When the chocolate box is empty

ColumnistFebruary 16, 2017 

As the sun comes through the kitchen window with rays of hope for another day, the wilting roses and empty boxes of chocolates are being filed away with memories of yesterday.

It’s almost with the same intensity of coming off of a sugar high that the week of romance and love comes to a close. If we think that a card, some candy and maybe a dinner all by itself will carry our relationships through another year, we will probably be rudely awaken in the coming days.

The sad reality in many relationships is that over the course of time, things have slowly deteriorated to the point of needing “urgent care” for relationships to get them going in the right direction again. And even worse are those couples who were swept off of their feet with only emotional infatuation and no foundational principles for a lasting relationship of any kind.

If the piles of chocolates in the stores and truckloads of flowers aren’t evidence enough, the consumer reports from previous years let us know that people are totally committed and consumed with this day of love. Could it possibly be that our strategy for a loving relationship might be wrong, even though our motives are commendable. Maybe we need to build lasting marriages instead of a day of fleeting emotionalism.

Our marriages and different relationships can be like the mountain paths I grew up hiking. Many of them would cut through different terrain and gradually climb up toward their destination. Yet, many times you would come across windfalls, which are trees that have fallen over the trail because of different circumstances such as lightening, wind, disease or brittle with age. Whatever the reasoning, these windfalls ultimately hinder or even stop the journey.

In the same manner many marriage relationships are also hindered from getting to the top of the summit because of windfalls.

Let’s take a look at some windfalls that can have severe consequences in our relationships. There can be many, but some of the most common ones are lack of communication, strained trust for one another, life-controlling problems, unresolved wounds from the past and also “space invaders” (interference from things) such as social media, careers, friends and even family. Every marriage will have seasons of circumstances that can hinder or stop its success, but being equipped and prepared will help you finish the journey.

If we have the right tools, we can overcome the obstacles that we face. Some of these tools are …communication, commitment, forgiveness, love and work. It is important to be open and communicate with each other! Forgiveness is a must. Be quick to forgive and ask for forgiveness. Be solely committed to each other, let God’s love flow through you as Paul defined in 1 Corinthians 4-8 and be willing to work for a better marriage.

Let me conclude with what keeps all of the tools together and working. That is the Lord Jesus Christ! He is our present help in trouble (Psalms 121:2). We read in Ecclesiastes. 4:12, that a threefold cord is not easily broken. In other words if our marriage is going to be a strong rope then it must be braided with God, our spouse and us. God must be intertwined in our marriage.

If all we do is invest in a special day of the year or just our wedding and not in our marriage, then we will come up empty. God wants you to have the romance, the security and fulfillment of a great marriage. It was His idea in the first place!

Visit Bill Virgin’s blog at www.billvirgin.com. He is a speaker, author of several books and pastor. Bill and his wife Laurie pastor Life Christian Center and have four daughters.

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