The Narrow Opening
God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. Hebrews 12:10, NIV
A man watches a cocoon as the newly formed butterfly inside painfully and tediously tries to force itself through a narrow opening. Thinking he will help the butterfly, the man enlarges the opening, and the butterfly emerges quickly and easily. But because the butterfly was released from the cocoon too soon, it fails to develop properly—and it dies. It never becomes the butterfly it was meant to be.
Marriage has its own "narrow opening," doesn't it? Many difficult situations arise, and we are often tempted to solve them superficially and quickly—or avoid them altogether—rather than go through the pain of working through them. That is why many couples never develop into awe-inspiring, functioning "butterflies."
God wants to use our marriages to turn us into beautiful butterflies. Our marriages are often times of painful training that prepare us for flight. Anytime we refuse to go through the narrow openings of difficulties, we are costing ourselves the ability to learn to fly.
Marriage has the power to chasten us, to discipline us, to train us. The everyday nature of marriage gives us no room to wear masks, to hide who we really are. We bump into each other's flaws and shortcomings, and we end up frustrating one another.
The next time you find yourself in a difficult situation in your marriage, step back and ask God if He is chastening you, if He is trying to teach you something. Then listen, accept His training, work through the issue, and refuse to rush the process. Resist the urge to make the "narrow opening" larger. Let the training process take its course.
How might God be using a difficult situation in your marriage to chasten you, to train you? What will you and your spouse do to allow Him to complete His work?
God, help us to face head-on the difficulties in our marriage. Help us resist the urge to take the easy way out.
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