Imagine you and the person you’ve fallen in love with load the back of a pickup truck with your history and cross into the land of marriage. The two of you plan to explore every inch of the terrain, learn everything you can about this new country to which you have a brand new passport.
A few miles in, you discover that it’s a strange landscape. Unpredictable. Ever-changing. And definitely not a place to settle.
Settle into complacency or defeat or self-centeredness, I mean.
Because if you settle . . . if you stop discovering . . . if you get distracted from learning all you can about love’s terrain . . . if heartache or anger or trauma flatten you . . . if you dodge . . .
if you don’t keep moving forward together . . .
you may find yourself stuck in relational mud.
Most of us have been there a time or two. Or we’re up to our shiny chrome hubs right now. You know, the muck from twenty or thirty or forty years of marriage. Patterns or loss or brokenness that may make us question the poet Robert Browning, who, in the first stanza of his poem “Rabbi Ben Ezra” wrote this:
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”
So what’s a couple to do?
Enter author Dorothy Littell Greco. With candor, courage, and unflinching disclosures, this marriage coach brings a tow truck of hope into our boggy relational landscapes in her new book Marriage in the Middle: Embracing Midlife Surprises, Challenges, and Joys.
This is not your typical “how to” marriage book. Nor is it an idealistic one. With practical, research-based data and heart-wrenching illustrations from both her own and other couples’ marriages, she tackles the disequilibrium that long-married couples can encounter from their forties into their sixties. Assuring us we’re not alone, she then offers encouragement and strategies to keep us traveling love’s road.
This book is packed with practical ways we can thrive, regardless of what baggage we’re still hauling around in the back of that pickup, and regardless of how life’s road has battered our togetherness.
And she reminds us that God will help us employ those strategies.
She covers heavy-hitting topics, including disappointment, caregiving, trauma and loss, aging, connection, sex, and community, cutting to the core of issues (dare I say) every couple married for any length of time will encounter.
Then she offers realistic, true, hope-filled guidance we can take to the bank.
My favorite? Her chapter on attachment.
I’d love to hear which one resonates most with you.
The path through.
“God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out . . .”
—1 Corinthians 10:13
How to wear a sunrise.
“It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper . . .”
“His bride has made herself ready.”
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth . . .”
Because of Jesus. A blessed Easter to you, friends. He is Risen!
Watching Nature, Seeing Life: Through His Creation, God Speaks