In a relationship, chemistry and compatibility are important. We are pretty familiar with chemistry. It’s the butterflies-in-the-stomach, electric connection you feel when you are near your partner. Chemistry is almost drug-like, brought on by neurotransmitters and feel-good hormones; it’s almost beyond our control. But what does it mean to be compatible? Compatibility is defined as “the natural ability to live or work together in harmony because of well-matched characteristics, the quality or fact of being in agreement.” Chemistry is automatic but compatibility takes work. In the event of divorce, there are usually two reasons – incompatibility or infidelity. And sometimes incompatibility produces infidelity.
Go Back to the Beginning
We often counsel couples who are on the verge of divorce and want to end their marriage. One of the things we’ll say is, “Let’s go back to the beginning – the memory where you knew they were the one.” You knew something. You felt something. You were convinced that he or she was the one. We urge couples to put their compatibility struggles out of mind and remember the chemistry. If you can’t see a future right now, go back to the beginning. What made you fall in love?
We’ll Do Anything
When we met, I was so obsessed with the idea of marrying my wife. I was a resident assistant at a college, and didn’t have the money to get her an engagement ring. I did whatever I could to save in order to get her that ring… I didn’t care what it took! At the beginning of our love story, we’ll do anything for the person we love. But, sadly, at the end, we’ll do nothing.
Lack of Compatibility is No Excuse
Some would say their lack of compatibility is why they watch pornography or hold their spouse in contempt. I want to exhort the men reading this: don’t ever lust after another woman if she hasn’t paid the price to bear your children. Your wife is due respect and honor. When you married your wife, you did not make a mistake. But when your heart began to wander, you did.
So how do you fix a marriage that is lacking chemistry or compatibility?
1. Fun fixes marriages.
When you laugh you last. Over the course of our marriage, we have learned how to laugh at ourselves. We laugh at almost everything. We even laugh at the weirdness of our bodies as we age and go through the ups and downs of life. Lust ruins marriage, but fun fixes it. Make time and space for fun. Go do the things you did early in your relationship on dates, before the worries of life took over and things got complicated. Or, go try something completely new together! Being out of your comfort zone can be an adventure!
2. Focus fixes marriages.
If your marriage needs fixing, it’s time to change your focus. Instead of focusing on what is wrong, focus on what’s right. Stop focusing on dirty dishes. Buy paper plates. Are you going to ruin your marriage over dishes? Refocus on the important things.
3. Faith fixes marriage.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the evidence of things hoped for and the substance of things not seen.” Life will not go the way you plan it, but it will go the way you prophesy it. In faith, declare that you’re going to have chemistry and compatibility.
Check out our YouVersion plan “Rip Up the List: Renew Relationships” where Pastor Mike takes you on a 7-day journey through the seven phases of romantic relationships. Each day you will be challenged to rip up the list of failures and mistakes and pursue relationships that reflect God’s heart.
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