March 25, 2015

Have you ever wondered why there are so many “Problems to Solve” assignments in math? It’s because solving problems help you practically apply theory and knowledge. It’s the same with marriage. Problems provide an opportunity for growth.

In our first year of marriage, my wife and I made a decision to view problems as building blocks to make us stronger, not as stumbling stones to diminish or destroy our relationship. Good thing because we had lots of problems in those early years!

Looking back on thirty some years of marriage, we recognize that this attitude has helped us face some very significant challenges, with our finances, career, health and children with optimism and anticipation. Don’t get me wrong, we still had and continue to have our moments of discouragement, frustration and anger. Sometimes we have to state our commitment out loud… “This will be a building block not a stumbling stone. We will make it through this and be better.” Looking back now we see the benefit that this perspective has had in the growth and depth of our relationship!

Discussion: Agree or Disagree – We are committed to seeing problems as building blocks to make us stronger not stumbling stones to diminish or destroy our relationship.

Question: The most challenging problem we face right now is…? How can successfully facing this challenge make us stronger?

Remember: Strength comes from facing challenges and working through them together, not in avoiding the problems.


Written by Mike Woodard

Mike Woodard

Mike is married to Karen, he is father of 4 and grandfather of 2. Backpacking is his favourite past time. Science and theology are his educational background, a biology degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in Christian Studies from Trinity Western Seminary. Mike is the Associate Director of FamilyLife Canada. For more of his story visit