Part 1 – The Myth We Discovered
There is a triangle paradigm used to depict the Christian marriage, aptly called a marriage triangle. There’s many variations of it, but generally it looks like one of these:
The premise is obvious: The closer you get to God the closer your marriage will align to the perfection of God thereby bringing the two of you closer.
In theory this paradigm makes complete sense, but for real life practical application in marriage, it’s a miss and leaves us stranded. By glossing over our human brokenness – the truth of what we really are, with the illusion of perfection, it leads us more into a myth mindset than a paradigm that can help a marriage grow into the force it was meant to be.
This triangle image bolsters the idea of black and white in the marriage relationship and leaves us with a flavour of simplicity. It doesn’t factor in the reality of any hurt, strife, offences, or conflicts that are inevitable, as Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 7:28, “… Yet those who marry will have physical and earthly troubles, …”
Perfection is a myth
MYTH: Darrell and I are equal in our maturity and our backgrounds won’t make any difference. It doesn’t matter what each of us has been through in childhood and life, we’ll ascend the triangle towards God at an equal rate of maturity.
Both spouses growing equally in their respective relationship to God, and naturally getting closer to each other. Yes, if all things were equal. If I grew up on Bliss Boulevard and if Darrell came from Paradise Place and if we were making our home on Utopia Avenue, this triangle is a statement of truth. Correctly depicting 2 Christians in a marriage; as the marriage should be.
But here’s the problem:
- Earth is not utopia and balanced maturity is hardly the reality of two sinners that are …
- Bound together in such a close relational space that they may as well be called one person …
- Living in the fallen world.
Sorry for the bummer of all those grim verses but if we are going to live in reality and not fairyland, we need to be honest with ourselves about who we really are. Let’s face it, there’s a reason Jesus had to die for us. Also,
if when we get a little high on ourselves, there is nothing more effective than a good dose of reality to level the playing field of marriage.
Without exception all of us are different. Nobody grows and matures at an equal level, in the same way or during the same time frame. Each of us have come from different backgrounds, lived different lives and have experienced hurt in ways that differ from each other, so our wounds are unalike. Our healing and maturity will be anything but identical, equal or symmetrical as we grow closer independently to God.
Conflict is not a myth
You can’t live in this world and not be wounded. Somehow, some way … all people are hurting (Mk 2:17). Hurting people hurt others. But as we heal and grow … we do less damage to each other.
Wounds are the root of offence, discord and strife.
They reveal where we need to be healed in order to grow-up.
Ferreting out the wounds from beneath our self-made coping mechanisms so that we can heal and grow, takes time. And on top of the wounds, there’s also variations in our genders, our basic personality differences, which are not so basic if you’ve spent any time reading some of the Meyers Briggs information. Not to mention birth order factors that probably come into play.
We humans are fearfully and wonderfully created with all our amazing complexities. The good we live in and do belongs to us and our spouses; and so does the darkness. It’s not as simple as: sliding up our respective sides of the triangle into happily ever after. So, what’s the solution? Reciprocity.
Part 2 – Reciprocity: What can you give to The God that has everything? Same triangle – alternate and active perspective. Helping each other to heal so that we each can grow closer to God.