Commitment, Communication, For Men, For Women

The Issue Is Never The Issue – Going To The Source

Fierce marriage - reasons you avoid church and why to attend anyway

For the last week or so, Ryan and I haven’t exactly been on the same page about everything…not fun.

Blame it on jet-lag tiredness or entering back into the SoCal culture, but we were irritatingly out of sync. What’s worse, we couldn’t figure it out, at first.

We were civil and may have even appeared “fine” to the outside world, but every little thing he did (or didn’t do) – same goes for me with him – it just agitated us.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the ticking time bomb feeling; the overall feeling that ONE if not both of you are going to explode if he/she even mentions (you fill in the blank).

There is no perfect marriage, meaning, all marriages have flaws and battles they have to deal with. No one is exempt.

One of our great Pastor friends (mentors, leaders, etc. etc.) Pastor Roger Archer of Puyallup Foursquare Church, always says: “The Issue Is Never The Issue” – SO TRUE.

Ryan and I found ourselves having a difficult time connecting and engaging with each other. Our light-hearted conversations quickly turned into complaining, criticizing speeches that waged war about topics such as: money/finances; our future; where do we want to go and live? What do we want to do? Why do we want to do that?

Most of the time these moments end with me crying and Ryan not knowing what to do or say (or having said quite enough already), so we turn to muddling through distractions in order to escape the heated moment.

Occasionally this helps, as there are times where we need to take a step back and breathe. Go to God, pray and really seek Him. Other times, distractions are an excuse for not really dealing with the issue. And issues aren’t always quickly identified either.

The issue in this case boiled down to Ryan and I not having our regular “quiet times” (aka devotions) with the Lord (yep, brutal honesty – let’s do this!).

Although we were reading Christian books, we weren’t spending time in the Word (bible) and I was hardly journaling (something I do religiously), nor were we spending time praying together.

Simply put, not spending time at the feet of our Savior hurts our marriage. Tim Keller does an incredible job, in his book, The Meaning Of Marriage (HIGHLY recommend) of explaining marriage and how it’s designed and how we are to operate within it.

In the first two chapters, Keller talks about how we can truly love and serve our spouses if, and only if, we have allowed God to be THE Source. He must take the proper place in our lives and be at the center.

It’s only until we’ve allowed God to take His place in our hearts and lives that we can then look past the complaints from/about each other, or the lack of connection – all the little, daily issues we face being married.

We can’t look to our marriage/spouse to fulfill or complete us – they were not designed to be our “salvation.” Christ is the only way.

When our security is in the Lord, through spending devoted, undistracted, daily time with Him – only then can we truly love our spouse, and be loved by them.

Ryan and I started to look to each other to fill the voids that only God can fill. It isn’t a first, nor shall it be the last I presume. But spending time with the Lord, first thing, is a priority that we cannot afford to sacrifice. It keeps our eyes on Him, our selfishness at bay, and our perspective on life clear.

Time with our Savior is a necessity to fighting fiercely for your marriage.

Question: Have you experienced a difficult time in your marriage that was a result in not going to The Source and spending time with God? How did you/your spouse handle it?

(Photo by Cheval Photos – St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York)

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