What do the stock market, the Psalms, and your marriage have in common?

They are all full of highs and lows, ascents and descents.

Those drops are supposed to be there,  so persevere, my friend!

My dad is a money guy and as I took a winter mall walk with him, he started talking about people’s reaction to the stock market:  It rises, and people want in.  When it drops, people want out.

He assessed that people  are hopping in and out reactively at the opposite time they should be. 

He has seen people pay premium dollars for rising stocks.  And when the value of the stock goes down, they freak out and exit, leaving with the inferior dollar.

The stock market is supposed to go up and down.

If you ride the highs and lows, invest more when things are low, you will reap the benefits of a net positive return. 

That’s just how it goes.

This reminds me of the Psalms cadence of ascents and descents.

The writer, often David,  expresses low lows.  If you are down, the grievances meet you where you are, but then they take you to a higher place. The writer’s emotions ascend as he reflects on  the faithfulness and goodness of the Lord.

The Psalms mirror the writer’s life, but they mirror our life too. He goes to low places, but never stays there. 

This is normal living. 

The good and the bad. Neither is a permanent state.

It is just how it goes. 

If your marriage is like mine and the many couples  with whom I have done therapy, the norm of marriage is a series of highs and lows.

When your relationship hits a bump in the road, nothing is wrong.  Its normal to feel less connected at times.  It’s normal to have conflict and differences.  It’s normal to have transitions.

When we think our problems shouldn’t be happening is when we create a crisis, resist and overreact. 

I remember a research finding where couples who were on the brink of divorce but decided for whatever reason to  persevere, found themselves happily married 5 years later.  These former unhappy couples now ranked their level of marital satisfaction very high.

Wow! What if they had missed out on that?  At one point, they were so ready to call it quits, but 5 years later so glad they rode out the hard season.

If you are in a low, press on my friend.  Your marriage may just be in a season of change and you can grow with your relationship.