I have observed over the years that when marriages fall apart, there are typically a few common denominators.
For instance, in my last post I recommended a book, His Needs, Her Needs, that addressed the problem of not doing the positive things that need to be done in a marriage.
In the book I am recommending today, the focus shifts to the negative side. In other words, there are some negative behaviors that destroy romantic love.
Now that is not all that hard to figure out. If I yell at my dog, he cowers as if our relationship is suffering. So how can I expect an angry outburst in my marriage not to have some sort of detrimental effect?
To make matters worse, if I initiate a negative behavior, I am going to have to work extra hard to offset it with at least five positive behaviors. Perhaps that is why marriage is such hard work.
In our first house my brother came over to help me in the attic and stepped through the ceiling. It took more time and effort to repair the ceiling compared to the help he provided.
In marriage, our destructive habits are very hard to overcome. In fact, many stay in negative territory.
That is the issue Willard Harley addresses in his book Love Busters. While it is a great book, it won’t do you any good if you are not honest with yourself. I have watched couples have angry outbursts, and then deny it.
While it would be easy to simply list the destructive behaviors addressed in the book, my fear is that you might avoid the book.
But this is a book that any marriage can profit from. For some marriages it should be purchased right away. Get the book, read it, and Overcome the Habits that Destroy Romantic Love (Subtitle).
The sad part is, many are clueless. They have overlooked some things assuming that romantic love would somehow continue throughout their lives.
Another reality is this. If we are not meeting the emotional needs of our spouse, someone else may. Unmet needs are typically at the bottom of an affair.
It doesn’t have to be that way. This book may open your eyes to what’s behind your marital dissatisfaction.
The truth is we all have needs that our spouse must meet, or we become emotionally bankrupt. And when our emotional bank account is empty the marriage is in trouble.
However, marriages can be rebuilt, restored, and rejuvenated. All you have to do is start making deposits. And those are made by meeting the needs of our spouse.
Willard Harley, in his incredibly helpful book, His Needs, Her Needs, addresses the top five emotional needs of a husband and a wife. While we are not all made the same, no marriage can afford to miss this book.
This book is one of my favorites and may just be the key to renewing your marriage.
Following the interview, guess what? He had to wait. Waiting turned into anxiety and worrying.
Now his question:
All I’m doing is sitting around worrying. What do I do about that?
No doubt we all have our questions, our unanswerable questions.
What if I don’t get the job?
Will my kids ever get on track?
Can my marriage survive?
Now let me be candid. I would love to have the answers at my fingertips. But if I did, I would most likely simply be blowing smoke.
I’m not sure why Moses had to herd sheep for forty years.
Why did God allow Daniel to be thrown into the lion’s den because he faithfully prayed three times a day?
Life is filled with uncertainty and we don’t always get the phone call we wanted. Wouldn’t we all like to have everything work out all the time?
Here is what we can do. This comes from one of Jesus’ talks on worry. Actually it seems like He is having a case of ADD. In Matthew 6 verse 25 Jesus essentially tells us that we must trust in the providence of God.
And in the middle of His talk, He says, “Look at the birds…” Sounds like something we would say when we get distracted. But Jesus was not distracted. He simply wants us to realize that if God is concerned about these small creatures how much more does He love and care for us.
The birds don’t just fly around and expect food to magically appear in their nests. They do their part. But they are not worrying about their sustenance.
So how do we overcome our anxiety? Simple, but not easy.
Accept that you have done all you can do. You have gone through the interview. You have prayed about the situation. You took the necessary steps.
Believe that God has your best interests in mind. Our desires are not always the best.
Commit it all to the Lord.
With that said, does that mean the anxiety will leave? Sometimes no, because we allow uncertainty to make us anxious.
Perhaps the best way to sum it up is like Jesus did. “Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) Devotion to God is a prerequisite for the peace that we long for in the midst of uncertainty.
Put God first and you will have no reason to worry.
Why worry when you can trust God?