Every few months our church will sponsor a marriage conference. We try to have about 5-6 couples go on a weekend retreat. One of the staples to our marriage conference is to watch this episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show, The Night the Roof Fell In, before our final session:
It is a hilarious episode that you should be sure to watch some time. It also gives a great insight into our marriages. How often when we replay our arguments with our spouses (or even others) does it appear as skewed as Rob and Laura’s version of the fight?
In our last session of the marriage conference, with a little help from Dave Harvey’s book When Sinners Say I Do, we use the example of Rob and Laura to take our theology of marriage for a spin. Using Harvey’s helpful language we give four “gears” of advice:
- In Humility, Suspect Yourself First
- In Integrity, Inspect Yourself
- Admit that Circumstances Only Reveal Existing Sin
- Focus on Undeserved Grace, and Not Unmet Needs
The gospel helps us to see that our marriage problem is much worse than we think it is. But it is also much more simple. The problem with my marriage is that I’m a sinner. But that is also good news. Because it means that Christ has already solved the greatest problems that our marriage will ever face.
Because of Jesus the roof doesn’t have to cave in. Though we might have little spats like Rob and Laura the gospel informs those arguments. Whenever we replay these tiffs in our minds, the deeper the roots of the gospel are the more accurate we’ll assess the real issue. And hopefully we’ll have marriages that are marked by a grace towards one another that is evidence of gospel change.