Being that one of the focuses for this month is accountability, I wanted to address it. Only with a bit of a twist. As someone who does a lot of life coaching, specifically in the area of engaged and married couples, if there’s one thing that I’ve realized is that just like a car needs an oil change every 3,000 miles and a tune-up every few months, it really is important for couples to seek wise counsel. Maybe not all of the time, but at least a couple of times per year.
Those who personally know me are aware of the fact that I am a self-proclaimed “quotes girl” and when it comes to relationships, one that I really like is “People change and forget to tell one another.” No matter how much you love someone, no matter how much you meant your wedding vows at the time that you said them (vows are meant to be kept, by the way – see Ecclesiastes 5:1-7), life happens, people change, and if you don’t put forth a concerted amount of effort to stay abreast of those changes…you can grow apart. Or as Amos 3:3 states, you can stop “walking in agreement”.
That’s not because you “fell out of love”, though. Love is not some tea cup ride at an amusement park. God is love, he is eternal and so the gift of love is something that is to last a lifetime. But if you’re not “tuning up” for the love journey, yes, things can start to break down.
Take an article that I read on Huffington Post not too long ago. It was talking about the lack of sex in marriages and how it’s common (common does not always mean “healthy”) for couples to have “dry spells” starting somewhere between their second and 10th year of marriage.
The thing that I find fascinating about that is I’m a firm believer that the bedroom tends to set the tone for the rest of the house; that if a couple’s sex life is not thriving, it’s not the “problem” but symptomatic of a greater issue. And you know what? There is Scripture to back that up. Personally, I have always found it enlightening that in I Corinthians 7:5 Paul speaks of married folks needing to be intimate unless (only unless) they are mutually (MUTUALLY) committed to a season (and that’s not to be all year long – LOL) of prayer and fasting and that they should not deprive one another.
Deprive is a big word. It means “to remove or withhold something from the enjoyment or possession of (a person or persons)”. To deprive your partner of sex is to remove or withhold enjoyment from them. If that is happening in your relationship, that is symptomatic of a greater issue. Counseling can help to get to the root of what that is.
The bigger point that I’m trying to make here is that sometimes people feel like they only need accountability for addiction issues when my personal stance is that all of us need accountability—people who can help to remind us of our purpose and value and provide the tools to get us on track…or back on track.
If you’re married, don’t wait until you’re “in trouble” to get some counsel.
Have a tune-up every now and then.
Marriage is to last until death parts you. Prepare for the long haul.