Brokenness or Criticism
Dr. John P. Davis
Imagine George and Jeannette who have been married for 15 years. They profess to be Christians. Their lives are pressured with raising three children and all the demands of daily life. George works hard to provide income for the family. Jeannette’s life is consumed with children and household. Both of them struggle with a growing dissatisfaction over the monotonous routine of their lives. They have learned how to play the ‘blame game.’ Both are sure that the other spouse is at fault for their unhappiness. Bickering, criticism, or silence often marks their time together. Their sex life falters. Their children sense the unhappiness of the parents. George and Jeannette exist together in the same house. They long for something better. They either hope that somehow the other one will change and stop causing their unhappiness or they quietly search for a way out of their unhappy life.
Though the names of the characters change, George and Jeannette’s story is the story of millions of couples. Through the years, I’ve counseled many married couples whose homes are shattered with criticism. There is no magic wand to wave that makes all the hurt go away. There is no simple formula that transforms a failing marriage overnight. But, there is hope!
I like to ask George and Jeannette this question. “Share with me the last meaningful time you spent alone with God and what that time consisted of.” Invariably, their answer to the question reveals the barrenness of their souls. Usually the following are true of George and Jeannette.
First, I find that their walk with Christ is sporadic, sometime emotional and mystical, but rarely substantial because it does not include regular Bible reading and prayer and church attendance. God’s Word is the means by which He speaks to broken lives and brings restoration. Our prayer is our confession of love for Him and need of Him. Church attendance is that primary weekly ritual wherein I declare that I am a follower of the resurrected Christ and the church is that community where I am nurtured in fellowship with other believers.