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When Your marriage Is Just Left of Center - I Do Every Day - November 1, 2019

When your marriage is just left of center

By Janel Breitenstein

I strapped a spattered blue apron around my front, and sat at a wheel in the room smelling of dust and earth. It was often vacant save the quiet supervision of Karen and her muscular arms. My vision for pottery has always been a bit beyond my capability (classically me). This was confirmed by the faint raising of Karen’s eyebrows. 

The part that has always surprised me about pottery? The fierceness with which you must center the clay. 

It commences with a violent throw to the middle of the wheel. I probably don’t need to describe that without centering a lump of clay, the entire vase-to-be collapses. 

The accuracy of my initial throw isn’t enough. My muscles have to press and lean the vase into submission, for its own good. Even once we are happily spinning, I could throw the clay off-center.

It’s an analogy for my marriage, to be sure. My imagination looms large for its beauty and usability, my heart finds joy in the process. 

But without centering—everything else will be misaligned. If my ambition swells higher than proper centering allows? Everything falls. And it’s back to something resembling a gray pile of poop.

It only makes sense. We were created for one worshipful Center: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever” (Romans 11:36).

Lean too much toward your spouse or your job or your kids, build too high without support from the Center? 

Everything’s out of orbit. 

Thankfully, even if you’ve failed to center, you’re not done. As long as you work out the air bubbles, it’s back to the wheel, the fervor, the happy sweat.

Marriage requires a lot of muscle, a lot of mess. Things are splattering and caving in, sometimes along with my confidence. 

But properly centered? Imagine the stunning potential.

Is your marriage centered correctly? Read “Building a Spiritual Foundation for Your Marriage.” 

The good stuff: They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (Romans 1:25)

Action points: 

  • Would it be accurate to say God is at the center of your marriage? Or is it more like He’s a great “add-on”?

  • If you don’t have a believing spouse, how can you still make God the center of your portion of your marriage?

  • What’s one area of your marriage and/or life together that might be leaning off-Center? Talk about it with your spouse.

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