As I rounded the corner I saw it: a huge rock blocking the gravel path! Uh oh! I thought. What do I do now? Is this the end of the trail? When I got closer to the monster rock, I saw the alternative trail wind up across the debris pile and back down the other side. I must admit feeling a bit victorious as I pounded up one side and down the other. The trail went on as far as I could see.
Daily we face obstacles in our marriages. Identifying these obstacles is paramount; then, we can either remove the obstacle or find an alternative route! Last week I wrote about Obstacles to an Excellent Marriage, Part 1. What are some other things to watch out for?
Wrong thinking – Many times we are beset with incorrect thinking. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8-9. Here are some incorrect thought patterns we ladies often have:
1. Making the assumption that I don’t have to really put effort into my marriage. “I’m the exception; others may have rough spots, but we’ll be fine.” I think we all know how dangerous assumptions can be.
A big news photographer needed to photograph some fires from the air. He showed up at the airport, saw a plane warming up, hurriedly jumped aboard and told the pilot, “Let’s get going!” Within minutes, the plane was airborne. The photographer told the pilot, “Ok, I need you to fly low over those fires over there so I can get some good pictures.”
“Why?” asked the pilot.
“Because I’m a photographer for the big news agency, and I need to get pictures of the fires!”
The pilot was silent for minute, and then asked, “You mean, you’re not my flight instructor??”
Never assume. It’s dangerous.
2. Wanting fairness. “My husband doesn’t put much effort into the marriage, so why should I?”
3. Roadblocks of the mind. “I can’t!”
a. Don’t get “Can’t, Sir!” (cancer!)
b. You are capable of more than you think (see Philippians 4:13).
4. Giving up. “I just don’t care anymore. I give up.” This is one of the saddest of all, and one I have heard time and again from disheartened wives. We need not ever give up. There is always hope; as long as there is breath, there is hope.
Visiting a church last year, the girls were spinning on the merry-go-round. On and on they spun, and more and more people joined them until it was loaded with laughing spinning young people. One of the church girls said, “That’s it, I’m tired. I’m getting off.”
Sharon smiled and told her, “But remember, ‘girls never quit!’”
“Oh, that’s right!” she said. “Thank you for reminding me of that, Sharon!” and she got on and went awhile longer.
It’s a saying amongst the girls in our house, “Never give up! Girls aren’t quitters!”
Remember, that’s one of Satan’s biggest ploy: If he can’t sideline you with sin, he will try to distract you. If he can’t distract you, he will try to discourage you.
5. Confusing illness and exhaustion with hopelessness. Never confuse tiredness and sickness with defeat. If you’re tired or ill, get some rest, get some food, spend time in the Psalms . . . but never, never give up!
The bitter cold morning which dawned on Shackleton’s crew gave no hint of the incredible events that were about to take place. The men were doing their usual polar routines when they were shocked by a sight almost unbelievable: a ship in the distance! Somehow, against all odds, and against incredible hardships, Shackleton had not only gotten to civilization, but had come back through the relentless icy seas for his men! Within minutes, the men were scrambling from their tents, some hastily lighting a greasy fire, while others stood on the shore, madly waving and yelling.
The saga of Shackleton’s voyage, shipwreck, and survival had a wonderfully happy ending because he hurtled every obstacle that stood in his path. The complications were tremendous, but he never gave in, gave out, or gave up. Let’s let Shackleton’s determination speak to us about our marriages, and remove, go around, or hurtle any obstacles we may have in our path to an excellent marriage!
Linking up with these tremendous bloggers!