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When Marriage is Messy

Updated: Feb 4, 2019

Neither of us were particularly invested in our anniversary dinner this year. Just days before we celebrated a beautiful Christmas at home—probably our best one ever. We were having a fabulous vacation on the Disney Wonder celebrating the New Year and twenty-two years of marriage. We were sitting in Palo, the ship's best restaurant, eating amazing food and sharing a bottle of wine.

But we weren't clicking and we hadn't been for awhile.

The next day—still on vacation—we had one of those hard conversations.

We determined that we'd gotten sloppy in our marriage. We were putting everything else first: our kids, our church, our other interests. We didn't come up with any solutions right then and there; we decided this was just one of those "seasons" all marriages go through.

The next morning I sat in Cove Cafe, still on board the ship, with my bible and a fancy coffee. I had been reading Colossians, and He spoke to me in this: "to this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me" (1:29). His energy. That's what I needed. I prayed God would work a miracle—through His strength—not ours.

Of course He did.

He always comes through in our times of need.

Our hard conversation, and God's intervention, turned our hearts back to prioritizing each other and our marriage. A wake up call had come in the form of this particular season and we didn't want it to go on any longer. Sloppiness was going to have to go.

Going through the mail after a week away, I opened an anniversary card from one of the "older women" in my life from the last church we served. She has always sent a timely note of encouragement—just what I need to hear when I need to hear it. Her son had been going through her late husband's papers and found "Reflections on Marriage." (Click the link to print this timely advice to Christian couples).

It never ceases to amaze me how God delights to use His people to bless others. We took this as yet another sign of God's miraculous power in our lives.

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