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Paul J. Bucknell
Any one of them can be cause for serious marriage problems.
| Lie: Growth comes naturally and easy.
Truth: Growth comes with difficulties.
| There is a subtle lie that a good marriage naturally evolves out of a marriage ceremony. This false belief has caused a great deal of damage to new marriages. The new couple expects their hope will produce a happy and long lasting marriage much like a magic seed. Although their hope is powerful enough to bring a couple to the altar, but it clearly lacks the ability to keep them united in heart.
Good marriages do not come by accident. Just because a person dreams of being a millionaire, this doesn't make him one. He has a lot of work cut out for him. Wonderful marriages depend on hard work such as commitment, knowledge, love and sacrifice.
One must refuse to believe that wedding joys permeate into the marriage for an extended time. The bride's wedding flowers are gloriously arranged. They last a while, but even they will wither and discolor. Our marriages will likewise begin to fall apart if we do not show regular care for them.
A romantic hope has power to cause people to marry but not to sustain a good marriage.
There is no magic growth for marraiges. Hope for a good marriage comes from commitment to living by God's design rather than by a romantic burst of feelings for a person.
| Lie: Marriage has no rules.
Truth: Marriage has guidelines to live by.
Most people do not believe that marriage has any special rules to follow. If there are rules, they assume they are innate, and a couple naturally follows them. Good marriages, however, are clearly built by applying Godgiven truths not by following instinct. Man's selfish nature is bent towards evil not love. The Bible is the only source for finding an understanding of the origin and purpose of marriage.
The danger of today's world, is that the traditional cultures are falling prey to the world's secular culture. This modern culture does not respect these truths. As a result we will see an increase of unstable families and governments. Unfortunately the children are and will be greatly hurt in its wake.
Only those who live by God's design for marriage will have good marriages. God has given the special principles of good marriages to us in His Word. Our Designer and Maker knows best how we function. He has revealed His purposes in the Bible.
| Lie: Those who have God's Word will have good marriages.
Truth: Those who live by God's Word will have good marriages.
The Bible says that those who believe and obey will be blessed. If the believer doesn't specifically follow God's design, then their marriage will suffer. Many Christians destroy their marriages through unknowingly disregarding God's truths. God is not going to reward those who just call themselves by His Name and do not live by His purpose.
A good marriage will not result from merely possessing God's Word, being around God's Word, or even memorizing God's Word. Those who practice God's Word will have rich and beautiful marriages.
| Lie: We learned enough from our parents to have a good marriage.
Truth: A good marriage requires special grace from God.
Most importantly, we should recognize that all these social 'skills' are in fact principles stemming from the truth of God. Politeness, humility, sincerity, concern, purity, devotion, sacrifice, and love are just a few of these practical out workings of God's truth in a person's life. Cultures might define politeness in different ways, but there is a nice way and a rude way in handling situations.
Genuine openness is dependent upon a couple's determination to genuinely and gently discuss their conflicts. These are Christian virtues. They come from the example of Jesus Christ. If a person has not learned them from his or her parents, then they can learn them and gain the power to observe them by God's work in their lives. Parents support this training when they model and teach their children as to what is right.
Good marriages 'happen' because people put the truths into practice. The more a couple can recognize these truths and affirm them, the easier it is to live in the midst of an antagonistic culture. Parents must share with the next generation how the truths of God are worked out through different relational skills.
Relational skills are good, but not good enough. Secularism is destroying the cultural roots of our lives that taught and preserved these relational skills. Without them, people have little hope that they will have a good marriage. Many are bypassing the marriage option. They opt out of the system by living together out of wedlock. They have lost hope that marriage works.
In our age couples need more then social skills. Their values are being challenged. When their values are not based on God's Word, then they think these ways of dealing with people is optional. People can only go so far on their own. They need the power of Christ: His humility, love, standards and kindness to endure the challenges marriages are going through today. Only Christ's teachings and power will give a long lasting solution.
Although good relational skills will bring one far in having a good marriage, it is not enough to bring a couple to the deep intimacy God has planned for them to experience in a hostile culture.
| Lie: Intimacy comes from being close together.
Truth: Physical intimacy only can express the deepness of heart intimacy between the married couple.
Many people think that physical intimacy is the only intimacy that is available. In fact, it is a secondary rather than a primary intimacy. Physical intimacy is based upon heart intimacy. This is the reason physical intimacy only is rightly shared between married partners.
Close physical relationships were never meant to substitute the heart relationships between the couple. The physical relationship was designed to deepen the expression of the one-heart relationship.
Misconceptions give false confidence to couples that keep them from seeking God their Designer for directions on how to conduct their marriage. There are other misconceptions, but we trust enough has been shown to see that we dare not conclude our understandings are right without first studying what God says about marriage.
When a couple can recognize that the goal to work towards is not the marriage ceremony but genuine intimacy, everything can turn around. This goal of intimacy becomes a life goal for their marriage "as long as they both do live.