Some of you have asked me if I can talk more about marriage. This blog is primarily about parenting, but marriage has a whole lot to do with parenting. I find it extremely difficult to be a loving parent when Edric and I are not “okay.”
Marriage is the nuclear unit of a family. The devil often attacks this bedrock because dividing a marriage is a strategy that works. Break up the marriage, break up the family. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone. Today, almost 1 out of 2 marriages will end up in divorce. The statistic is about 46%.
We damage our families when we don’t have a healthy, God-centered relationship with our spouse. Can a person honestly say they are a good parent if they don’t prioritize their relationship to their spouse? Is it possible to have a dichotomy between marriage and parenting? Both of these questions deserve a NO.
The reality is that I cannot possibly model for my children what it means to love if I don’t show them that I love Edric. And I can’t tell them to follow Jesus if I don’t honor God in my own marriage. It would be hypocrisy.
This February 17 to 19, 2012 there will be a retreat for young married couples called Three 2 Tango. The first few years of marriage are critical, so the target audience for this retreat is couples who have been married for less than 10 years. Edric and I greatly benefited from attending a number of marriage retreats over the years. Going to these retreats in the early part of our marriage was especially helpful because the lessons became preventive rather than prescriptive. In other words, we discovered foundational truths and principles to apply in our relationship to protect, strengthen, and enjoy it.
Three 2 Tango will cover five steps for marriage success: “It Takes Three” – God’s design for marriage, “Dance with Me” – Roles of Husband and Wife, “Two Left Feet” – Communication & True Forgiveness, “Let’s Tango” – Sexual Intimacy, and “Keep on Dancing” – Leaving a Godly Legacy.
The retreat is called Three 2 Tango because marriage is so much like a dance. I remember what it was like nearly 11 years ago when Edric and I got married…It was awkward getting used to my role as a helpmate. It was not easy for me to adjust to Edric’s personality or for him to adjust to mine. We “stepped on each other’s toes” alot and we had to work on our communication (and we had to forgive each other’s imperfections and offenses). I needed to learn how to trust him to lead and to follow his leading. And we had to practice. We put biblical principles into practice, applying God’s design for marriage and focusing on our personal areas of improvement. Just like dancing, marriage is not something you become good at overnight. It takes time to become a good partner. If you keep on focusing on what your partner is doing wrong, you won’t get anywhere. You need to look at your own weaknesses and change for the better. And the more you dance together, the better partners you become. Similarly, the more time you invest in your relationship as husband and wife, the sweeter your relationship becomes. A loving, joyful relationship between husband and wife is like two people having the time of their life dancing together. There’s attraction, passion, fluidity, ease of movement, and identity.
I like this quote about the Tango because it sounds a lot like marriage…“WARNING: TANGO CONTAINS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE INGREDIENTS, SUCH AS PAIN, PLEASURE, PASSION, EXCITEMENT, CONNECTION, FREEDOM, TORMENT, AND BLISS…” Naomi Hotta
Marriage is all of those things — pain, pleasure, passion, excitement, connection, freedom, torment and bliss! But marriage can be more of the good stuff when we apply God’s principles for marriage success. This is why it takes more than two to tango. It really takes three. God, as the author of marriages, has to be at the center of a relationship between husband and wife, lovingly instructing them and guiding them, helping them to be the best of partners for one another, for their children, and for his glory!