Photo by Paweł Rękas
Have you ever eaten spaghetti? What happens when you take that first bite? Does every noodle on your fork get eaten whole? Of course not. You may have consumed a majority of the noodles whole, but some of those noodles were cut short, and some may have slid off your fork altogether. While you might get more of one noodle than another, the fact remains that part of each noodle stays in the bowl for you to bite into in the future.
There are many issues a couple will deal with over the course of their marriage. If you picture each issue as a noodle and then the minor issues within the larger issues as more noodles, you quickly have a bowl of spaghetti. And when doused with tangy Italian sauce and some juicy meatballs it looks irresistible. But, when consuming the first bite and one of those noodles you are slurping comes back and hits you in the face, one realizes issues need addressing.
When a couple bites into something they didn’t quite expect and they choose to work through the issue, most consider the issue resolved. However, the next time one of them takes a bite, and the couple finds themselves dealing with the same problem, most respond in anger and frustration. Why? Because they believed the issue had already been resolved. The reality is the rest of the bowl of spaghetti is still there. It’s that second bite that contains the rest of the first bite. And in some cases, it will be the third or fourth bite before the whole subject has been resolved.
How can we continue to go back into the spaghetti bowl without getting frustrated and angry? The fifth chapter of Romans give us some guidelines.
“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:1-5
When dealing with issues in a marriage (or any relationship), one must remember that we have peace with God through Jesus Christ. It is through our reconciliation with Christ that we can be reconciled to one another. We should rejoice in this and also rejoice when we have times of conflict. Why? Because it will be through our conflicts with one another that endurance and proven character are formed. This character development of becoming more like Christ leads to the reminder that we will not be disappointed.
Head over to Olive Garden and enjoy your date! Don’t forget the salad and breadsticks!!