Repeat after me: There doesn’t have to be a problem in a marriage before coming for a Sozo for Couples. Now write it out 100 times. Do you need to have a problem before going for a Sozo? No you don’t. We all have an annual Sozo MoT just as a check up. We suggest that all married couples should have an annual Sozo for Couples for the same reason.
Having said all that, what is there that would hold a couple back from looking for help with their marriage? One major factor is always going to be a fear of opening up a can of worms that just can’t be closed again, that the problem, whatever it is, cannot be fixed. It’s a fear that can result in a blinkered unwillingness to admit that there’s actually anything wrong. I suspect that there are many couples that are so used to the relational lack in their marriage that they’ve become oblivious to it. Were they ever to think about it they’d probably consider whatever was missing to be an inevitable consequence of having spent so long together, as if time has an unavoidable deadening effect.
And the truth is… that’s just not the way it should be!
This idea of the deadening effect of time reminds me of a time, many years ago, when a friend of mine had just finished an Alpha course and was really on fire for Jesus. She wanted to get out there and “do the stuff” so that everyone could share what she now had. One of her Home Group wasn’t impressed by her fervour and tried to dampen her enthusiasm, “You’ll soon settle down and be like the rest of us”, she was told. She didn’t, she isn’t and I thank God for it. Jesus followers are meant to be fired up and passionate, and that applies as much to our marriages as it does to the every day of our lives. That’s what being a light on a hill is about.
So, is it just a fear of opening that can of worms which leads to a decent into apathy or is there more to it? I suspect that for many couples this fear is really just the outworking of something deeper and that is a hopelessness grown around a perceived inability to do anything about it, of the unknown and the un-copeable-with.
I’m sue you’ll agree that it’s unlikely that a couple will have got to this point in their relationship without there having been disagreements and rows, things that have been said that shouldn’t have been, and things that haven’t been said that should have. That there will have been silences and misunderstandings and things brushed under the carpet rather than dealt with. Tacit compromises will have been silently reached… all to avoid a confrontation that the couple fears cannot be resolved.
Worse, and I wonder if you’ll agree that this can be an issue, there can be an inability, a not knowing how to express clearly the hurts and emotions that have lead to this position, a not knowing how to start the conversation and, as I’ve just mentioned, where it will end.
If you’re reading this and have been either married or in a long-term relationship, can you hand on heart say that you don’t recognise any of this? I certainly can’t.
It is such a shame that most couples wait until things are going seriously wrong in their marriage before they look for help. And bless all those who dedicate their time to marriage counselling, but if God is meant to be the third strand in a marriage shouldn’t He be the one we go to for help?
Is this where I mention Sozo for Couples?