Don’t feel bad that you clicked on this blog entry. It’s not a sign of failure in your marriage. It’s a sign that you’re married. All marriages struggle, to one degree or another. If you find a marriage that has no struggles, then either one of the partners is dead or has given up a long time ago. Marriage is so fundamentally important that I’ll be writing on the subject of marriage every Monday.
I’m by no means an expert, but I’m still happily married after ten years, which means (according the Washington Post http://wapo.st/LiFXHX) that I’ve beat at least a third of the marriages in America. There are no quick fixes to your marriage, but by continually working on it, you’ll see improvements that will see you victorious in the end. Here are seven reasons why your marriage is struggling:
1. You’re married to a sinner (and so is your spouse).
Romans 3:23 says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Because of the presence of sin in your life, you’re always going to struggle with a gravitational pull towards selfishness and self-centeredness, which works to destroy a marriage.
2. You live in a culture that devalues marriage.
Several months ago ABC News reported on a study (http://abcn.ws/LiGMQU) that revealed that four in ten Americans think that marriage is becoming obsolete, and 11 percent spike from when the question was asked in 1978. Since the cultural value of marriage is decreasing, there’s not as much communal pressure to fight and make a marriage work.
You don’t have to look far in the media to see that the whole idea of what a successful family and marriage look like is being redefined. With hit shows such as Modern Family, the classical idea of marriage is being redefined.
4. You’re inclined to want the easy way out.
We like options. We like exit strategies. A contract is useless to us. If we want a new cell phone, we’ll simply pay the penalty and break the contract. If we get in over our heads financially, we’ll simply declare bankruptcy. When marriage gets tough, the lure of divorce can seem tantalizingly easy.
5. We don’t like hard work.
One of the perks of living in American society is the constant advancement of technology designed to make life easier for everyone. Why cook a meal when you can drive through and pick one up? Why work out when you can just pop a pill and lose weight? Unfortunately, marriage can’t be successful without hard work, a discipline too many of us are losing.
6. We’ve bought into the myth that the greatest way to be happy is to focus exclusively on ourselves.
For us to be happy, we feel like we have to be the ones to ensure our own happiness. If we don’t look out for ourselves, who will? This selfish “me-first” attitude can be crushing to a marriage if you have two self-centered people focusing exclusively on their own happiness. The Bible comes at it from a different perspective, stating “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
7. The crockpot of marriage rarely survives in a microwave world.
We want a successful marriage, now. We want the marriage we saw in our grandparents without the fifty years of hard work it took to get them there. A successful marriage is built with small deposits over a long period of time. If we don’t have patience, we’ll never see the victory.
QUESTION: What other things do you think contribute to struggling marriages?