Jalen and Janice, were a typical Christian couple. Their marriage had devolved into the “crazy cycle”. This is a cycle where couples keep circling back around to the same problems with no lasting resolutions. Jalen and Janice said next what most couples say. “We need better communication skills. We need to learn better conflict resolution. And we are having problems in our physical intimacy, too.” Those things are important and do need some attention but there’s a deeper problem.
The deeper problem is much like an iceberg. When we view it from the surface, the sheer size appears to be menacing. Yet, the greater damage-maker is below the surface. Why? Because what’s below the surface is much larger but it is not evident unless someone dives deep down to reveal what is there. In the same way, the problems married couples struggle with in the “crazy cycle” are real but they are usually symptoms of much deeper problems underneath the surface, which must be revealed if there is to be lasting change.
When Jalen and Janice heard this explanation, their first reaction was a very common one. “Yes, my spouse has problems and if you will fix him/her, our marriage will be fine.” There is no doubt the “other” spouse has problems contributing to the marriage struggles. However, both spouses are usually unaware of the underlying problems that preceded their marriage, which they brought into the marriage. Additionally, they also are unaware that God has already provided His solution in Christ.
Without this understanding, Christian couples end up believing that if they each try hard enough, they can escape the “crazy cycle” only to discover they cannot sustain the change they deeply desire. The power of a marriage by grace is God’s ultimate solution compared to the impotence of a marriage by trying harder.
Live Free in Your Marriage in Christ,
Mark Maulding, President & Founder