The Marriage Puzzle

It’s such a joy to do a puzzle with my granddaughter. After she turned three, we graduated to the world of 12 piece puzzles. I’m attempting to teach her the concept of finding the corner and side pieces first. That would make it pretty easy to arrange the remaining two center pieces, to accomplish our goal of completing the puzzle. Initially, she would randomly try a corner or side piece in the middle. As grandparents, we lovingly observe. Completing the task is not really what it’s about. It’s watching her grow and guiding her into discovery and learning. Okay, so what is the spiritual application for you and me ?

I see it as God, watching me, guiding me, as I navigate the process of piecing together my life. I have found God to be a “framer.” He will often reveal the outer rim, the corners and sides, which gives me what I call, the “hope of containment.” If I can find a perimeter, a safe boundary, then I can believe: ”This will work out. My life DOES fit into the grand scheme of things, the picture that I can’t completely see right now, will eventually take shape as I stick with it.”

I remember working on one puzzle and my saying, “Look Liberty, here is one of the dog’s eyes. Do you see the other eye?” Thank God for his longsuffering and patience with us, gently nudging us, giving hints. So husband, and wife, have patience with one another in this process. Expectations can be deadly. “You know, I am so sick and tired of this 12 piece puzzle. By this time, he (or she) should be able to do a 100 piece puzzle.” Isn’t it frustrating when your spouse isn’t maturing at light speed, like you are? 

Isn't it frustrating when your spouse isn't maturing at light speed, like you are? #patience #encouragement Click To Tweet

With the exception of extreme, irresponsible dysfunction, you CAN enjoy your spouse, even when they are not as mature as you are. As a marriage counselor for the past three decades, I have encountered many couples that have an expectation for their marriage, to be like the picture on the front of the puzzle box. But when we convene our counseling session, and open up the box , there are not enough pieces inside to create the picture. Perhaps they WERE there at one time but seem to have been misplaced.

Once frustration is mangaged and under control, personal, spiritual renewal is always the place to begin. Let’s find the “reset” button, take time to examine our own hearts, and build from where we are. Look for the corner and side pieces in your own heart for starters; then move on from there.