Friday, 6 May 2011

Relationships Matter 3

There are many myths about good and bad marriages and I cannot say I am an expert on either, having been married to one woman for 33 years, I have little experience of the myths, only of the reality. The reality is relationships are often hard work but have incredible moments and times which I would not swap for anything.

I know that when we married it had little to do with God, since neither of us were Christians but it did have to do with a funny sense of ownership. I wanted to be with the woman I married and I wanted it to last. My rose coloured glasses were stretched with early conflicts and misunderstandings, arguments and selfish attempts to get our own way with each other.

No one prepared us for that and to be honest, we struggled ... (maybe it would have been easier if we had asked God to work on it with us!)

From around 4 years into our marriage we have been blessed to have known (and in some cases still know) good Christian people who have stood with us, encouraged us and helped us as we have needed it. We have also had to let go of many of the selfish preconceptions that we had when we married as we have learned to compromise and "prefer" the needs of each other.

But relationships matter to God, and in reflection I can say that in the hardest times for example during post natal depression and the emotional disconnection that went with it or the death of my wife's mother and father close together or the medical problems we had with one of our son's early in his life, we have grown closer as we have handled it.

Possibly its only in looking back that I can see how much that I have been changed through the on-going relationship that I have with my wife and for that matter how much she has changed. I also see God's hand in our lives, how much scripture has underpinned us and helped us - I think that perhaps each day I have a better understanding of those verses, that God gave in 1 Corinthians 13, yes - written about the church, but speaks so much into all relationships of the love we should share and how it causes us to behave. It cements one truth I know I have learned - love is not a feeling is an act of our will - we choose to love in each situation and season just as God has chosen to love each of us and his Church.
Try listening to this song and reflect on what your relationship with you partner means to you ...

Shortly we will be taking marriage preparation classes with some couples preparing to start their marriage journey's hoping and praying that they will find these great truths in their relationship with each other and with God.

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