Top 5 Posts of 2011: #3 One Word That Keeps Your Marriage Mediocre
Each year during the week between Christmas and New Years we post the Top 5 Posts of the previous year. Today through the end of the year, we will post the top five posts of 2011. We hope you enjoy this short recap of the year and can’t wait to see all that God does at RefineUs in 2012.
There is a litmus test in our marriage that has 100% accurate results. We can tell our marriage is drifting into mediocre when one word is used. As we speak at conferences and spend time coaching couples we hear this same word repeated over and over again. It is a small word, but one that carries the power to keep any marriage mediocre. That word is…… BUT.
- I know I have an anger problem…BUT
- I know I haven’t forgiven him…BUT
- It’s true that I occasionally look at porn…BUT
- I do use sex to manipulate my husband…BUT
- I haven’t been completely honest with my wife…BUT
- I invest more in my job than I do our marriage…BUT
- I am not where I need to be spiritually as a wife…BUT
- Yes, I’m chatting with my old boyfriend on Facebook…BUT
- I am a control freak with our money…BUT
- I make her feel guilty all the time…BUT
- I know I don’t stick to our budget…BUT
- I said I would change…BUT
There is a belief in all of us that we are a better spouse to our spouse than they are to us. That belief may not come to the surface every day, but it is driven out through conflict, hurt or difficult circumstances. That belief is expressed when we identify the role we play in our mediocre marriage and then deflect responsibility off of ourselves and onto our spouse. I know I have this problem, BUT she does this. I know I have this issue, BUT he does this.
We aren’t capable of changing our spouse so we use our spouse’s weaknesses or imperfections to justify our choices, behavior or character flaws. No one wins. You lose because you aren’t allowing God to change you. Your spouse loses because you are constantly keeping score of their mess-ups. Your marriage loses because it stays in a cycle of mediocrity.
Maybe today, you need to kick “but.” You need to identify the areas of your marriage you are trying to shift responsibility off of yourself and onto your spouse. What if you went to your spouse and just owned your brokenness? What if you said to them that you take responsibility for all of your flaws without brining up theirs? That is a game changer. That is you choosing to move beyond mediocre and give your marriage the chance to be extraordinary.