Along with the flowers, chocolate and romantic Valentine cards yesterday, did anyone ask the provocative question; what is the secret to a happy relationship? What make some work and others not?
Personally, I feel a good relationship is like a 3 ring circus. Visualize a circus with a large center ring with two smaller side rings. The large ring represents all the activities a couple should be doing together and the side rings represent the hobbies and pursuits of either individual.
In a strong, loving, balanced relationship, a couple should allocate more time together than apart. Therefore never stop learning and growing! It’s exciting to discover new activities together and share them in the extensive memories of life!
Sometimes however, relationships become unbalanced. A relationship invites trouble if the center ring becomes nonexistent and only two individual large rings remain. Becoming ‘ships that pass in the night’, you have nothing in common anymore. Discovering and sharing mutual interests keep the relationship fresh!
The relationship is also unbalanced if someone relinquished their smaller ring for the sake of the other. It could be that one finds a time-consuming interest like running, sewing, golfing or fishing, excluding the other . . . or perhaps the spouse is working, never home. Now you find yourself sacrificing your own interests to spend more time with your significant other or you’d hardly see each other anymore. It’s not selfish to save time for yourself. Individuality makes you interesting. It’s what attracted someone in the first place! Never lose your uniqueness!
But now you’ve lost your identity; you don’t know if the spouse cares about the relationship or is attracted to you anymore. You feel unimportant, boring, stale, unloved. Something must fill that emptiness. When food begins to fill that void, comforting you; you gain weight, eat unbalanced meals, making you irritable and not much fun to be around. Lonely, you gain even more weight, making you feel even less attractive but you find yourself unconsciously eating to fill that ‘love hunger’. It’s a downward cycle. Feeling helpless, you don’t know where to turn. Turn to Jesus.
I can tell you it takes commitment, patience and having the Lord as the center of any relationship to ensure its longevity. Sadly, many marriages are disposable in this throw-away society we live in. “If it doesn’t work out, I’ll just trade ’em in for a new one, haha.” I absolutely realize there is justification in a marital split sometimes, since I come from a broken home. I also recognize that if my violent father hadn’t abandoned our family, I don’t believe I’d be here today. Living through the tough times made me a much stronger person and I ultimately found a compassionate Father, our LORD God. Praise Him!
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Recognize pitfalls. Only God can repair relationships. Nagging never rebuilt one, but prayer certainly has. God knows you have value, trust Him! It’s extremely hard to let go of our controlling spirit and let God’s Will Be Done. That takes a great deal of Faith! Pray fervently that God will open the other’s eyes to priorities in life and God will improve your relationship!
Lastly, how would we feel if God gave up on us? “Oh that Ellie, I’m so tired of her, she’s not worth fighting for anymore. I think I’ll trade her in for someone in Boswanaville.” No God is COMMITTED to us. He’d never abandon us!! He desires a strong relationship for us and with us! He walked in the garden with Adam and created the institution of marriage before the church or government. Strengthen your Faith through His Word.
Deuteronomy 13:8 “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”