Get the Story Right

Some time ago I was speaking with a young couple on the verge of getting married and the subject of my marriage came up. The more I talked about the marriage I have experienced – and the wife I enjoy – the more grateful I became. My final assessment was, I’m so blessed it’s crazy.

As I walked away from the conversation I began to think about how rose-colored my glasses seemed to be in that moment. Was I really being honest? Was I setting this couple up for disillusionment when they don’t feel the reality I described? God knows how many difficult season these 20 years of marriage have endured. Some of that has been basic life tribulation. Much of it has been my sin. During many seasons of difficulty I have not been so positive.

So why was I walking away from that conversation with such hope and joy?

Was it because life is much easier now compared to other seasons of life? Not a chance. Was I so positive because I happened to get lucky enough to land the perfect marriage? Absolutely not. It has been a rude awakening to discover that there is no such thing as a perfectly compatible couple. Marriage is not about compatibility; it’s about commitment. And communication. And ultimately communion. You either connect with Jesus and become whole in Him, or you will be a black hole that sucks your spouse dry with expectations that only God Himself can fulfill. Marriage does not work because two people are compatible; it works because two people do the gospel on each other.

So why was I so hot on my marriage – and my life – as I left that conversation?

Because of the story I chose to tell myself.

The reality of my life (and yours) is that I have had some very high highs and some very low lows. There has been sin and grace, hardship and redemption. But God is the Author, and He does not write bad stories. When I start to tell my story with God, with grace, with redemption in mind – the whole thing sounds different. I get to choose the story I tell myself. And so do you.

Get the genre right. It’s not a horror flick; it’s not a tragedy. It’s a love story. With action and adventure. And drama. But this thing is absolutely not chaotic and pointless. He’s writing a masterpiece, so don’t give up on the plot. Don’t lose hope in the Director. You may be in the middle of a really difficult chapter, but it’s an amazing story. Read it all the way to the end.

Don’t underestimate the Author.

This is beyond positive thinking. You have to tell the right story, because your heart will follow the story you tell yourself. Your life moves with your meditation. Paul got it right: “Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

Go tell the right story.Blog - open books

Categories: Communication, Marriage

8 Comments »

  1. I’ve heard that “Marriage is like a tea bag you don’t know how strong it will be until you get into hot water”…However, I have learned that unless God is invited into your marriage, and, He plays a big part in all the decisions couples make, it really isn’t a marriage at all.

  2. From the perspective of one who knows what disappointment after disappointment is like, it’s HARD to be happy for others when it seems like your life is in the midst of a storm. YET if you look at your life as a boat, you can see how God wants to get you out of your comfort zone by “rocking” it a bit. It’s easy to read the book of Job and say “oh when times get tough I’ll continue to praise God”, but when you actually face the giants? That’s the TRUE test of faith in God. And we will all fail from time to time- but if you view it the way you stated in this post, it puts it all in perspective. Nothing is impossible for those who trust in the Lord 🙂

  3. Thank you! Pastor Mike.
    Marriage is not a walk in the park, it something you have to work at. It also takes
    Three Our heavenly. Father, husband,wife and
    We will be like a tree planted. Bend. But stand with god strength. Beatrice

  4. Interesting post! I have experienced some recent challenges in my marriage which motivated me to return to God in ways I have not done before. After 15 years of marriage, I thought it was all going to be lost. But I happen to start reading the book titled Love Dare and it blew my mind away. I finally spoke with my wife and we are better now. I give credit to God , even though I do not fully understand Him. I also see life as a story with many chapters and God is the author . It has some sad chapters as well as happy chapters. The whole book can be perceived as a joyful experience .. Hmmm , I just thought of a topic for my next post. Anyways , thanks for this insightful message.

  5. Transparency is the best feature when giving our testimonies. What a blessing this post was. No matter what, in the end the victory is ours but the battle is the Lord’s. No God like jehovah

  6. Thank you Pastor Mike.
    You influence so many people in all ages, that is good to see your transparency.
    The Lord speaks all the time and He is talking to His children’s…..
    I wish we could understand and apply!

  7. Thanks for sharing Pastor Mike; we must always be reminded of our unseen realities lest we begin to believe our seen realities.

    Also thanks again still for your book! I’m hoping to write a review on it this week about how it’s shifted some paradigms in my own life.

    Blessings.

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