An overview of these … myths reveals that [some] beliefs qualify as misbeliefs for a variety of reasons: Many are overly idealistic or romantic; some, too simplistic; others, too extreme. In some instances, conventional wisdom has been challenged. Other entries have affirmed what great-grandmothers throughout the ages have known to be true. Most seriously, some beliefs about love and marriage fail the test of Scripture. These are exposed as mere human constructions, rather than timeless truths.
A vital marriage, like a sturdy house, is built upon a solid foundation. A physical foundation begins with an architect’s vision. Similarly, the marriage foundation reflects the vision of the marital architects—the hopes, dreams, expectancies and assumptions of the partners. However, marriages are struggling in our society today due, in part, to faulty beliefs about what marriage should be.
The message of this book is that these misguided beliefs about love and marriage must be challenged if we are to lay a strong foundation for marriage (or correct a flawed one). The bulk of this discussion has focused on what must change (marriage myths) and suggested directions for change (wedded wisdom)… If you sincerely desire to make … midcourse corrections of marital myths, you have reason for hope. The good news is that we can change the way we think; we can alter our beliefs. It isn’t easy, but it’s do-able.
Whatever the particular route taken to the freedom of transformed thinking, the broad outline of the process boils down to three steps:
The big first step is to recognize that a cherished belief is in error. While this is unsettling, at the same time, knowledge of the truth sets us free…
The second crucial step is to choose to uproot and release such illusions … When we are informed, knowing what to change and why, and we combine that knowledge with committed desire, we will discover the how.
If you have acknowledged a personal investment in one or more personal marital myths and are willing to let go of it/them and adopt a new viewpoint, you are well on your way to the goal of change. But then comes the hard work.
As the third and final step, we must replace the false belief (marriage myth) with truth (wedded wisdom). This is a step of ongoing discipline… This is a step of steps: putting one foot in front of the other, on a daily basis. Old views must be rejected when they threaten to creep back into your thinking; new perspectives, particularly at first, will require active, conscious application–work.
But human wisdom, human motivation and human activity can only carry us so far. This whole process of renewing the mind in regard to marriage is fundamentally spiritually accomplished. As we, like the apostle Paul, pursue “taking every thought captive,” (II Cor. 10:5b, NASB) our efforts must be empowered and undergirded by the Spirit of Christ in order to be truly transforming for us as partners and for our relationship.
Faith is the key; God’s Word, the Truth; and Jesus, the Rock, the only sure foundation, upon which the house of marriage can be built. All other ground is sinking sand.
[Relationship revelation: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God … For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory…
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them … And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality…
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving … Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Selected from Colossians 3:1-4:6]
Part 2 of 2
From Cary Lantz. Shifting Sands and Foundation Stones: 101 Marriage Myths and the Wisdom of the Wedded. Bloomington, IN: Author House, 1999, pp. 185, 186. Used with permission. Dr. Lantz is a professor of Christian Counseling at Baptist Bible Graduate School in Clarks Summit, PA. www.bbc.edu. This book is available in print here: www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=2682
A Bible study on marriage enrichment from a grace perspective: A Graceful Body, by David Kuykendall and Dr. Gene Reynolds) www.living-by-grace.org/books/graceful body.htm