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Monday, October 14, 2013

The Crucible of Tribulation

I remember reading The Crucible when I was in junior high. The book itself doesn't really have anything to do with this post that was just the first time I had heard the word "crucible". It left an impression on me because I remember it, and use it, to this day.

For those that didn't have the privilege of reading The Crucible and haven't been introduced to this awesome word one of its meanings is "a severe, searching test or trial."
A crucible (used to melt metal and other substances).
This image is from Wikipedia.

Back to the title of this post. What am I talking about when I say the crucible of tribulation? And what does this have to do with marriage?

Let's tackle the first question.

We are all bound to experience difficult times in our lives. They can be spiritual crises, losing a job, the death of a loved one. They are sometimes our own doing and occasionally the result of others' choices. Often they are short in duration but occasionally they do last for months or even years. No matter what shape or size the difficulty takes we will all experience them.

And that's okay. It's a part of this life and these difficult experiences, these trials, help us to learn and grow. If we are able to approach them with the right attitude and mindset we can truly capitalize on the lessons they teach us. It is when we are in the midst of these tribulations that the most rapid growth can and often does occur. In other words, in the midst of the crucible of tribulation.

By now you may be asking the second question: what does this have to do with marriage?

The answer: EVERYTHING!

Approached with the correct attitude and perspective (that tribulations are learning and growth opportunities) these trying times can actually solidify and strengthen your marriage if you and your spouse turn to each other to get get through them.

Image courtesy of iClipArt
Cami and I have some friends who recently suffered the loss of one of their children. It was after a long and difficult journey of medical treatments, prayer, and fasting. They are closer today and their marriage is stronger than before it all started. Why? They relied on each other and the Lord to get them through.

A couple of years ago Cami and I suffered a financial challenge. While it was no where near the magnitude or severity what others go through (and what we assume we may one day experience) it was a trying time nonetheless. What did I do as it started to get hard? Nope, I didn't turn to Cami. I blamed myself. If I were a better husband, father, and more capable man this wouldn't be happening. My family wouldn't be going through this.

Cami, and I thank the Lord for her every day, metaphorically slapped me back to reality (she may have gently slapped me for real too...). She reminded me that we were a team and that no one had failed. We were going through a struggle and together, with the Lord's help, we would make it through and be better for it. We then discussed what we could do TOGETHER, got on our knees, presented our plan to the Lord, and moved forward.

Guess what? It all worked out. Our oldest son is now an indentured servant but we made it through (just kidding, we didn't sell him into indentured servitude, that would probably be wrong). Cami took an opportunity to babysit a little boy and thereby bring in some extra cash and we cut back on expenses. And we made it! Now we look back and our hearts are full of gratitude for that tribulation we passed through that brought us closer together and further solidified us as a team.

I am grateful for the crucible of tribulation and what it has done for my marriage already. And, while I don't seek out trials or look forward to them, I am excited to see the strength our of marriage and the depth of our friendship and love in the years to come.

How has your marriage been strengthened through trials? What did you and your spouse do to make sure you made it through? Please share with us in the comments. Cami and I read every one and LOVE to hear your suggestions and advice.

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  1. I loved the Crucible in high school! It's a sad story but so true of society's tendency to point fingers.

    It's sad about your friend - I got to see Plumb live last night and one of my favorite new songs of hers turned out to be inspired by a friend who lost her child.

    And yes, I can totally relate - I was laid off two months ago so it's definitely trying! Some days are OK and some are much tougher! Understood.

  2. Unfortunately, too many people don't turn to each other during hard times. Your blog is a good reminder to do so.

    Found you via the Turn It Up Tuesday blog hop I'm co-hosting. Thanks for linking up with us!


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