World Class or
Second Class Relationship
are often inclined to believe that a good marriage is simple. Trust
God and the relationship will run smoothly. This is the prevailing
notion held by too many church members. What does it take to have
a successful marriage?
Have you ever attended one of those marathon
marriage seminars? We did once and it was seventeen hours of lectures,
group activities and couple assignments.
IS MARRIAGE THAT DIFFICULT?
Somehow its hard for us to think of a successful marriage
as something difficult to achieve. Some things are supposed to be
tough. Becoming a medical doctor is difficult. Being a skilled mathematician
takes hard work. Being a professional golfer requires endless hours
of practice. But marriage? Surely anyone can pull that off.
Christians may be even more inclined to simplify marriage. We tend
to believe that trust in Christ should make the relationship run
smoothly. Yet the New Testament never intends that faith should
be a substitute for knowledge and hard work. The Apostle Paul said
of his ministry:
I worked harder than all of them. He quickly added:
Yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
(1 Corinthians 15:10) We are to trust while we work, not trust
instead of work.
In high school and college I was a runner. Did you know there are
books just on running? What could be simpler than running? If you
have a pair of legs and a decent pair of shoes, you just do
And yet I have The Complete Book of Running with over 300
pages. In the back, the bibliography lists over 300 articles and
books on running. I asked myself, Just how can anyone make
running that complicated?
I discovered that only the first part of the book is for every-other-day-run-forhealth-and-fun-joggers.
If the average jogger is going to be prepared for all the circumstances,
there is quite a bit to know about running, after all.
Then I learned that the rest of the book is for those who really
want to get into running. At this point the author prompts you to
ask, How good do you want to be? Then he lists various
classes of runners. Here is the readers choice: World Class,
Champion Class, First Class and Second Class.
Now we are getting to the real reason for such a long book. It
takes lots of information to make it to world or champion class.
Maybe the critical question about marriage is the question HOW
GOOD DO YOU WANT IT TO BE?
What if you both decide to aim for a world class marriage?
Then how you listen to each other, how you work out your conflicts,
how you fulfill each other sexually, and your spiritual intimacyall
these take on new meaning.
Is it fair for us to suggest that all couples aim for world
class? After all, not many of the millions of joggers end
up at the Boston Marathon. It is at this point that marriage is
different. In marriage, its dangerous to put forth little
effort and aim for less. Having an average marriage is far more
difficult than being an average runner. It takes a lot of effort
for some people to maintain much of a marriage at all. If we aim
for little, we may end up with nothing. Is it really fair to yourself
and to your spouse to do that? Dont you each deserve a partner
who is aiming higher than second class? Wouldnt it be exciting
and rewarding if both of you dedicated yourselves to making your