Ever dream of being in a tropical paradise, surrounded by gently swaying palm trees, warm sand oozing through your toes, trade winds tousling your hair as you sip some delicious fruity concoction with an umbrella in it?
For many couples, this dream becomes a reality when they choose a tropical location for their honeymoon. A week or two away on an island promises no worries, no deadlines, and the ability to live on love day in and day out. Island living is a tremendously enjoyable for awhile. But the moment you step off the plane and return to work, the fantasy disappears and reality enters the picture.
There is a Jamaican saying that goes like this: “Fire deh a mus-mus tail him tink a cool breeze.” Translated, it means, You may be heading for trouble and don’t even realize it.
When troubles dropped into our marriage in our tenth year, we had no support system. Without a church family or Bible study group, we fell face first in the sand with the high tide quickly approaching. We were drowning. Once we moved off the island and connected to community through a couples small group, we were able to stay afloat. Those couples in our small group became our marriage lifesavers.
Unfortunately, many couples who find themselves hurting and frustrated in their marriage continue to believe all they need is each other to solve their issues. But island living is detrimental to your marital health. Here’s why:
- Who you gonna call? Author and speaker John Ortberg, in his book Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them, asks, “If you’re in crisis, whom do you call at 3 o’clock in the morning?” When troubles inevitably come your way, as they do in all marriages (it’s the “for worse” part, the part of our wedding vows we do not hear), to whom will you turn to help you carry your burdens? Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
- Who’s there to pray for you? If one of you falls into a pattern of pride, denial, selfishness, or addiction, will you have anyone available to pray for you, speak truth in love to you, and provide accountability? Or will you keep your troubles hidden?
- Who will lending you a helping hand? If you lose your income source, who is there to send life-saving supplies?
These are important questions to contemplate if you feel you need no one but your spouse to make marriage successful. Remember, even Jesus surrounded himself with twelve men and women such as Mary and Martha. And if Jesus lived out his daily life within the context of a loving community, how much more do we need to do the same?
Island living is not the way God intended us to do marriage.