It always happens. No matter how hard we try to keep the checkbook in check something always gets off, always. How frustrating and disappointing to realize that you, yet again, messed up something that you tried really hard at. Not only are you disappointed but you’re utterly annoyed that you now have to take the time to figure out what you did wrong. How do you go about this? Well, I like to start by finding a place in the checkbook that I was actually doing pretty good, a place where me and the bank were jiving together, a place where we were balanced. Once I find that coveted place it is usually much easier to figure out what happened and to fix the problem.
I equate this checkbook quandary to the seasons in our marriage.
I will preface this part by saying that the nine years of our marriage have seen many seasons. We’ve seen our share of ups and downs, the good and the bad yet in all of this it has never suffered any devastating blows that many marriages suffer. For this reason I cannot relate to or offer any advice in these areas. What I’m talking about is your average day-to-day seasons whether it be disagreements, financial issues, internal struggles, and other things of this nature.
I’ll speak about one incident in particular in our marriage to use as an example here.
A little over a year ago we were experiencing a hard season in our marriage. Just like the error in our checkbook it was annoying and frustrating. David had slipped into a place where he had become very withdrawn from me, the kids, and pretty much everyone. We had just found out that we were expecting B4 which made it even more frustrating because as thrilled as we both were, something was just off. It was obvious that he was struggling with something I just didn’t know what. Much like finding a good place in the checkbook we knew that we had to go back and figure our where things had started to descend for us. It took a difficult conversation together to help us get back on track but afterwards we knew what we needed to do. We got rid of things, things that pulled us apart. David had been doing a large amount of freelancing, so he backed off. We put up the computers at night and sat and talked instead. We pulled together as a family to do devotionals. We put up the toys and computer games and read books together about great Christian heroes. We prayed and prayed. In short, we took some steps back and reconnected. And, things slowly begin to get better. For those of you that we connect with regularly know, this is about the same time that David acknowledged his calling to preach. Yep, that was it. My husband was struggling internally. After much prayer and actually realizing what this burden was, the season was finally over. It was a tough season. But, God brought us through and we give him all the glory in the end.
Seasons come in different shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s a money thing. If that’s the case get rid of some expenses turn off the cable, sell a car, get rid of the phone, and please throw out the credit cards. Get back to a balanced spot.
Sometimes it’s a behavior thing with the kids. In that case rethink your parental methods. Are you parenting like the Bible says to parent or have you gotten off track? Stop the sports for a while, turn the T.V. off, stop running all over the county every evening and spend some time reconnecting as parents with your kids.
Most importantly when you enter a tough season in your marriage, pray about it. Ask God how to fix it. Don’t ignore it. Much like my checkbook mistake has the ability to become devastating to us financially, a bad season in our marriage has the ability to become devastating to our family.
Our marriage will continue to go through seasons. We must continue to seek God’s guidance and then take the actions necessary to get through the tough times, to stop and take a look back to get back to the balanced place, even if it means giving up some things in the meantime.