What's the difference between a Holy Word marriage and a Hollywood marriage? A Holy Word marriage allows for trouble yet includes commitment, compromise and sacrifice.
Over the years I have heard people exclaim, “I made a mistake in marrying this person.”
“Why?” I ask.
They reply, “Because we can never agree on much at all. One of us wants this and the other wants that. Tension arises every day. I am sick and tired of butting heads. I never should have married this person.”
Ever feel this way? I invite you to mull over a couple truths from the Bible. Based on these passages from Scripture, I find it unlikely that you made a mistake!
YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE
I Corinthians 7:28 says, “But if you marry, you have not sinned…Yet such will have trouble…”
The Bible says we will have headaches and heartaches in marriage. We should put this verse on our refrigerator!
To what “trouble” does the Apostle Paul refer?
TROUBLE IN THE BEDROOM
Earlier he wrote, “The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does” (1 Corinthians 7:3,4).
When it comes to sex, husband and wife have equal authority over the other. This leads to trouble!
I remember praying, “Lord, so you’re saying we have equal authority when it comes to sex?”
From His inaudible voice I heard, “Yes.”
I continued, “So a husband has equal say with his wife when it comes to sex and a wife has equal say with her husband when it comes to sex?”
The inaudible whisper came back, “Yes.”
I said, “Well Lord, on a practical basis who decides when they have sex? For example, on Tuesday night does the young husband decide to have sex or does his young wife decide not to have sex? And when he’s old, does he decide they will not have sex on Tuesday night or does his aging wife decide they will be sexually intimate?” I heard the soundless, “Yes.”
“Forgive me for asking Lord,” I expressed, “but have you designed trouble in marriage?” “Yes.”
IS TROUBLE PART OF GOD’S WILL?
All of us are in the center of God’s will on Tuesday night but do not know it! Though we have differing preferences neither of us is wrong, just different. Pink is not wrong for not being blue. Blue is not wrong for not being pink.
Yes, a husband wants this and a wife wants that. Yes, there is tension. But God allows such trouble to deepen our relationship with our spouse. The marriage is not a mistake. Instead, we are in the middle of God’s marvelous method of maturing us!
We learn to create win-win from a “Troubling Tuesday” by finding compromises that mutually satisfy. This is the path all successful couples must journey. Instead of attacking the differing sexual desires, successful couples work at reciprocity. As the Golden Rule states, we treat the other as we wish to be treated.
Here are some simple ways to create win-win:
- When a wife says “no” to sex on Tuesday night, she proposes “yes” to another time.
- When a husband says “no” to talking heart to heart on Wednesday, he proposes “yes” to another time.
- Why? A triggers B and B triggers A. We call it Quid Pro Quo.
HOLLYWOOD vs HOLY WORD
Should we be troubled by marital trouble? Only if we lean toward the message of Hollywood more than the message of the Holy Word.
Hollywood projects, “You should experience a 99 % wonderful relationship! Trouble free!”
The Holy Word proclaims, “You should allow for some trouble.”
THE 80/20 RULE
I refer to it as the 80/20 rule in marriage. Twenty percent of the time you will encounter tension and trouble, and that’s okay with the Lord.
You didn’t make a mistake.
However, if you expect marital bliss 99% of the time yet you experience 80% happiness, the 19% difference will disillusion and embitter you. Then a little leaven leavens the whole. That 19% poisons the 80%.
You’re not happy at all when you could be happy 80% of the time because you let the 20% cause you to conclude that you made a mistake. You become disenchanted and resentful and want to jump ship.
DON’T JUMP SHIP
Let me help you with an analogy. Sailors anticipate storms on the open sea. They prepare for the inevitable trouble while in port. Then at sea they do not panic when the wind and waves toss the ship to and fro. Though dizzy and nauseated, they weather the storm because they readied themselves and the ship for the pounding waves. They also know all storms blow over. Calm times await them, until the next storm.
How bizarre to watch sailors scream, “Oh, no! A storm!” then jump ship.
Naturally we’d ask, “Why are the sailors going over the rail?” The Captain answers, “Because there’s a troubling storm. They feel they made a mistake in joining the Navy so they jump ship.”
We ask, “But Captain, didn’t they understand storms happen on the open sea?” He replies, “Yes, but they watched too many movies about cruise ships on Mediterranean seas.”
Today, Hollywood movies dictate the responses of some couples rather than the Holy Word. These folks then declare, “I didn’t sign up for this” and jump ship.
EQUAL ISN’T THE SAME
However, others of us have chosen to trust God to give us wisdom to create win-win on Troubling Tuesday. We do not argue we made a mistake but accept we are in the middle of God’s will.
God made us male and female—not wrong, just different—and the Lord wants us to learn how to deal with this. If we were the same, one of us is unnecessary.
The real mistake we make is thinking that because we are equal, we are the same. That’s the biggest mistake anyone can make, especially on Tuesday night.