“Above all, fear the Lord and worship him faithfully with all your heart; consider the great things He has done for you.” 1 Samuel 12:24 (HCSB)
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3 (NIV)
“To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 (ESV)
A few months before my wedding, I set up a lunch date with a newly married friend. After asking her how married life was, she looked at me with a tight, tired smile and said, “We actually just had a big argument. It’s really hard, but the good definitely outweighs the bad.”
I remember feeling a bit of a letdown; I had wanted her to smile cheerfully and say, “It’s great!!” In that moment, I was a little afraid that marriage wouldn’t be as awesome as I’d thought.
Now, after being married for several years, I know EXACTLY how she felt! I think back to that lunch date and just laugh. I understand why her voice sounded tired, yet still glad.
Because…yeah. She was completely right, it is hard!
One of the biggest lessons to learn in marriage is how to remain faithful, even when you’re tired/angry/hurt/fill in your own blank. And not just sexually, but emotionally, mentally, spiritually, etc. as well. We are charged as wives and husbands to mimic the relationship God has with His people! Isn’t that incredible?? Our marriages are the picture of God’s lovely connection with us to the rest of the world.
It breaks my heart that the picture too many people see is one of apathy, hostility, boredom, bitterness, abuse, and brokenness. Many people treat marriage as if it is disposable: try it out for a while and if you get bored or frustrated, try it again with someone else. THANK GOD that God doesn’t treat us that way. We are constantly unfaithful to Him, but He never says, “Oh, what?? You don’t love me or care about me anymore? Well, forget you, I’ll go find someone else!”
2 Timothy 2:13 says this of God: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny who He is” (NLT). God is faithful to us A.L.W.A.Y.S, even when we run away from Him. And because we have been shown this great grace by Him, we can and must show grace to others, including our spouses. And my friend was right about another thing: when your relationship with your spouse was initiated and nurtured by God and your marriage points to Him instead of to yourselves, the good ALWAYS outweighs the bad. I may not feel like throwing confetti all the time every day, but I am thankful for my husband every day. Persevere in your marriages, friends! Faithfulness is always worth it, even in the midst of heartache.
Oh, marriage. What a magically, frustratingly, wonderfully purifying thing. ♥
This post is part of “Married Monday,” a new series I’ve started in order to expose myths and lies we’ve been told about married life, celebrate moments of joy and growth, chew on hard truths and sprinkle them with grace, and remind others (and myself!) that marriage doesn’t work without Christ in it. I have lots of ideas, but I’d love your input too! What topics would you like to see covered?