Two reactions to the same problem in two different homes:
Home One: “If you do that again, I will send you back to your mother’s house…”
Home Two: “What you’ve done has really hurt me and I’m finding it very difficult. I would like us to make time to sit down and talk about it and, if we are not able to resolve this ourselves, we can ask for help from our more experienced leaders.”
As a married person, which of these two homes would you rather live in? As a married person, which of the above words do you speak to your spouse when things get difficult?
Every marriage relationship faces tough times. But how we handle the tough times can make or break our relationship. And what we say during the hard times reveals our beliefs or assumptions about our marriage.
In Home One, it is clear that the back door is still open and, without knowing it, the person speaking those words is actually tearing down his own home. In this home, divorce is an option and it is being used here as a weapon to try to change the other person – but it will produce the very opposite result. If repeated too often, with time those words can lay waste any marriage.
In Home Two, a different spirit is at work. There is acceptance in place, a permanent acceptance of each other. We are in this together, I have become your permanent home, and you have become my permanent home…as long as we both shall live. It is not that the couple are naïve: they do anticipate difficulties along the way – but these tough times do not call the whole union into question.
A home like this will find an answer to even the toughest issues while Home One will run out of options very quickly.
Acceptance is a powerful expression of God’s gracious love to us and, if it finds a home in the hearts of a couple, it will become such a fortress for the relationship. When God said, “I shall never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5b) He knew that we would fail sometimes, or even rebel sometimes, but He said it anyway and He meant every word. He knows that we need to be with Him before the changes that He desires can happen.
In the same way we need each other – rubbing on and against each other – to improve, to become better people. So in tough times, the answer is not to separate but to get closer! So, make each other feel at home. Speak to each other the words of acceptance: “I shall never leave you or forsake you…my home shall be your home for as long as we both shall live.”
Full acceptance will win the full support of your spouse and together you two will become an impregnable fortress.
“Accept one another then just as God has accepted you.” (Romans 15:7)