This is part of the Grass-roots Marriage Movement series running on Sundays.
Many couples don’t help other marriages because they feel they’re not qualified.
If your marriage is really a mess, you should be putting all your time and effort into getting help, not offering it. However, if you have a decent marriage, you can help others. You do need to know your limits, and when to point to someone else; I’ll cover those in weeks to come.
I will illustrate with the first marriage Lori and I helped. We had been married about six years at the time. We had gotten past most of the bad stuff, but we had a long way to go, and we knew it. We wouldn’t have said we were qualified to help others. Fortunately, the other couple didn’t ask for help with their marriage, they asked for friendship. They were young, and the only ones in their group who had married so far. They weren’t getting what they needed from their still single friends, and weren’t finding much acceptance from the older married couples at our church. They told us they needed some married friends, and asked if we were up for it. Sure, we figured we could do that.
We meet weekly for a meal and conversation at one of our homes for a good while. We occasionally did things beyond that, and we were always friendly at church. We often discussed marriage issues, and from time to time, he would pull me aside, or she would pull Lori aside, with some question. We enjoyed being with them, and became good friends.
However, Lori and I didn’t know the full extent of what was happening. A year or more after we started to meet with them, we over heard her telling someone “Paul and Lori saved our marriage.” We were flabbergasted! It seems they were worse off than we thought, and the possibility their marriage would not last had been considered.
Here’s the thing: at that point, we knew so little! We’d read few marriage books, but we hadn’t been to any seminars or marriage retreats. All we had to offer was friendship and a few more years of marriage experience. And that was all it took. Please don’t think I’m cutting God out of the equation here, I’m just showing you He can work with nothing as long as we are willing!
So be a friend to a couple younger/married a shorter time than you and your spouse. Just listening and helping them to think about their marriage is huge.
Great tweet of the week:
God doesn’t call us failures when we fail, He calls us beloved. We’re defined by our joy, not our success. @bobgoff
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
Do Not Disturb
Delivery Matters ◄ How is worth a bit of thought before you bring up something with your spouse.
The Generous Wife
Love Is A Feeling … NOT ◄ How do you love?
Intimacy in Marriage
Husbands Who Deny Sex and the Wives Who Suffer ◄ Men say no too. If you say no, PLEASE read this.
Journey to Surrender
Male and Female Part 1: Yin, Yang and God ◄ Why did God make men AND women?
One Flesh Marriage
I’m Just . . . Therefore I’m Justified ◄ Explaining why does not excuse it!
The Romantic Vineyard
If Only My Spouse Would ______________! ◄ What do you do when they won’t?