Have you ever had a friend who has confided in you that he or she is struggling in their marriage? Ted and I have. More than once.
And I'm not talking petty issues like stray socks left on the bathroom floor, but deep stuff. Things like infidelity, emotional detachment, and conflict that have been brushed under the rug for so long that now there's no simple way to sort through it.
How have we responded when these friends have come to us?
Well, certainly not as relationship experts. Because we aren't. Sure, I've authored a book on marriage that releases soon, but I write as a friend and fellow traveler. One who's willing to be vulnerable and transparent in what God's teaching me in my own marriage in hopes that it encourages others. Not as someone with all the answers.
The truth is, sometimes I feel ill-prepared and unequipped as a friend pours out her heart to me over Starbucks coffee or a bowl of French onion soup at Panera.
There's a good likelihood that at some point you too will have friends who are struggling. Maybe you do now. I'd venture to guess that many of you, like Ted and me, aren't marriage counselors, relationship experts, or seasoned pastors and their wives. That like us, you're an everyday sort of person who has a passion to see marriages around you not only survive, but thrive, yet you don't always know all of the right things to say.
[Read the rest of the article at For the Family.]