For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
1 John 5:4-5
I have always been fascinated about the fact that a ship that weighs thousands of metric tons can float on water and not sink. This is as a result of two fundamental qualities, the hollow shape of the ship combined with its ability to prevent water from coming into the ship. The ship will sail fine on water as long as the water outside the ship does not get into the ship. It is interesting that a ship can only sail on water that will cause it great harm if it gets into the ship. It is also interesting that most ship wrecks don’t occur at shore. They occur when the ship has left shore and set sail to its destinations. Relationships are similar to ships particularly marital relationships in that as long as you don’t allow the junk from the world to get into your relationship and stay in, you have what it takes to sail through any storm. Understand that the true test of a ships engineering is its ability to sail through a storm and not sink. This ability always sends praises to the manufacturer of the ship. When you grow through storms in life particularly in your marriage or marital relationship as a Christian and overcome it, it makes people send praises to God.
I see genuine people who love each other get married only for their marriage to crash once it sets sail. The reality is that your love for each other alone does not guarantee success in marriage or that you will overcome storms in your relationships. Likewise the captain’s love for his ship or the manufacturers love for their ship is not enough to ensure it will overcome storms at sea. Your love for each should fuel you to take active measures that will ensure your marriage will stand the storms of life.
I see a lot of Christians that love God, that believe in God and make a great deal of sacrifice for Him; only to experience wreckage in their marriage. Reality is that storms do happen in marriage where you are a Christian or not. They happen not because you married the wrong spouse as is the default thinking of most couples or that their spouse is the source of the storm. The fact is that storms will happen in marriage and how you navigate as a couple is vital for you to overcome the storm. How you react to storms is the difference between people who overcome storms in marriage and people who don’t. This is why two different couples can face the same storm say financial hardship or difficulty in sexual intimacy and get different outcomes. While the storm can cause one couple to get divorced, it can cause the other couple to get closer once they overcome the storm.
Below are some ways you can reduce storms in marriage
Be sensitive to your spouse
Storms don’t just appear; they usually give signs or signals. As the captain of a ship, your ability to pay attention to the environmental and climatic condition of your path is vital to the lives of your crew and the success of your journey. Sensitivity is essential to the success of any marriage. Be sensitive to each other’s needs and desires. Understand the atmospheric or climatic conditions in your marriage or relationship and ensure that you are proactive in diffusing pressure points. That way the pressure points do not generate enough momentum to become storms that can potentially wreck the relationship. Communication and paying attention to your spouse are good places to start building sensitivity toward your spouse.
Your relationship is unique
This is one area that most couples fall short. No two relationships are the same. Imagine a ship comparing itself to a submarine decides to go under water. You need to study your spouse and relate to them based on who they are and not based on general assumptions. Study each other’s strengths, development areas, likes, dislikes, goals, dreams and so on. Find out what works for you and your spouse and consciously ensure that you apply it. Couples fall short in this area when they try to compare their relationship with other relationships and try to replicate what works well for other couples in their own relationship. In some cases their intensions are good however couples need to understand that no two relationships are the same. Each relationship has its own unique DNA and as such couples must find out what works for them even when replicate the success of other couples in their own marriage. Couples must ensure that they tailor things to suit their unique family base.
No storm is unique to you
One of the greatest lie your mind will tell you is that no one has gone true this particular storm before. It will paint a picture of a storm too big to face, however this is not the case. I don’t mean to trivialize what storms you face, but reality is that whatever storm you face is not new to man. In fact people have been able to overcome that particular storm and even greater storms. It is important for you to seek counsel and find out how other people conquered the storm you currently face. A great way to start is by increasing your knowledge base on that matter. Ignorance is causing many marriages heart aches as what many couples don’t know is literally killing their marriages. Expose yourself to sound biblical concepts and information on areas you are experiencing storms in marriage. Reinforcing that there is no storm that you are facing that is new to you the book of Ecclesiastes 1: 9 put it this way
That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.
Silence is another aspect that has the potential to ignite a storm as couples experience misery in marriage and are silent about it. This silence if not addressed can lead to an implosion. Couples need to ensure that they don’t just express positive emotions to their spouse but also negative emotions as well. Particular when their needs or desires are not being met. Don’t suffer in silence; communicating your negative emotions is the first step in your healing process.
The feeling of Divorce
To those thinking about divorce, get counsel. Your feeling of divorce signifies pain in your marriage. Just like you visit a doctor when you feel pain in your body or a dentist for tooth ache you need to seek counsel about your feeling on divorce. There is no shame in your feeling of divorce however it will be a shame if you allow that feel to rub your marriage, rub your children of a stable home, rub society by stopping you from reaching your potential and rub you of God’s plan for marriage. God loves you and His desire is that you prosper in all works of life including marriage. The difference between success and failure in marriage is how you choose to react to this storm (your feeling of divorce). The feeling of irreconcilable difference is the major cause of divorce presently. You can either choose to marry that feeling and divorce your spouse or divorce that feeling and marry your spouse. Marriage requires you doing your due diligence and letting Holy Spirit play His own part (supplying the grace you need). God loves you and wants to heal your marriage.
As always, marriage is a journey and not a destination ~ Toyosi E