I am a huge fan of comic book superheroes. One of my favorite superheroes is of course, Superman. I was shocked, along with the rest of the nation, when the unimaginable happened in 1992: Superman died! How could that happen? Superman is…well, he is Superman for goodness sakes. He is the world’s most powerful being…faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound, as the old weekly television show used to say. Who was strong enough to kill the planet’s strongest man?
Sometimes in our marriages, we try to create the marital version of Superman – the Super-Marriage. A super-marriage is a marriage that tries to run every race, be strong at all times, jump over every obstacle, and otherwise save everybody. To be fair, many times this Super-Marriage image is falsely projected outward in a boastful way when this is not really the case at all. But there are some marriages that genuinely approach their lives as husband & wife in this way because they truly believe that is what a marriage is supposed to be-Super. Sometimes in ministry I have come across Super-Couples who seem to be able to do and have it all: a successful marriage, great children, fulfilling careers, noteworthy ministries, etc.). On some level, every marriage aspires to at least some aspects of being a Super-Marriage. However, a peek behind the curtain reveals that like Clark Kent, there is a much more human side to the Super-Marriage. What is the kryptonite to the Super-Marriages of today and what can marriages do to find balance between being super and being sane?
Put protective boundaries around your marriage: Superman was killed by a created being named “Doomsday.” The fact that Superman could be killed revealed that even he had limits. People and life will often create things to push our limits. Recognize that every marriage has limits and that you and your spouse cannot be pulled in every direction, trying to do everything for everyone all the time. Family is especially good at this Doomsday move. Protect your marriage by setting limits on the expendable things in your marriage (time, talent, tenth, etc.) that you allow others to tap into when they need to be “rescued.”
Periodically recharge your marriage: Even though Superman died, eventually he came back to life. What we learned was that he basically drained his batteries after the battle with Doomsday and his body needed to be renewed. So his “death” was really his body simply shutting itself off so it could be revitalized by the sun. Over the course of life and the many Doomsday battles that a marriage must fight, your couple batteries will run low or completely run out. Every marriage only has so much energy capacity available for use in it and when that capacity is depleted it must be given time to be refilled. Recognize when your marriage needs time to rest-from people & places. Be aware of when your marriage is on empty and needs to be restored, repaired, or reenergized from problems and things.
Above all, remember that you and your spouse are not superheroes and your marriage does not have to attempt to be a Super-Marriage. Seek God for the original blueprints for your marriage and do your best to follow His plans for your marriage, to become the couple that He intends for you to become in the earth. Then you will truly be super in the eyes of our Creator!