“You never see the hard days in a photo album; but those are the ones that get you from one happy snapshot to the next.”
~Tom Leezac’s Dad to Tom, Just Married (2003).
This above is a beacon to the trouble marriage, the jilted-for-now partner, or any relationship in difficulty where people are concerned—everywhere.
Anyone who is honest about marriage will attest; there are difficult—even ‘impossible’—times. Who has not endured some of these, even some relatively long periods of them in some cases, and not come out the other side better people—and together?—okay, the ones who gave up, that’s who.
We get nothing of what we really want when we give-in to the whims of our own momentary desires.
And, of course, we know this theory. The real test, however, is the practice. When we’re pushed from pillar to post in our marriages and our relationships, but we still come back for more, what are we really saying?
We’re ‘in it’ for good. We’re committed, and we can be trusted—to stay, despite what our instincts might be telling us.
Now, this is not a reason to stay in an abusive relationship. Abuse is out-of-bounds.
Dual Commitment Toward a Cord of Three Strands
But many relationships also involve one tormented and confused day after another. It seems no good. However, where both partners believe in the essence of their partnership anything can be resolved—via God’s power. Both need to be equally committed for God to grace the troubled relationship with the blessing required to get through.
This is what the following is saying:
“Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
~Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV).
With both partners equally invested in the relationship, almost anything can be achieved; because God automatically abides to the godly bond between the two. Whilst commitment is there bilaterally, there is every hope.
And we must always believe that commitment is stronger than romantic love. It will get us through, even on those days, weeks and months when we don’t feel in love—for there are inevitably many of these. But these are the very days that bridge the chasms we find between those ecstatically happy moments, for which we’re all afforded.
This is about taking the bad with the good. We’d be children if we expected good all the time.
Being Wary of Envy
Why is it that we have such an ability to look over the fence and see what we see with rose-coloured glasses? Envy is a very ‘human’ phenomenon. But we’re deluded in what we see because of what we want to see. In fact, we see what we want to see—i.e. we choose our reality—and clearly this is not the truth.
Still too many give up on the best they have because they firmly believe in a lie. Commitment gets in behind the lie and flushes it out for truth.
Great Expectations – Never Delivered – When We Expected Too Much
Perhaps the last warning is against our own romantic suggestions of folly—our ‘great expectations’ we start out with. I was noted for saying I wanted a ‘first class marriage’ on setting out second time around. Soon I was to recoil at the folly of such a proud position—as if to assert that many long marriages out there weren’t first class; because that is what I meant. I learned the hard way in many respects. God got through to me on this point I think.
Expectations are otherwise a very honest, and therefore potentially cruel, thing. They’ll force us to account; to every last one. They expose our folly. Best our expectations are based on what is realistically achievable.
We’re best just trying our best, and to commit to learning each day—in humility—to submit to the other. It doesn’t get much simpler, or any harder, than that if we can just keep it that way.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.