Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Rugged Road Of Reality

It was almost 2 years ago that I first met Jon & Kate and their beautiful children. My wife was a fan of their show & I decided to invite them to be our special guests during the opening of our new children's area. They graciously agreed to come for free. I interviewed them during the message portion of our weekend service.(the message & interview is available via iTunes & is called "Stuck In A Room With You?") They did such a fantastic job that we asked them if they would return a few months later to speak to our MOPS group at the church. After each speaking engagement I hosted them for lunch & thoroughly enjoyed their company. They were a warm couple with a deep love for one another & their family. Also, they were awesome with their children & that permeated much of our conversations. I have not spoken with them since that time, I have no special knowledge of their situation & I don't judge them based on what the tabloids report. I do know that their relationship got wrecked on the rugged road of reality & in light of their situation, here are a few things that would serve as helpful reminders to us.

1. It's not all about the children. Couples that go through difficulties have a tendency to focus on the children & avoid dealing with conflict. Conflict is necessary for intimacy and the oneness that God desires in marriage. The focus needs to be on being a great husband or wife to your spouse. Your children need the security of a strong marriage more than anything else.
2. We should always ask ourselves the best question ever. That question is, "What is the wisest thing to do? In light of my past experience, my current circumstance & my future hopes & dreams." Asking ourselves this question on a consistent basis will help us avoid tragic mistakes.
3. You always end up where the road you are on takes you." I've heard Andy Stanley say this in regard to the future, "Direction, not intention, determines destination. You win or lose by the path you choose. It is not where you are that is the issue; it is where you are headed.
4. The path to a successful marriage takes hard work. You're not going to like 20% of whomever you marry because we are so much different then the opposite sex. Our personalities are different. Our backgrounds are different. Focus on the good, stay in agreement & learn how to deal with the bad. The grass may be greener on the other side, but it still needs to be mowed.
5. We are in a spiritual battle. If you are a believer, God desires for you to succeed & the enemy does not. We need to guard our hearts & stay in His Word.

KEY QUESTION: If you continue on your current course, where will you end up?