Gary Thomas, author of Sacred Marriage, was back again this year at the simulcast.
In the relationship between God and Israel there were seasons of great joy and celebration, seasons of frustration and anger, seasons of silence and times of infidelity. So it can be in our own marriages.
It takes on average nine to 14 years to think as a “couple” – longer for a second marriage. When people get married they don’t think “we” from the start. They still think of themselves as individuals. It’s how our brains work. It’s slow going to get your brain to think you and your spouse as a couple.
He spoke of a good marriage being not something you find, but something you make. And you can remake it or rebuild it if yours has broken down. There is hope that you can grow back together if you’ve grown apart. How? By the spiritual discipline of perseverance. Luke 8:15 says that the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”, James 1:4 says and Roman 2:7 says “To those who by persistence in doing good…”
Commitment, tenacity, perseverance, hanging in there – you need these both in growing as a Christian and in growing your marriage.
At the 35th year of your marriage there are studies that say most marriages rate their satisfaction higher than when they got married. But, you have to have commitment and perseverance to get there. Remember, your marriage is something you make, NOT find.
Some seasons of your marriage just have to be endured. They are the “uphill, thin air” seasons of life. Like when there are little kids in the house and life is just tough. In the moment some periods seem so intense, and they are, but later, if you persevere and endure, they are so worth it.
God watches the way we love each other. God rewards those who love expecting to get nothing in return.
You are married to God’s son or daughter. God is your father-in-law. There’s a perspective to get you thinking eternally. Francis Chan said that we need to focus on who we are going to be in the presence of God for eternity and to help each other become that person.