Saturday, April 15, 2017

Marriage and Holy Week: Waiting

     It’s Saturday.  It is a God-ordained day of rest.  But there is no rest from grief, disappointment, emptiness.  The disciples’ minds are flooded—the things Jesus said, the things he did—Jesus gave them such hope.  And now he is lying in a grave.  In a guarded tomb no less.  They think about what they might could have said differently, or done different, to change where they were at now.  But that is wishful thinking, and the reality now is that Jesus is dead and they are left waiting.  Will things get worse?  Will the enemies who are now gloating in their victory hunt down the remaining disciples?  Will the disciples just scatter to the wind and be forgotten?  Do they keep looking for the Messiah they’d hoped Jesus would be?  It is a Saturday of waiting.
     Have you ever had a period of waiting in your marriage?  The words or actions have passed and the damage is done.  Regret has already been expressed.  If stubborn pride or paralyzing fear hasn’t kicked in, reconciliation might even already be in process.  But the sense of any kind of hope, any kind of normalcy is yet to appear on the horizon.
     Maybe you are thinking to yourself, “How did we get here?” or “Where do we go from here?” or “Why does being here hurt so much?  Why does just…well just “being” hurt so much right now?”  Hindsight is twenty-twenty, but the moment of waiting is painfully present.
     In my experience counseling couples, waiting is usually the toughest part of the process.  Our microwave society makes us want to hurry things along, force something to happen, shape reality to our current desires.  We want intimacy, but we want immediacy even more.  So in that period of waiting, some couples give up.  Some pursue destructive behaviors even more intensely, as if to prove they are as bad as they believe his/her spouse sees them.  Some become the victim.  Others become the blamer.  But some…some wait.  Patiently or impatiently, some wait.
     Jesus was in the grave three days.  The disciples could only wait.  In your marriage, you will go through periods of waiting, trapped between dread and hope, as you make changes to heal and improve your relationship.  And in that period of waiting, as painful as it can be, we give room for God to work on our hearts and minds.  We give space to walk away from selfishness and walk toward a healthy God-centered relationship.  We allow healing to take place.  We allow hope to return.
     But first, you may just have to wait.

Click on the links below for the previous posts connecting marriage and Holy Week:

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