Our house is the color of the eye shadow my Sunday School wore in the early 80's. It stirs up fond memories of her, but now it just makes me think of a frightened smurf. But when we moved in, I knew I would have to accept it and get used to it; Jeff said it was in good shape and would last a long time. Rats.
Sometimes we fall into believing we just have to accept things the way they are, because they're always going to be that way. Don't believe it.
Many things in marriage are a mystery, but one thing I know to be true: You marriage isn't going to stay the way it is today.
Everything changes. I think one of Newton's Laws puts the idea into scientific terms, but we put it into "real life" marriage terms when we sit with couples in need. Some people feel they're stuck in a disappointing marriage that won't change. Others are just glad they're in a great marriage that will always be that way. Both are deceived. Our marriages will not stay the way they are today. They will change.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
If we are "in Christ" and filled with His power, we can daily experience the passing away of old, fleshly, deteriorating ways and embrace new ways, godly ways. That makes our marriages stronger and fights the natural fade. As new creatures in Christ who are growing daily, our marriages can also grow to be more beautiful.
Since we moved into our home, we've done little bits of paint maintenance here and there, but we haven't intentionally done anything to damage it. With time and wear, it's begun to look dingy, show signs of deterioration, and cry out for a makeover all on its own. The elements have taken a toll, and it's faded. It's time for a major re-paint job! Maybe I'll have my blog friends help me pick the new color ... MINUS the "sick smurf blue." ;)
Without even trying, marriages just experience wear and tear in life. Good marriages need regular attention to remain strong, and deteriorating marriages need attention before the fade and real rot sets in. If a strong marriage gets careless and ignores regular maintenance, it will go down hill. And though those in a weak marriage may think they just have to accept their disappointing plight that won't change, they'll find it will change for the worse if they don't intervene.
No marriage will stay what it is today. It will either grow and get better, or it will deteriorate and become worse. And my house won't stay "sick smurf" blue. It will either get a new coat of paint (yay!!!) or it will get ignored, rot, and fall apart.
What condition is your marriage in? How do you want it to look different this time next year?