the cost of marriage…
i’m just going to go ahead and say it: wanda and i have a pretty good marriage. it’s not perfect, because neither one of us is perfect…tho wanda comes waaaaay closer than i do. but i definitely wouldn’t trade mine for anyone else’s!
our marriage didn’t just happen. we worked at it. still do.
our commitment to working at our marriage happened in our second year. up until that point (five years of dating and a year of playing house together), we did what just about every other couple i have ever been around does: we just acted married.
we were married. what was there to work at? you don’t work at breathing…you just breathe. you don’t work at eating…you just eat. you don’t work at watching television…you just watch. you don’t work at marriage…you just are married. or so we thought.
in our second and third years of marriage, everything changed. because of loving confrontation…determined mentoring…and committed accountability…we learned that we really knew nothing about marriage and if we didn’t get our butts in gear and serious about our lives together, we were destined for a life of empty co-existence (at best) or hostility, conflict and separation (at worst).
we will forever be grateful for what happened in those years…and the people who loved us enough to make it happen.
there were two necessary ingredients.
one – we needed older, wiser couples who cared enough to initiate confrontation…risk our rejection…and were confident enough in their own relationship to expose it to us. we needed people who would not be afraid to pursue us, challenge us, discipline us, and do what we needed in our relationship…before we invited them to do it. this was the crucial first step.
two – because we were initially too stupid, proud, unaware, shallow, clueless, over-confident, arrogant…or some combination of all of them…we needed the older, wiser couples to initiate with us about our marriage. but once the ball got rolling, we bought in. we listened. we read every book on marriage they recommended…and that turned into a life-long pursuit of studying about marriage. we sought out advice. we went to others when we struggled. we learned to bury our pride and ask for help.
so here are my questions:
where are the older, wiser, mature couples who need to be swallowing their fears and seeking out young couples to mentor? where are the older, wiser, mature couples who care enough to confront and loving enough to pursue?
where are the young couples who are willing to admit they don’t have everything wired and are relentlessly seeking out relationships with older, wiser, mature couples for discipline and accountability in their marriages?