Helping Marriages – the Pitfalls

August 4, 2013

in Beyond the Marriage, Good Marriage, Grass-roots Movement

This is part of the Grass-roots Marriage Movement

There are some danger areas if you’re going to help other’s marriages.

The Blind Leading the Blind

He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?” [Luke 6:39 ESV]

A pit © Salvatore Vuono | freedigitalphotos.net

If you want to help others with their marriages, be sure you are not a blind guide! You may be able to help in some areas, but not others. Minster in areas where your marriage is solid, but be very careful in areas where your marriage is still struggling. You don’t have to be perfect in an area to help others, but you need to be more than marginally better off than those you seek to help. I’d also suggest not trying to help others in areas where your marriage has stalled out, even if what you have is better than what some other couple has. 

In short, know your limits, and don’t put others at risk by exceeding those limits. Know when to pass to others (more on that in another post), and don’t let someone talk you into doing something you’re not ready to do.

Taking Sides

Another danger is you and your spouse taking sides. This usually falls along gender lines, but it can also happen across gender lines when one or both of you identify with what the other opposite sex spouse is doing or having done to them. This doesn’t help the other couple, and it can result in you and your spouse having a fight about the issue. By the way, if you find this happening, it means one or both of you have not fully dealt with whatever issue or feeling is happening. 

Making Suggestions to Make a Point to Your Spouse

If the other couple has a problem similar to one you and your spouse haven’t resolved, you can easily fall into saying things because it’s what you want your spouse to do. 

One Size Fits All

This one is tough – I’ve seen well-trained counsellors fall into it. We tend to think everyone else is like we are, which means what worked for us will work for them. There is a couple out there who’s marriage was saved because he stopped being selfish and learned to love his wife. The problem is they decided the fix for all marriages is for the husband to get right. This will work for some marriages, but it will not work for many, and it can be dangerous to some couples. If a wife is walking in sin and selfishness, the last thing she needs to hear is it’s all his fault and he’s the one who has to change. On the other hand, some teach most marriage problems are the result of a wife who is disobedient, and fixing a marriage requires the husband to get tough. Again, this will work for some marriages, will not work for some, and could be a disaster if the husband is already borderline abusive. 

Not Knowing When to Stop

Some people want to change, and some do not. Many say they want to change, but they are not yet ready to do what it takes to change. There are also those who enjoy the attention, but have no intention of changing. Still other times the couple wants to change, but you’re not the right person to help them at this time.

Trying to help those who are not willing/ready to change is a waste of time at best. Besides, you could be spending time with a couple who really wants to change. Additionally, if they want to change but you’re not a good fit, you’re keeping them from getting the help they need.

Getting a thrill from it

It feels good to be used of God to help others, and it’s not wrong to enjoy that feeling. However, if that feeling becomes more important than following the Lord’s leading, you’re going to hurt people. If you start doing it for the good feeling, you’re in a dangerous place, and there’s something in your life you need to face and fix.

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Image Credit: © Salvatore Vuono | freedigitalphotos.net

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Great tweet of the week:

Don’t hurry, enjoy the journey with your spouse. The destination will still be there whenever you arrive! @songsix3

Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:

Black and Married with Kids

You Love Your Spouse, But Do You Still Like Your Spouse? ◄ But do you still like each other?
5 Simple Ways to Get Your Wife In the Mood ◄ You know these, but do you do them?


The Generous Wife

The Way I Think It Should Be Done ◄ Cause my way is not the only or even best way.
A Sign of Respect ◄ Do you respect what she enjoys?
Look Up ◄ Eye contact shows respect.


Journey to Surrender

Male and Female Part 2: Marriage Baggage ◄ Why you see marriage the way you do.


The Romantic Vineyard

Honoring Your Spouse On Facebook ◄ A good plan!
Beware Of These 6 Little Foxes ◄ Little things can cause big problems.
25+ Ways To Bless Your Spouse When You’re Expecting ◄ God read for dads to be.


Sex Within Marriage

How to stop fighting ◄ If you are ready to stop fighting, here are some good ideas.


…to Love Honor and Vacuum

Sex After Breast Cancer and Mastectomies ◄ If your bride has had breast cancer, this article, AND the comments, are a must read for you.

3 comments
marseille55
marseille55

Excellent points.  Perhaps you are already planning to do this as well but beyond not being "blind" we also need to keep a biblical perspective lest we become discouraged or disheartened when, as will inevitably happen, we do not see the positive results we desire.  If we are responding from a sense of God's calling, then we must come alongside as best we can, but recognize then we cannot assume responsibility for either the success or failure of the couple.

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