Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

January 8, 2010

Strengthen Your Marriage

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 6:00 am

As a pastor for over 50 years, I have done my share of pastoral counseling.  I always required several hours of counseling before I would perform a wedding ceremony.  During that time I would draw on a dry eraser board or  paper a triangle to suggest how they could grow closer together from that day.

I  realized that this illustration was extremely effective for those already married and  were coming for counseling because they had concerns for their marriage relationship.  In the majority of those counseling sessions, whatever might be the expressed problem, there was very often an attitude that “if we could just get away for a while to ourselves,” or “if we could spend more time together.”  These couples felt  if they could have a second honeymoon or go to certain marriage enrichment seminars, they would live happily ever after.

Now I am not negative toward any approach that will strengthen a marriage, but I believe there is a more basic approach to strengthening a marriage than just having more time together.  Whether you are married, or expecting to be, consider the following diagram. 

God must be the center of all relationships and marriages.  More importantly, God should be the center of our personal lives.  Each person should be growing in a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. So, look at the diagram.  Consider that a husband and wife are desiring to strengthen their marriage, grow closer together, and be the best spouse possible.  Notice that each spouse is at the point of the triangle.  What they would work toward is making that line shorter between them which would bring them closer together.

But rather than working toward that end through promises or agreements or even attending seminars, let each look toward the top of the triangle.  There is God. He should be the priority in the life of each one.  Now if each in their personal way sought to strengthen their relationship with God through prayer, Bible study, involvement in Kingdom activities, and expressed through their daily lives, the result would be a closer relationship with their spouse.

Use your imagination for a moment. Both the husband and wife begin to strengthen their relationship with God, and for sake of illustration, let’s say they move up that line toward God to where both are at the top edge of the arrows. Now draw a horizontal  line across to each.   Obviously, the triangle has gotten smaller.   Now what is the distance between the husband and wife?  It is much closer than when they were further away from God.  Drawing nearer to God will draw a couple closer together.

I know there are some who would say, “I wish it worked that easy.”  I know that often one spouse seems to grow faster in their relationship with God.  But even if one moves half-way up the triangle, and the other remains at the bottom,  the couple will still be closer together.  It is a shorter line between them than at the bottom of the triangle. And the one who is moving faster, hopefully has understood more of patience, prayerfulness, forgiveness, love, and all that would be found in a growing Christian.  God honors faithful living.  Practice your faith by Scripture, and you will be blessed.

Perhaps this may be a help to you.  My prayer is  as you read this, you are agreeing because it is working in your relationship.  But hold on to this illustration.  It may be helpful to some of your children, family, or friends.  Model the Christian marriage and you will have opportunity to help strengthen others.

“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness . . . .”   (Matthew6:33)                          “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  (Ephesians 5:21)




  1. This was so clear. Can I tell others about your blog or do you want to keep it to family and friends?

    Comment by jjr, mo — January 8, 2010 @ 6:10 pm | Reply

    • Please feel free to share the blog address. Google is beginning to pick up on it. In these 2 weeks there have been more than 500 clicks. It is growing. My motive is not for attention. Notice I have not even placed my last name on it. It is for my pleasure and I prayerfully hope that God can use some of the blogs to encourage and bless others.

      Comment by lawsonjolly — January 8, 2010 @ 6:41 pm | Reply

  2. Pastor J: I have seen you share this illustration in the past and I have never forgotten it! I have shared it with others on several occasions–giving you credit, of course! I am thoroughly enjoying your blogs. Thanks for sharing. Much love and respect 🙂 Carla, FL

    Comment by Carla — January 8, 2010 @ 8:52 pm | Reply

  3. Thanks Lawson for the inspirition that I receive after reading your articles.

    Comment by Dudley Henry — January 12, 2010 @ 8:21 pm | Reply

  4. I am glad to have your blog to read.
    I am glad you and Miss Judy are doing well. Keep in touch.
    Love ya’ll

    Comment by Ed Anthony Taken from email

    Comment by lawsonjolly — January 15, 2010 @ 8:53 pm | Reply

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