We are working on a book, “Married but Lonely” in our life group this semester. As I read, I am having flashbacks to early years in our marriage. I remember on a few occasions Gayle would ask me if we could get counseling. At that time of my life, I was more concerned about looking good than being good. My answer was always, “Absolutely not!” I wasn’t willing to let anyone know that we had struggles. I wasn’t willing to let anyone know I was less than the perfect Christian, bible college student, church leader, and potential pastor.
Now many years later, having gone through near marriage-ending failures, I wished I would have said yes. I now see for me the number one hinderance to my own personal, spiritual and marital improvement is pride. Yep, keeping up appearances! Trying to appear better than I am to look good to people who don’t matter that much rather than becoming the best I can to honor God, myself and my wife and family! Humility, “Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up,” is the number one key to real growth.
How destructive and really how dumb I was. Why would I court, ask to marry, pledge to spend my life with and then not be willing to do the hard work to make our marriage work? Why would I choose to stay married and create misery rather than say, “We are in this for the long haul, let’s at least make it the best it can be!”
Last night, on a date, having been married 41 years to the same hot chick, we chattered like teenagers at the dinner table. There is always more we can do as individuals and a couple to keep improving.
Having experienced both, the misery of keeping up appearances and the joy of real intimacy. The latter is worth the work!