From Pastor Johnny

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Trials...a Great Recipe for Good Marriages

Almost 11 years ago my dear bride and I went through the most difficult challenge of our 23 years of marriage.  During that time, where we lost an unborn child, we prayed together, hugged one another and cared for each other.  I watched her walk through the “valley of the shadow of death” with a peace that passes understanding.

            We held hands as we wept and as we faced a situation that we never thought we would have to endure.  It was an awful time that neither of us would ever desire to face again.  And…yet…God did something in our relationship during that trial that bound us even closer together than we were before. 

            There is something radically powerful about walking through the minefield with someone you love.  Maybe you have walked through tragedy with a spouse, friend, sibling, neighbor or loved one.  And, could it be, that because of that difficulty, your relationship was made stronger?

            Sometimes those trials bring disagreements to the forefront of our relationships and lead us into intense discussions (my bride and I call them “lively discussions”).  Some couples think that, when we periodically disagree, that it is a sign we are coming apart.  The reality is that, when we learn to discuss – and even argue – in a correct way, those resolutions are part of the glue as well as the trial.

            Too often, in this modern world, we view trial as a reason to come apart and back away rather than run together.  Some of the greatest marriages I know are great because the couples grew in love for Christ and for one another during the crucible.  These couples have so much invested in raising kids, battling illness, paying bills and surviving trials, that they are inextricably linked together.  And…these couples know that trials can be like super glue to those who allow God to walk them through it.

            James 1:2-4 explains, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”  Many see these verses as referring to personal trial – and often they do.  However, let’s apply them to marriages.  If trials test us and produce patience, how much more when two walk through it together? 

            My friends, in these days of weak hearted believers, let’s view trials in our relationships as further strengthening our marriages rather than damaging them.  This is a pretty good recipe for a great marriage.