APRIL 5

When Reality Edits the Illusion 
 
BY BARBARA RAINEY
 
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love . . . rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation. 
ROMANS 12:10-12 

Many of us marry with the illusion that the excitement and magic of new love will never fade away. Then, at some point in the first couple years of marriage, we wake up and realize that reality is a bit different. That’s when we enter the season of disappointed love.
 
I think the secret to dealing with the inevitable disappointments we face in marriage is found in one simple word: commitment. Commitment is choosing to take your husband’s hand and walk through the reality God has allowed in your life, believing that on the other side you will find a deeper love and a healthier relationship than you had before. Sometimes moving past disappointed love will mean restating your wedding vows, as one couple did at a marriage conference.
 
Facing a time of extreme trial, they said: After going through a painful separation and getting back together, renewing our wedding vows had a profound effect. We both were crying so much that we barely got through it. We had not been wearing our rings for about a year and thought there was no hope. Restating our vows helped to put us on the right track. Funny how our vows meant so much more to us now than they did 19 years ago. At other times, commitment is an inner resolve to conform to what you know to be true in spite of your feelings. Your covenant of commitment to God and each other is the heart of what remains once reality has edited the illusion of what you thought marriage would be. At your wedding, you stood before God and promised to never forsake each other, “for better or for worse.” Now, staring “worse” in the face, you have a 
choice. Will you honor that commitment? 
 
DISCUSS 
In what ways has your relationship been different from what you expected? Find your wedding vows and re-state them to one another by candlelight after the kids are in bed. 
 
PRAY 
Ask God for the absolute determination to stay together no matter what struggles you face in marriage. 

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