There are voices out there that will tell you that marriage has failed by design. Let me be a voice of encouragement. The design is right, the use of that design is the issue.
When I was a little kid I had BMX bicycle. I loved to jump my bike from anything that would get me off of the ground. A friend came to me one day and said I would catch more air if I put smaller rims and tires on my bike. We found an old bike he had in his dad’s barn and proceeded to “make my bike better.” At first it seemed like his plan was working. I could bunny hop much higher and I needed to exert much less effort in order to get my bike off of the ground. As my confidence in this newly designed bike grew, I figure I’d try the big ramp we had all been so enthralled with recently. I started towards the ramp, pedaling as fast as my little legs would allow. I hit the ramp and soared higher than I had ever gone before. I was thrilled! My friend was right, this new bike was the answer.
I had been on this ramp many times before and even though my jumps weren’t always successful, my bike had always survived the fall. This time, however, my bike was the cause of one of the worst crashes I had ever taken. When I landed the rims and wheels, which were not designed for the forces I was putting on them, buckled and bent in a way that caused my front forks to secure themselves into the ground. The inertia from the jump caused me to fly off of my bike face first into the dirt. I was shocked. I was in pain. I was furious.
You see, as a kid I didn’t understand that even though the rims and tires looked the same, they were designed for different riders. Had I been a new rider I could have incorrectly assumed that all bikes were just worthless pieces of metal. I would have personal evidence to support my claim. I could also dig up many, many statistics of people who have been injured riding bikes. I’m sure I could convince many people who have never ridden a bike to stay away completely. Furthermore, I could convince other’s who have been injured riding a bike, that it’s not worth trying because all they will do is get injured again.
The reality is successfully riding a bike requires hard work, commitment, and a bit of bravery. Even the most experienced riders sometimes fall. They can not blame the bike for this, because for as many times as they fall, there are numerous more times they and other riders don’t.
Much like riding a bike, marriage requires hard work, commitment, and a bit of bravery.