relationships Posts

If You’re Going to Fight…

fight

Richard C. Halverson was the Senior Pastor of the Fourth Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, Maryland from 1958-1981. He served as the Chaplain of the United States Senate from February 2, 1981 until December 31, 1994.

One of my favorite quotes from this great man of God is, “If you’re going to fight…” I share this with you hoping it will challenge and encourage you as it does me.

If you’re going to fight…

Fight for the relationship – not against it!
Fight for reconciliation – not for alienation.
Fight to preserve the friendship – not to destroy it.
Fight to win your spouse – not to lose him/her.
Fight to save your marriage – not to cash it in.
Fight to solve the problem – not to salve your ego!

If you’re going to fight, fight to win…not to lose!

Lasting relationships are not negotiated…they are forged. That means heat and pressure. It is commitment to a relationship which sustains it…not pleasant feelings.

Treat a relationship as negotiable – it is easily lost.
Consider it non-negotiable – a way is found to make it work.

Authentic intimacy comes only through struggle.

How often in our marriages do we start thinking of and treating our spouse like our enemy rather than our partner for life? The way we communicate and treat each other can easily devolve into trying to win a battle. But consider, every time I win a battle with my wife, that makes her a loser. And in the end, that makes our marriage lose. We are going to fight sometimes. But what I am reminded of by Richard Halverson is that we ought to fight in a way that makes our marriage a win not a loss.

So, if you’re going to fight, fight to win…not to lose!

4 Good Reasons to Get Married

4 Good reasons to get married

Although there are some reasons not to get married, there are many very good reasons to get married. Here are a few of them:

 

1. God designed marriage 

In Genesis 2:24, Moses makes this editorial comment about an intended major takeaway from Genesis 1-2: “Therefore a man should stop living in a dependent relationship with his parents (as well as other overly dependent relationships) and enter into an unconditional commitment with his wife, and over time they will become one together” (my expanded translation of the Hebrew text).

Obviously God designed us as men and women (Genesis 1:27) on purpose and calls us to become one in a marriage relationship. Marriage is God’s idea and it’s His design for us as men and women, generally. Even though Paul says God has given some select people the gift of singleness (1 Corinthians 7:7-9), he calls it a gift for a reason, because it’s not the norm. There may be reasons not to get married yet. But far and away, marriage is God’s design for men and women.

 

2. You’re convinced that you mutually NEED each other

I’m not talking about “we get along,” or “we have fun together” or “it would be nice to get married.” I’m talking about “I NEED this person; and they NEED me.” When looking at Genesis 2:18-24, it’s interesting how God says, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion that finishes him out.”

Then God brings the animals before the man and he names them. And he names them in part based on skeletal structure and skin type (Genesis 2:23), the same primary factors we use today in naming and classifying animals. All this animal naming seemed random to me until I realized that Adam was carefully analyzing the animals as he named them, obviously also noticing that there were male and female pairs among all the animals.

It’s then that the text says Adam realized that it was not good for him to be alone. He realized his NEED, and when he and Eve meet, they see each other as the fulfillment of this NEED.

 

3. We are better together

God designed us to be relational beings, as He is, not as loners. I’ve read a number of studies that have shown the health and life expectancy of people is prolonged by healthy relationships and diminished by lack of healthy relationships. But being better together is not just about happiness. It also helps rub off the rough edges that we each have in our lives – rough edges like our selfishness. I never realized how selfish I was until I married Judy. Being married was like putting a spotlight on my selfishness, and it forced me to begin dealing with it in earnest.

Being married forces you to develop your communication skills and your conflict resolution skills. It forces you to face your real self, not the self you have wanted to see. There’s nothing like a spouse, who sees you day in and day out, in the good, bad and ugly times to see yourself in the mirror of reality. If you want to live in denial and remain selfish, then marriage is a dangerous proposition.

 

4. Intimacy, Closeness, Oneness

This doesn’t just mean sex. We live in a world where most people are willing to settle for cheap substitutes for the intimacy, closeness and true oneness that God designed us for, and longs for us to experience. Trying out relationships by living together and couples hooking up for sex have become Satan’s cheap substitutes for the deep, abiding intimacy we were designed for and long for down deep inside. A marriage that has continued to deal with their individual baggage in a committed I-will-be-here-for-you-no-matter-what relationship can and will grow in oneness over time – a closeness that far surpasses any live-in or hook-up relationship.