If you were to ask a married couple what caused the marital conflict they just experienced, you would probably get two different answers. Maybe Julie would tell you Mike doesn’t help her around the house enough and uses pressure at work to justify it. Mike, then would tell you Julie expects way too much and is not very understanding about the stress he is under. Unfortunately, both would agree on one thing: the problem in their marriage is the other person, and if he or she would just be more loving and caring, all their marital troubles would disappear.
To a certain degree, Mike and Julie are right. A major problem in their marriage (and every marriage) is that neither spouse treated the other in a fully loving manner, and Mike and Julie’s marriage wasn’t going to improve much until they began to treat each other more caringly and considerately. But I say “to a certain degree” because neither Mike nor Julie saw the other major problem in their marriage.
This book is about the other major problem—faulty beliefs, attitudes, and expectations. Simply put, it is about the lies we believe about marriage. All of us enter marriage believing certain lies about holy matrimony, and these lies can cause our marriages to become unholy messes. This is what was happening to Mike and Julie. They had a disappointing and disconnected relationship because they had flawed ways of thinking about marriage, which led them to treat each other poorly at times. As long as those faulty beliefs stayed hidden and went unchanged, Mike and Julie would remain stuck in a frustrating and intimacy-damaging dance with each other.
The bottom line of this book is this: Your attitudes and expectations are important in determining the kind of relationship you have as husband and wife. The right attitude can help you create a loving marriage, and the wrong attitude can help you create an unloving one. And here’s the deal: You each get to decide what your beliefs and expectations in marriage are going to be. God has left that choice totally up to you.
God, please remove the scales from my eyes that keep me from seeing and believing the truth. Help me to admit that many of the beliefs I have about marriage are at odds with how You view this sacred relationship. Thank You, God, that You are Truth and that there is no hint of falsehood in You.