Ask Dr. Dobson

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Question: If you really love each other,won’t that hold you steady when the storms come?


Answer: Not necessarily—and certainly not if you are thinking of love as a romantic feeling. Feeling wonderful about one another does not make two people compatible over the long haul. Many couples assume that the excitement of their courtship will continue for the rest of their lives. That virtually never occurs! It is na?ve to expect two unique individuals to mesh like a couple of machines and to remain exhilarated throughout life. Even gears have multiple cogs with rough edges to be honed before they will work in concert.

That honing process usually occurs in the first year or two of marriage. The foundation for all that is to follow is laid in those critical months. What often occurs at this time is a dramatic struggle for power in the relationship. Who will lead? Who will follow? Who will determine how the money is spent? Who will get his or her way in times of disagreement? Everything is up for grabs in the beginning, and the way these early decisions are made will set the stage for the future.

The apostle Paul gave us the divine perspective on human relationships—not only in marriage, but in every dimension of life. He wrote, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3).

That one verse contains more wisdom than most marriage manuals combined. If heeded, it could virtually eliminate divorce from the catalog of human experience. It will give you stability when the storms begin to howl.

Send your questions to Dr. Dobson, c/o Focus on the Family, PO Box 444, Colorado Springs, CO 80903. Dr. Dobson is the President of Focus on the Family, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the home. Copyright 1997 James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.