The Big Picture
By Steve Arterburn*
We all recognize the traits of good marriages: commitment, communication, quality time, acceptance. Thousands of magazine articles, books, Internet sites, and retreats are devoted to making marriage work. With so many great resources available, why do we still find it so hard to have a good marriage?
Maybe it’s not a matter of how much we know, but how we look at our lives and our partners. Perhaps we need experiences that will change us and let us see our partners with new eyes. Jesus provided three of his disciples something like this during the Transfiguration. Imagine their reverence in seeing the glory of God in the man they had followed for days and months on dusty roads.
There are examples of such changes from a new point of view in our own lives. From the top of Pikes Peak, Katherine Lee Bates was inspired to write “America the Beautiful.” Remember the first time you saw your hometown from an airplane window? Or the first time you saw the distant horizon from the shore of the ocean? These experiences transform us because they give us a larger frame around the picture of our life.
Can we place a larger frame around the picture of our marriage? God gives us descriptions of marriage both holy and joyous that transcend notions of romantic love that fade with time. Can we see our mates as God sees them: “chosen as holy and beloved” (Colossians 3:12)? Paul prays that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18) to know his hope, riches, and glory. Can marriage be renewed and sustained by looking on it with enlightened hearts? Through God, all these things are “Yes!” With him, all things are possible.
Today’s Thought based on Revelation 21:2,9
“Raise your expectations of marriage to include the big picture of all it can be...Give up on the unrealistic and unachievable expectation of perpetual heart-throbbing romance and...replace it with the higher model of marriage as the crowning achievement of a lifetime.” —Stephen Arterburn, The 7 Minute Marriage Solution
He Reads: Ephesians 4:2-3
She Reads: 1 Peter 3:3-4
"Father, help us to see all there is to see in our marriage that we do not see, to enjoy everything you have planned for us together. Amen."
* Steve Arterburn is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries and host of the # 1 nationally syndicated Christian counseling talk show “New Life Live” heard and watched by millions on over 180 radio stations nationwide in addition to Sirius XM Satellite radio and now seen on television on the Family Net and NRB networks. Steve is also the founder of the Women of Faith conferences attended by over 4,000,000 people. He also serves as a teaching pastor at Heartland Church in Indianapolis.