If anyone were foolish enough to think that marriage is easy that person would be — well, a fool. Being in a marriage requires constant give and take, constant grace and forgiveness, constant care and vigilance and so on. Those who are lucky enough to receive good advice prior to marriage and actually take it to heart and put it in practice are a step ahead of the game. (Side note: Whoever said, “Love means never having to say I’m sorry” could not have been in a healthy relationship.) Others have to learn things the hard way and that’s when marriages are made stronger or fall to pieces.
No marriage is perfect. Even if a marriage never goes through a “big” testing it will still go through something that will cause each partner to bring pain to the other. On the other hand some marriages are violently shaken and even destroyed by lust, pride, selfishness, greed, deceit, etc. Any of these things can divide the most loving and devoted couples if they are not careful.
It’s a beautiful thing when a marriage can go through difficult times and come through stronger on the other side. Mine has and I’ve seen it happen for other couples as well. But one thing has come to mind recently. When a marriage goes through difficulties and makes it through the couple may be stronger, they may be wiser and even closer but there is no way they made it through without a few wounds that need to be tended to in order to insure proper healing and avoid scaring.
We can sometimes take for granted that we “made it through” and completely forget that there are wounds that need to be cared for. Both partners need to tend to the wounds of the other. When the wound is fresh it must be cleaned out – anything that doesn’t belong must go, no debris can be left from the original injury that will cause the wound not to heal properly or completely. Whatever caused the problem needs to be completely removed from the relationship. Next the wound should be covered to protect from irritants or bacteria. Marital problems should not be broadcast to the whole world. If outside help is needed then it should be sought out by the couple by someone with experience dealing with those issues and with someone they trust. The last thing a marriage on the mend needs is for outsiders to come around injecting their opinions(irritants) and solutions(bacteria) into their wounds. Lastly, neither partner should pick at the scabs – not their own or their partners. Picking at the scab will only prolong the healing process by introducing more bacteria and could even result in a longer scar.
Scars in a marriage can be extremely dangerous and everything should be done to avoid one from forming. In a relationship there are really only two places were wounds can appear, in the mind and on the heart, the most dangerous being the heart. When scar tissue forms on the heart it is not like the other heart muscle tissue. Scar tissue on the heart does not contract and cannot help the heart the pump and if enough of it forms on the heart it can cause heart failure. You see the marriage can still be destroyed, not by the initial injury or difficulty but by the lack of care to the wounds it caused. Maybe the couple won’t divorce but the relationship will never be what it could be because there is not enough love pumping through it.
We have to be careful when we come to the other side of a difficulty that we don’t keep skipping along on the path naively thinking that we’ve left all our troubles behind. Yes, we should celebrate the victory of a marriage restored but we should never forget that during the fight for our marriage blood was shed and those wounds need to be tended to. We have to be willing to go through the healing process so that our marriages can be fully functional. If the heart of your relationship is not pumping at 100% then you suffer from poor circulation and you can’t move the way you want to. You can’t move the way God intends you to. The great thing about God is that it’s never too late for him. At whatever point you invite him into the relationship he can move. He can speed up the healing or he can go in and remove every bit of scar tissue. It’s never too late. We just need to recognize that the wounds are there and be willing to do our part to care for them. The rest is in his hands.
For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.