How to Make It Past the First Week
By Ed Uszynski
“In every marriage more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce. The trick is to find and continue to find grounds for marriage.”
When I first read these words, I promptly dismissed them as relational heresy.
Not even true, I thought. How can you say there are grounds for divorce when you’ve only been married for a week? And why is it already so difficult to find grounds for marriage? We just got started!
Sounds like someone giving up too easily to me.
Those words, mind you, are from a conservative, early-20th century theologian named Robert Anderson. A man completely against the idea of divorce.
But then—wasn’t it in the “first week” of marriage that I began to realize Amy had a different definition of a clean room?
Different ideas on how we’d manage our holidays. Different end-of-day routine. Different interpretation of movies. Different needs for sleep. Different approach to making lists—or not.
Differences that had always been there suddenly recognized as an intruder to my way of living. Fresh off the honeymoon, most of those differences still seemed charming, but before long, they easily became grating annoyances.
They became the raw material of going-in-circles arguments, sleepless nights, and a drift toward isolation. A list of annoyances that could easily become the dreaded “irreconcilable differences.”
Unless I made a decision to see our differences as grounds that God wants to build something new on. As the raw material to shape me into something I wouldn’t become on my own.
The challenge—or “trick”—is to see our differences through a lens of gratitude, maybe even as a gift from God to grow us up.
So please accept my apology, Rev. Anderson.
Looks like you’re right about that first week—and the rest of marriage—after all.
The Good Stuff: Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
Action points: What’s currently the most isolating difference between you and your spouse? How would your perspective change if you considered these an assignment from God, on purpose? Take a minute to thank God for what makes you different.
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