When Glenn Cunningham was 8 years old, both of his legs were badly burned in a schoolhouse explosion which also killed his older brother. His injuries were so extensive that he lost all the toes on his left foot, and sustained a lot of other deep tissue damage. The doctors wanted to amputate, but his parents decided that they would do what they could to save Glenn’s legs.
It was a huge uphill climb for Glenn and his family. His physical therapy sessions were quite demanding, often leaving him bathed in sweat. He was told he would never walk, but he determined that, not only would he walk, but he would run! So he pushed himself harder, doubling up on his physical therapy and finally, painfully, began to walk and eventually to run.
Because of his total commitment to improving himself, Glenn went on to break the world record for the mile, and to win the silver medal at the 1936 Olympics. Only the advent of WW2 ended his running career.
Now, your marriage may not be “missing all the toes on your left foot,” but you may be having some sort of marital difficulty. Perhaps it’s just a bump in the road, or maybe it’s a large pothole! It may even be a serious crisis, like we spoke about last week.
None of us come to marriage as a perfect human being. We all have some baggage, so we can’t expect smooth sailing all the time. Unfortunately, sometimes the only thing we have left is our commitment, but let’s not think that’s a small thing – commitment is the solid rocket booster that gets our marriage off the ground, and launches it into orbit.
When I said my vows to my husband, I committed to him for life. And since I enjoy being happy and not sour, I want to do things to make for a happy marriage.
What are the first steps to overcoming marital disabilities?
1. Be willing to do whatever it takes to preserve your marriage. Statistics tell us that married people live longer, are happier, and have higher incomes than their single counterparts. Staying married is worth it!
2. Nurture your marriage. Regularly water it with kindness, weed out bitterness, and be watchful for outside threats. Take some time to creatively invest time and effort into your marriage, and the dry wilted parts will begin to fill out and become beautiful once again.
3. Understand that it will be extremely difficult sometimes, but the rewards are incredible! Just like the children of Israel had to cross the muddy Jordan river and defeat many giants before they could enjoy the fruit of Caanan, so we must endure hardness and defeat “giants” of false philosophies to enjoy the fruits of a happy marriage.
Most of us will never run in the Olympics, even though we have perfectly good feet. But we can rack up a whole bunch of points with our spouse by being willing to commit to our marriage and work on it.
1. Dig out something from your wedding, perhaps even something that has your vows on it. Put it in a conspicuous place to remind you of your vows.
If you’re like me, living in an extremely small space, you may not have access to your wedding things. I’m going to be writing down my vows as well as I remember them (they WERE 29 years ago!) and post them up. Maybe I’ll even post them on Facebook!
2. Pray through your vows, asking God to help you keep the vows you’ve already made.
3. Memorize Matthew 19:6 – “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
How are you doing? Let us know!