Summary: Imagine a marriage where both husband and wife are soaking in God’s love and then expressing the love they’re receiving back into their home! That’s super-glue!.
Superglue for your Marriage
One of the parts of my calling I enjoy most are the sessions with young couples who are preparing for marriage. Their love is contagious. They speak in glowing terms about each other, as though they have found the perfect person. Very few think that their marriage could ever end in divorce.
“How could I ever come to hate her silly little giggle that is so endearing?”
“Picking up after him won’t be a problem, because I just love him so much!”
One of the saddest parts of my calling is trying to help couples save their marriage! Usually by the time they come to see me, they have crossed the line from irritation into real anger.
“She’s so needy, I can’t stand it!”
“He is completely selfish, expecting me to be his slave.”
So what happened between the tender touches, gentle words, and the dreams and fulfillment of the first days of marriage - and the anger, disillusionment, and bitterness that followed?
Infatuation faded and with the intimacy of marriage came conflict -
over kids, money, sex, parents, recreational time, job commitments, personality. If you’re honest and married in this room today, you could add a category, I am sure.
There are no marriages where conflict is non-existent! That’s a myth for the movies. Where there are real people, there is real potential for conflict!
So, we wonder - can married people stay close, remain in love, enjoy their marriage
OR are all people who choose marriage destined for an exercise in endurance?
There is a SuperGlue that will keep a man and a woman together through the inevitable difficulties and conflicts.
What is it? I’ll get to that, but first let’s observe what it’s not.
1. SEX won’t keep a couple together!
The erotic part of married life is an important part and a Christian couple needs to understand that. Paul told the couples of the early church - "The husband should not deprive his wife of sexual intimacy, which is her right as a married woman, nor should the wife deprive her husband. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband also gives authority over his body to his wife." (1 Corinthians 7:3-4, NLT) Let’s be realistic about this, however. If you expect your spouse to live up to the fantasy sexuality portrayed in the entertainment of America, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. The sexuality that appears in our pop culture is a far cry from the real world where people have bad breath, are tired from working all day, where kids sleep just across the hall, where aging bodies no longer respond as they once did.
And - let me say this as an aside - if you’re a consumer of pornography - STOP! It’s addictive and destructive to your marriage, to say nothing of being offensive to your God because of the way people are turned into objects to be used solely for selfish pleasure. If you’re into it too deeply to stop, then get help because it will have a destructive influence on your marriage and your walk with Christ!
Too often, people (especially younger men) think that if the sex is great, then the marriage will last forever. That’s simply wrong. God created the intimacy of sex. It is a powerful connection and should be respected and kept alive in marriages that are healthy, but it is not the super-glue of marriage.
2. FRIENDSHIP won’t keep a couple together!
When Bev and I were married just a couple of years, we attended a marriage workshop where the presenter told us that the best thing we could do for our marriage would be understand the impossibility of being ‘everything and everyone’ to each other. The teacher told us we should encourage our spouse to have friends other than ourselves.
I got mad! “How dare he suggest that my wife needed other friends when she had charming, wonderful me?” But the years have proven the wisdom of that teacher. Bev and I are best friends, but she is not my only friend, nor am I hers. We each have friendships that exists apart from the others friends, not secret friends and not with members of the opposite sex, but friends that fulfil some of our emotional needs.
I have several Pastors who are my confidants and prayer partners.
Bev works with people who share her passion for children and education.
The fact is that having other friends, makes each of us a better friend to the other.
Couples who believe that their marriage will thrive if they create a world where they exist only for each other, are setting themselves up for problems. There are parts of a woman’s world that I will never understand which my wife needs to talk over with other women. There are stresses that I deal with as a man and pastor that she couldn’t grasp if I tried to explain it all day!