We confess; we fell for it too. Steve and I fell for the faulty reasoning that if you are in love when you marry, you will naturally grow your love after you marry. Your love will only grow stronger. But as we observe all of the failed marriages around us, we see that love DOES NOT grow automatically. And marriage insight doesn’t come naturally either.
Just because you marry, it doesn’t mean that you know how to grow your marriage into a good one. You may start out your married life with lots of love, much as we did. But everyday life has a way of squeezing in between you to separate you in many different ways. You need to be pro-active in growing your love or eventually, life also squeezes the love you have for each other right out of you.
We absolutely agree with the following statement made by Dr Fred Lowery:
“It doesn’t matter how much a husband and wife think they love each other when they first get married; they still start with two different personalities, two minds, two souls, and two backgrounds. Becoming one is a process that takes time, hard work, desire, love, and the power of God.”
Marriage Insight from Scripture
It backs up the scriptures found in Proverbs 4:5-7, where God says:
“Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget. And do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you. Love her, and she will guard you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.”
We believe with all of our hearts that this also pertains to marriage insight. You have to do something to get it. God’s word will guide you on how to build a good marital relationship. The principles for loving are the principles for living that God gives to us throughout the Bible. God works through other people to help us gain marriage insight, as well.
Most of you know that we just released our new book, 7 Essentials to Grow Your Marriage. In it we give scripturally based marriage tips. We also include many of our own life experiences, and advice from other marriage experts. In all of these ways God has taught us how to grow a great marriage. (Plus He is still teaching us. We post much of it on this web site.) We want to share the following portion of the 7 Essentials with you, believing you will gain marriage insight that could help you in your relationship.
Personal Marriage Insight
In this particular portion of the book, we are talking about a few tools we have used to help us to better “fight the good fight” when conflict arises. One of those tools is called Temperament Analysis. It helps you to better understand each other’s basic temperaments. That way you can better understand each other’s approaches to certain issues. Steve writes:
For Cindy and me, this is what God used to give us both insights into why we would argue/fight about different things. For example, it used to drive me to distraction because Cindy was so detailed, organized, and a perfectionist. And I never understood why she had such a hard time accepting my compliments. But I better understand it now.
She, on the other hand, never understood why I rarely took things seriously. I would tease and joke around—a lot (actually too much at times). And it drove her nuts that I wasn’t disciplined. She actually thought I “plotted” ways to evade issues and upset her. But I didn’t. And she now better understands this, as well, because of the analysis.
Marriage Insight: Opposites Attract and Opposites Can Divide
When we sat down and started discussing what was brought into the light, we realized that the traits we possess is what attracted us to each other to begin with. But now that we had to live with these traits day in and day out, we also realized they could divide us—if we focused on the negative aspects of our personality traits.
We could have both looked at each other and said, “Well, that’s just the way God made me. There’s nothing I can do about that; so learn to live with it.” That would have been the “road that led to ruin” in our marriage. Instead, we chose the “road that led to safety.” That wasn’t an easy road to take, but we both realized it was the road the Lord chose for us. The first step on that road was to identify where we had hurt each other along the way and to ask for forgiveness. And then we invited God in to help us change what needed to be changed.
For me I knew I needed to start by working on my teasing and the things I would sometimes say to Cindy that hurt her. The more time I spent in the Bible, I began to see things I hadn’t realized before. An example comes from Ecclesiastes 10:12-13, NIV:
“Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips. At the beginning his words are folly. At the end they are wicked madness—and the fool multiplies words.”
“Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 29:20, NIV). “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless” (James 1:26, NIV).
This was the beginning of the end of so many arguments and hurt feelings. What surprised us is that such a simple tool could accomplish so much. Of course, we know it was God using this tool in our lives.
Marriage Insight: Using Our Differences to Work FOR Us
Another aspect of all of this is we learned how to use our “differences” to work for us rather than against us. For example, because Cindy is such a detail person, she has helped me to organize areas where I have needed it the most. Her creativity helps me too—something I often lack. I came to see that she isn’t being “picky,” but rather this is actually one of her strengths that can benefit me.
Plus, my parents loved her right from the beginning. That is because she helped me to become a more serious student in college. She had a scholarship and studied a lot. So if I wanted to be with her, I had to study more. And even now, I read more, and do more serious ministry work. I am more knowledgeable because she has helped to stretch me intellectually over the years.
On the other hand, Cindy came to see that my sense of humor could help her find balance. That is because she leans towards being too serious. I am able to help her to relax and enjoy life more. She has a great sense of humor. But I help her to find it when it is buried by the serious stuff she gravitates towards. She takes on less of a workload (which she should). And I take on more responsibilities, which I know I should. We balance each other well.
Marriage Insight: Combine Our Talents
Together, we lighten each other’s loads and fill in the details of life. We have learned to combine our talents and differences to make them work for us, instead of fighting against them and because of them. God knew we could be good together. We just needed to get onto His plan for us, rather than our own.
We challenge you, as a couple, to find a way to examine your differences. Rejoice that God made you different. And then take the time to learn how to make those differences work FOR you and not become points that work against your marriage.
We hope this inspires you to look for marriage insight to grow your marriage. There is a world out there where communication tools, and marriage helps are plentiful. Plus our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to GROW YOUR MARRIAGE, is now available for purchase. We believe you will find it helpful and insightful as you apply the principles within it.
As with any marriage tool and marriage insight, you have to “get them” as the Bible tell us. And then you have to apply them if you are to gain any benefit.
Marriage Insight from Scripture
The following applies to marriage insight, as well as insight for other aspects of life:
• “If you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek for it as hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and will find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:3-5).
• “Leave your simple ways, and live. And walk in the way of insight” (Proverbs 9:6).
• “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight” (Proverbs 9:10).
The following are linked articles that are posted on this web site, which can lead you to additional marriage insight. That is because they are packed full of scriptures to apply to your marriage:
We pray this helps you gain marriage insight, such as you’ve never known before!
Steve and Cindy Wright
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