Traditional marriage in this country is in obvious decline and heading in the direction of being unimportant at the least and extinct at the worst. Who would have thought that married adults in this country would drop from being 72% of the population 50 years ago to roughly 50% of adults today? Marriage is central to a healthy society and it matters…a lot!
Marriage matters to God too. And yet, the average marriage in this country, for both Christians and non-Christians, is mediocre at best. You’d think that if our spouse is the most important earthly relationship in a married person’s life, with whom we spend the largest amount of our time and energy, that it would naturally be our best, most fulfilling relationship. It usually isn’t.
Not because we don’t try hard enough but because marriage is nothing short of challenging. In no other relationship are we as exposed or more known by another human as we are in our marriage and that’s not easy or comfortable for the average prideful, self-oriented man like you and I.
While the above sounds relatively demoralizing, there’s hope!
I’ve had the opportunity to share, test, and refine these principles with groups of 15-20 men at a time in an 8 week small group format for the past several years. We’ve wrestled with the issues, challenged each other’s thinking, and provided accountability throughout. The most common feedback I’ve heard on the concepts we’ll cover: “Why, after 25 years of marriage, am I just now hearing these principles?” When men ‘get it’, everything changes in your marriage…for the better. Specifically:
•Men who have a mediocre marriage shouldn’t resign themselves to a life sentence of mediocrity. An attitude of, “at least my marriage is as good as other couples I know” is a compromise. You have an opportunity to experience a renewal in your marriage that you may never have thought possible – including a renewed intimacy (I knew that would get your attention).
•When a married man really understands God’s purpose for marriage in our spiritual life – as the single most important vehicle God will use to make us more Christ-like – most everything he’s ever thought or learned about marriage will change.
•And the biggest ‘game changer’ was the realization that men, singularly, without their wife’s help, have the God-given ability to transform their marriages (and themselves).