages – times of gentle rain showers, times of sunshine, time to grow and nurture the marriage. We also need the times when it is stormy – when trees are uprooted and debris is strewn everywhere. When calm returns, and we are resting once again on God, the Rock, and we survey the debris strewn around us we often find that the debris and uprooted trees are the things that we did not need or that hindered our marriages. Things like selfishness, self-pity, anger, resentment, misunderstandings – God often uses the storms to uproot these things in our marriages.
Romans 5:3-5 states “…we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us”.
God uses the times of calamity and suffering in our marriages, and in our individual lives, to grow us and produce strength of character in order that we can have hope and our hope is in God.
When we cry before God, He promises us in 2 Kings 20:5 “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you”.
Often the healing in our marriages only comes after we have cried.
We have the reassurance that no matter how long the storm rages, the sun will shine upon our marriages once again and we can rest in the knowledge that God is our Rock and our Redeemer.