Have you ever had disagreements with your spouse while navigating directions in the car? We got in the car headed to meet friends for dinner. I entered the address into my GPS; ready to help get us where we needed to go. We started on our way and as I gave my husband directions, we hit a snag. While I was telling him which way to go, he was not hearing me. In my mind, my directions that included: left, right, turn here, were completely adequate to get us where we were headed. However, he was looking for something different. We found ourselves moving from conversation to frustration. We were talking about the same directions, but suing entirely different words to navigate getting there. I could not understand what was wrong with my directions and he was not able to hear me because he was listening for something different. We had the same objective, the same desire to get where we needed to go, but we missed it all together. We found ourselves pulled over on the side of the road, tempers elevated having to completely readjust our GPS so we could get to our destination.
In the 30 years we have been married, we have hit bumps along the way. We have had moments of heated dialogue resulting in the need to take a breath. We have learned that as we navigate life together, there will be times we need to alter or adjust our course. These times allow us to pause and recalibrate so we can keep moving forward. We have learned it is OK to disagree and to have conflict as long as we keep talking, keep working it out, and keep pursuing God together. When we remember God created us for one another and created the love we share, it gives us a foundation for navigating the hard things that come in marriage. Paul gives us some good advice in 1 Corinthians 16:14:
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.
God created marriage, but there are days you will need to fight for it. Be on guard. Distractions, busyness and wrong priorities will threaten to come between you and the one you love. Stand firm. Be courageous enough to talk about the hard things and strong enough to stay and work it out when everything around you says to run. Do everything, say everything, and pursue everything in love. The hardest days of marriage bring the biggest opportunities to love and new ways to navigate where you're going together.