Annette and I believe that one of the most fulfilling aspects of our ministry together is the time we get to invest in other couples. It’s just a blessing to be able to pour yourselves into another life and share the blessing, precepts and life changing applications we’ve learned with others. Having done a lot of pre and post marital counseling, there are several things I see come up over and over….one of those things is the Simpson effect. Let me explain.
You have a young, starry eyed couple. Lovingly gazing into one anothers eyes. There is excitement, passion, care and utter infatuation…..then life happens and bang!.
Too many married couples go on their Honeymoon as Prince Charming and Cinderella only to wake up a few years later as Homer and Marge Simpson.
That excitment turns to boredom. That passion gives way to apathy. That care moves aside for selfishness and infatuation is uprooted and a “I put up with you” attitude.
So sad. Maybe I’m crazy but I don’t buy that as acceptable. Instead of a downward spiral that begins the moment you get home from the honeymoon and continues till death do you part….I believe that those qualities (excitement, passion, care, infatutation) should actually increase as we grow in our marriages and maturity. I really do. I believe that it should be the norm to get butterflies in your stomach when you see your spouse coming down the road even after years of marriage. I believe that God intends for marriage to be full of laughter, fun, joy and white hot passion (eh, in all areas…more on that later)
You may say, “OK, I buy that. But how do we get there? How do we grow in our passion? Our excitement?…How do we keep from turning into Homer and Marge?”
A Thousand ways – Lets discuss ONE – BY REALIZING WHAT YA GOT!
Read this passage from Ecclsiastes 4: 9-12
“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either companion falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls with no one to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm.; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if someone over powers one person, two can resist him. A chord of three stands is not easily broken”
Listen, I realize the passage seems to be dealing with any type of friendship and the dangers of isolation…but look at it a moment from the lense of marriage and WOW! Marriage is a blessing!
Just from this passage, we find four great benefits of having a someone to share life with
1. “Good reward for their effort” – encouragement!
2. “if one falls, his companion can lift him up” – help
3. “two lie down togwether, they can keep warm” – companionship
4. “two can resist him” – power
On the flip side, if we choose NOT to lock arms with our spouses and go it alone…trouble. Homer and Marge.
Coolest aspect of this text? – Notice in verse 12 what happens. The author leaves the talk about 2 folks and interjects a third…”a chord of three stands is not easily broken”
The implication concerning marriage? Jesus must be in that relationship for it to be as it should!
Listen, On our wedding day we joyfully recieved one another as gifts. Truth is -…that should never cease. The key to maintaining fire in marriage is to regularly recieve our spouses as gifts from a gracious God.
Soli Deo Gloria! – Pastor Kyle