June 26

Rocky Road 

by Barbara Rainey

We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. ROMANS 8:28

Many couples experience a season of disappointed love in their marriage relationship. For our son Samuel and his wife, Stephanie, that season began the day after the wedding.

Watching these two get married was one of the greatest delights of my life. Their wedding day rivaled any fairy tale with their long-anticipated first kiss at the altar, the Star Wars theme recessional music, and a horse-drawn white-carriage ride around historic Franklin, Tennessee, in absolutely perfect weather.

And then began what they call the "honeymoon from hell"—missing their plane flight, a lost driver's license, no heat in their romantic hideaway, and more. Over the next few months, they clashed over their expectations about married life, their assumptions about their roles, and many other issues.

Although most of these flash points were mistakes and misunderstandings, they still led to some raw feelings of grief and hurt. It was a long way from the horse-drawn carriage ride on their wedding day!

I share this to remind you that disappointed love can occur at any point in your marriage, even after times of peak romance and unusual oneness.

This season calls for a level of hard work that you never expected your marriage to actually require. This is when you discover that the love you're looking for can't be self-produced; it requires an understanding and compassion that can come from God alone and a courageous commitment from each spouse.

When love disappoints, as it does for all of us, don't give up. God allows these times to bring us face to face with what we really value and to see that we can only love well when we are depending on Him. Disappointed love can be transformed by God into a deeper love that I call cherishing, committed love. And that kind of love is far better than fairy-tale love.

DISCUSS

Are you able to talk openly about your seasons of marital disappointment? Talk together about how you can share the burden of your disappointments.

PRAY

Pray for a courageous commitment to weather the inevitable hard times of disappointed love. 

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