The grass looks greener on the other side.
You’ve heard that statement before. It’s a reason a lot of marriages fail, because some relationships get to a point where the thought of being out of the relationship seems better than staying in it.
One reason for this has to do with emotions. Emotions toward your spouse on your wedding day are much more intense than emotions several years later. When people compare the way they feel now with the way they felt when they first got married—when they see how much those emotions have changed—they conclude that they must have married the wrong person.
Karen and I dealt with that. After two or three years of marriage, we were totally numb toward each other. There was no emotion left. We were out of love.
That’s when I started thinking about another girl I had dated in high school, wondering whether I should have married her instead. Satan always wants us to believe the grass is greener on the other side.
But you know what I’ve heard? When the grass looks greener on the other side, it’s because you can’t see the poop from here. Everything looks better from a distance. From a distance, even the weeds look nice and green.
Here’s another one: When the grass looks greener on the other side, that just means it’s time to water your own yard.
The truth is that we can’t rely on emotions. We’re humans, and emotions change. They ebb and flow. A marriage has to be based on far more than feelings.
When we grade our marriage solely on how we feel about each other, we are totally ignoring the fact that grass must be watered, and marriage requires work. Marriages have peaks and valleys, and our job as husbands and wives is to learn how to sustain the peaks and endure the valleys.
How do we do this? By working at our marriages on a daily basis. In Revelation 2:4-5, Jesus comes to the church at Ephesus and says, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.”
Repent means to change your mind, to turn around, to stop going the direction that you are going. To start doing the right thing again.
Remember how you fell in love? Remember how you talked to each other? Remember how you were careful not to hurt each other’s feelings? Remember how energetic and adventurous you were?
When Karen and I realized that we had fallen out of love, we stopped doing the things that were causing us to rethink our marriage. We began to redo the things we had done when we first got married. It didn’t matter what our emotions were saying. Your emotions will catch up. Just do the right thing again and ride it out.
We began every day to do the best we could to get along, and after several weeks we began to like each other again. The grass may have looked greener on the other side, but once we watered our own yard, it started looking a lot better where we stood.