I truly believe that the number one factor in a successful marriage is keeping God at the center of it. I have met some amazing couples who have been through their share of life’s struggles and yet have the strongest connection to each other, a passionate love that you can see in every interaction. And they will tell you how it hasn’t always been easy, how they never could have done it on their own. They will tell you of times that they wanted to give up and times that it was just too difficult for them. Then they will tell you how God at the center is what made all the difference, giving them the courage and strength they needed to overcome.
Unfortunately, my marriage did not have God at the center. I was lukewarm in my faith when I first met my ex-husband. I relied on God in a lot of ways, but did not make him the priority in my life. And although we met with the pastor during our engagement and were married in the church, we did not make God the priority in our marriage. We prayed, we attended church regularly, but we rarely prayed together. And, over the years as my faith grew, his waned.
Throughout our marriage painful sex was the never ending issue. It was the catalyst for driving us apart, but painful sex was not the reason our marriage failed. As difficult as painful sex was for me to deal with, he was dealing with his own side of the struggle. I can never know all that he felt, but dissatisfaction, guilt and the emotional pain of being disconnected from your spouse were some of what he struggled with. I have mentioned in earlier posts how we didn’t face the issue together, instead we each dealt with our own versions of the pain on our own. As the struggles became too much for me, I turned to God for strength and comfort. But he didn’t have the same relationship with God, so he tried to handle it on his own. In the end it proved too much, and after a lot of hurt and heartache we lost each other in the struggle.
Every relationship will face trials of many kinds.* Whether sexual pain or something else, you will face struggles that you can’t handle on your own. Friends and family are a huge help, but their support can only go so far. Who will you turn to when it becomes too much? And, who will your husband turn to when it becomes too much for him? Don’t wait until the struggle overwhelms you, make God the priority in your life now so you know exactly where your strength will come from. It is never too late to put God at the center of your relationship.
*Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT)