“He directs the snow to fall on the earth and tells the rain to pour down. Then everyone stops working so they can watch his power. The wild animals take cover and stay inside their dens. The stormy wind comes from its chamber, and the driving winds bring the cold. God’s breath sends the ice, freezing wide expanses of water.”– Job 37:6-10.
The Alaskan winter is dark, cold, long, relentless and takes no prisoners. Life Below Zero is a documentary television series that illustrates the daily and seasonal activities of people who are preparing for and then hunkering down during the brutal Alaskan winters. The temperature plummets to minus 60 below zero; add the constant battle for the most basic necessities, and you have the daily challenges of people navigating through winter near the Arctic Circle.
The beauty in the way God designed the four seasons is that, though each one is distinct, they all work together to bring life and growth. Spring is a period of freshness and new life. Summer sees growth and productivity. Autumn is a time for harvesting the rewards of past labors. And then there is winter. Winter is the season that often brings hardships and challenges to married couples waiting for spring.
It is hard to complain about winter for those of us who live in Florida where we don’t experience the dark, cold days, piercing winds and chilled bones. But winter in marriage can and does happen anywhere and to anyone. Winter may last a month or it may last 30 years. It may begin three months after the wedding or hit in the mid-life years. Winter can be caused by any area of married life that can cause differences. Couples who fail to negotiate these differences can find the marriage getting cold. Over time the marriage can move into an ice age. That is the time to get serious and to get prepared.
Unlike sledding down a steep hill or a ski trip to Utah, working through a wintery season in your marriage may not be fun. But when you persevere and begin to take positive steps to improve your marriage, you’ll emerge stronger, more committed, and better able to work through your differences. By continuing to work and pray, you can discover deep healing and deeper intimacy. And when you choose to love again, the melting ice of winter will water the seeds of spring.
If God is unfailingly faithful to His promises, and the Spirit really is more powerful than our weaknesses, and we both truly want more of God, He can and will grow our marriage even in the toughest winter conditions.
- Have you experienced “winter” in your marriage/relationships?
- What are some things we can do to prepare for the winter in our marriage/relationships?