A Mission of Discovery

Posted on June 29, 2020

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This post came from working with some couples who are recovering from some significant violations in the relationship.  There are occasionally couples who are able to get to a place of forgiveness and functionality, but don’t have the same romantic feelings for their partner that they did before.  This can also happen even if there haven’t been relationship violations.  Life is busy and frequently difficult.  We can find that we haven’t maintained our connection.  Once the nest is empty, we find we don’t really know each other.  Add on top of that that we all change over time.  There are ways in which I am the same man my wife married, and there are ways in which at 60 I am not at all like I was at 23.

My wife and I were engaged within a few months after we started dating and married 6 months later.  That is just nuts when you think about it.  You are making a lifechanging decision with insufficient data.  The research indicates that the divorce rate is lower if the partners have known each other for at least 18 months prior to the marriage.  You might be able to fake good for up to one year, but eventually how you are in your worst moments is going to come out.  Having said that, there is still a sense in which we all go into marriage with insufficient data.

Your spouse is strange in way you never could have imagined.  I know that because everybody is.  When my daughters were young and they would say that our family was weird, I would tell them that “Everyone is weird.  If you think someone is not weird, you have just never had to live with them.”  When they got in fights with each other, I also told them, “Your husband is going to be more annoying than your sister ever was.  You might as well start learning to let the little things go now.”

There is still a little problem with this.  I don’t want to be loved in spite of those things that make me strange and unique.  I want to be loved for those things that make me strange and unique.  God may love me in spite of sin, but he loves for who I am (rather than in spite of who I am).  I want that experience in my closest relationships.  Adding another layer to this, it doesn’t mean that much to be loved by those who don’t really know you.  It means much more to be known and loved than to be not known and loved (which is really not being loved).

Your mate is fearfully, wonderfully, and uniquely made.  Before you got married, at best you might have had a clue of what you were getting.  You have a lifetime to discover the things about your partner that makes him or her wonderful.  As you both grow and change, there will be more to discover.

God thinks that your partner was a really good idea that he had.  Whatever phase or state your marriage is in now, discovering your spouse’s wonderfulness could be a path to either keeping the flame alive or starting it back up.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to continually seek to discover what is wonderful about your partner.

 

If any of your team is captured, the secretary will deny all knowledge of your actions.  This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds.

 

Sorry, couldn’t resist.