Have you ever hit a "rough spot" in your life? I hate them. Strong word, I know. Mothers have all kinds of places in their lives for rough spots, don't they? Rough spots can occur anywhere in life, but I especially hate the ones that worm their wicked way into my marriage.
Over twenty-four years of marriage, we've hit several rough spots. Usually, we hit them and they're over. An argument. A disagreement over a matter of little importance. A bad mood. A lack of time for intimacy. A misunderstanding. Financial pressure.
Address them and move on. Done.
Occasionally, though, they last a while. Those are the really hards ones. They can look more like this:
A period of financial stress that lasts for months, even years
Broken trust that cannot simply be "forgotten" but must be forgiven -- if healing is to happen
Lack of sexual desire, where one spouse desires more sexual intimacy than the other
Discontentment (Mix it with the Internet ... and you have a marriage-killing cocktail)
A habit of taking each other for granted
There are others, of course. We all have our weaknesses. Satan knows all too well which emotional "buttons" to push in order to drive a wedge into a marriage. Have you felt him with his hammer and wedge? I have. Sometimes the hammer hits hard — the spot is just beginning to scab over when *bam!* another blow. How do we move forward?
There are a few things you need to know about "healthy" marriages. The reason we call them "healthy" is because they share some common characteristics. Avoiding struggle, however, is not one of them. Struggles come. The question is not "if" they will come; the question is "when."
Here's the thing: You have an enemy. You really do. If you're married, the target on your back just got bigger. If you're in a Christian marriage, enlarge that target on your back again. Raising children? Up the collateral damage 1000%. The enemy I speak of is not interested in your marriage — not really. He's interested in your children. That's right. I've said it before and I'll say it again: If Satan can take out your marriage, he's got a great shot at your kids. And at the end of the day, it’s the next generation that's going to pay the price. It's the next generation that we're fighting to protect.
If you are struggling in marriage right now, here are three things you need to know:
1. The covenant of marriage is worth the struggle.
We are living in an era where a covenant is not worth much. However, God sees things differently. He sees the covenant as it was designed to be seen: as eternal. Nothing in this life that's worth doing is ever easy. Parenting is worth the struggle. Kids are worth it. Your marriage is worth it. No struggle = little value. Period. Marriage in our culture is under attack because it’s God-designed and everything designed by God is on the cultural chopping block under the guise of "tolerance."