Marriage Inspiration and Laughter – Marriage Message #281
“If you don’t laugh, you’ll probably cry.” That’s what occurred to me (Cindy) after writing to a friend who’s hurting in their marriage and then reading something sent to us that made me laugh. And you know what? Even though my heart is still hurting for my friend, the laughter is like a healing balm that the Lord sent at the right time.
How grateful I am that we have a God who truly knows what we need! And I pray that this marriage message will do the same for those of you who also need inspiration and laughter. I hope to “inspire” and then bless you with moments of laughter.
First, let me explain: My friend is going through a time of “darkness” in her marriage. She and her husband both personally “know” the Lord but they don’t seem to be relationally connecting so things look pretty bleak right now. But they’re going to a counselor and in little ways things are going forward in a way they never would have if they hadn’t put themselves in a place where help is available.
I know that the Lord can “work all things together for the good” (as Romans 8:28 says) because both of them ARE “called according to God’s good purpose.” That’s all part of covenant living with God and our spouse! But it doesn’t mean that the “journey” is without pain.
In this marriage message I want to share a little advice I gave her (which doesn’t reveal anything personal about her situation so it keeps her confidentiality) but it might also inspire you. I wrote:
I pray that as you proceed through this day that you will see God’s “gentle lights.” Author Max Lucado talks about “Doubtstorms.” He says “there are snowstorms; there are hailstorms; there are rainstorms; and there are doubtstorms.” He describes doubtstorms as “those turbulent days when the enemy is too big, the task is too great, the future too bleak, and the answers are too few.”
But then he goes on to describe “gentle lights” as “God’s solutions for doubtstorms — not thunderbolts — not explosions of light — just gentle lights — visible evidence of the invisible hand. It’s soft reminders that optimism is not just for fools.”
He goes on to say, “When God comes, we doubters think, ‘all pain will flee. Life will be tranquil and no questions will remain.’ But because we look for the bonfire, we miss the candle. Because we listen for the shout, we miss the whisper. But it is in burnished candles that God comes and through whispered promises he speaks: ‘When you doubt, look around; I am closer than you think’.” I pray as you go through today you will look for and see God’s gentle lights.
When we were in Africa visiting our prodigal son (an archaeologist doing research there at the time), we asked God to show us “God moments.” We sensed God was taking us on a journey of growth – that He was going to show us, if we really looked beyond what our eyes could see—that He was working in our son’s life and in ours.
Ours would be a faith-stretching growth experience as if God was saying, “You say you trust me. Will you trust Me even when you don’t SEE my hand at work—to know that I AM?”) We committed to trust Him and not complain but to look for Him wherever we were. If He chose to reveal any of His workings we’d be grateful, but being on a “faith-walk” means pressing on even when it doesn’t make “human” sense to do so.
It was at that point that we started to see things that we never saw before. We started to see God’s “gentle lights” in the midst of everything else that was going on. Eventually it got to be so blatantly obvious that by the end of our trip, we figured our son was processing things in his mind — like, “how did they pull all of this off when I know they didn’t have any way of setting things up ahead of time?” And we didn’t; GOD did! For him, I’m sure, it became irritating. But for us, we saw God’s graciousness in allowing us to “peek” at the spiritual work that was going on all around.
For you, this would be different. Both you and your husband know the Lord. But in other ways it’s the same. [Your husband] isn’t “aware” of all that’s going on around him. He’s still caught up in how this affects his life. He doesn’t see that he has to look beyond himself – taking his wants and desires out of it (Philippians 2 in action) in order to ultimately get the best that God has for him and for both of you. I pray that one of these days he will.
But until that day I pray that God will show you His “gentle lights” so you can walk with hope that the path ahead of you won’t always be so darkened. For now God seems to be giving you “just enough light for the path you’re on” (and even then it “appears” to be less “light” than what we need – but that shows that God is in control and not us). Someday I just know in my heart that you’ll see a brighter future and you’ll even have enough light shining in your life that you can spare giving some of it to others to help them—just as God is doing for me right now.
I hope that you will ask God to show you His “gentle lights” today and then open your eyes to start looking for them. I truly believe that you will be amazed at all of the ways in which God is blessing you and is working beneath the surface and all around you. It’s my hope that you’ll find a way to enjoy the journey as much as it’s possible and don’t forget to laugh. Look for the humor amidst the garbage and I have a feeling you’ll see some beams of light peeking through.
After sending off that letter we received something from the ministry of www.crosswalk.com — a web site where you can sign up for e-mailed devotionals, and “Laugh of the Day” jokes, etc. The following message of laughter, titled, “What He Says — What He means” came in today:
- “I’m going fishing.” What this really means is: “I’m going to stand by a stream with a stick in my hand all day, while the fish swim by in complete safety.”
- “It’s a guy thing.” Really means: “There is no rational thought pattern connected with it, and you have no chance at all of making it logical.”
- “Can I help with dinner?” Really means: “Why isn’t it already on the table?”
- “Uh-huh.” “Yes, dear.” Really means: Absolutely nothing. It’s a conditioned response.
- “It would take too long to explain.” Really means: “I have no idea how it works.”
- “We’re going to be late.” Really means: “Now I have a legitimate excuse to drive like a maniac.”
- “Take a break, honey, you’re working too hard.” Really means: “I can’t hear the game over the vacuum cleaner.”
- “That’s interesting, dear.” Really means: “Are you still talking?”
- “I’ve got reasons for what I’m doing.” Really means: “And I sure hope I think of some pretty soon.”
- “I can’t find it.” Really means: “It didn’t fall into my outstretched hands, so I’m clueless.”
- “You know I could never love anyone else.” Really means: “I’m used to the way you yell at me and realize it could be worse.”
- “You look terrific.” Really means: “Please don’t try on one more outfit. I’m starving.”
- “I’m not lost. I know exactly where we are.” Really means: “No one will ever see us alive again.”
“Laughter through tears” is said to be some of the best medicine. We pray it will be for you.
Cindy and Steve Wright