In Colorado, two mighty rivers course through the state’s mountains and foothills. These independent bodies of water—the Roaring Fork and the Frying Pan—merge just outside of Basalt, Colorado, near the aptly named “Two Rivers Road.”
There in the Roaring Fork Valley, you can stand on the bank and see the spot where the energies of these two massive waterways smash into each other, becoming a single powerful torrent.
Thrill-seeking rafters from all over the state come here to ride these rapids. It’s an awesome sight to behold as these two waterways collide in a vicious, roiling spray.
It reminds me of marriage.
When two autonomous souls get married, you have two independent and strong-willed people coming together and attempting to become one flesh.
Two forceful spirits—each with their own dreams and identities, each with their own thoughts and ideas about the future, each with their own needs and weaknesses—standing at the altar declaring their desire to become one.
If that isn’t a formula for conflict, I don’t know what is.
That’s why marriage is work. Growing a successful marriage isn’t easy. A lasting marriage is a marriage that has seen its share of struggles. People are different, and when two unique people become one they’re bound to encounter rapids.
The good news is that the longer two rivers run together, the quieter the waters become. If a husband and wife can make their way beyond the whitewater and get further downstream, smoother sailing awaits. Meanwhile, they both get better at navigating the twists and turns.
Maybe one has a dream or desire they refuse to turn loose. She clings to it too tightly, worried that letting go means losing her identity. The other has dreams of his own and is holding on for dear life.
Each is grasping at opposite banks, desperate to keep the current from pulling them downstream, and yet that’s where the safety lies—further down the river, if only they’ll work together as one. If only they’ll let go.
Instead they find themselves in a constant battle for independence, desperately afraid of being swallowed up by the other.
This is where most divorces occur. Broken marriages start right at this place, where the violent rapids begin, and where each partner is so focused on protecting themselves that they won’t paddle to safety together.
Our only hope is to turn loose and trust. Trust each other. Trust God. Let go and let God mold and shape you. Only He can make you a strong and dynamic couple. Only He can bring two powerful rivers together into one. Will you let Him?