When Marriage isn't easy....

Before my husband and I got married we did premarital counseling. In one of our sessions our counselor recommending a book called “Sacred Marriage.” In this book, the author, Gary Thomas, unpacks the idea that God’s design for marriage is to make us holy… not happy.

And this one thought changed EVERYTHING.

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Any one who has been married for any length of time can tell you that the early years of marriage can be interesting. During those early times issues come up from a variety of things. The fact that we had different upbringings and how that plays out in every day life. The idea that what motivates me and what motivates my husband are completely different. Different definitions of love, different expectations, breaking down ideal views of marriage, communication, needs and wants, hot button issues, intimacy, different personalities… the list can go on and on.

But learning this idea before me and my husband ever said “i do” changed everything for me. It helped me always view my marriage in a selfless light. To remember that it wasn’t there to only serve me. And that really… most of the time… its not about me at all.

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These days it tempting for others to look at marriage and wonder why its necessary. It all boils down to the fact that we live in a time where ease & painlessness equal value. The easier something is, the better it is... and if it hurts you... something is wrong and you better get rid of it. (Please no that I am not talking about abusive situations here.)

But life has taught me just the opposite. In fact, sometimes things can be hard and painful and really, really good at the same time.

Marriage is hard.

Relationships in general are hard.

Getting Pregnant can be hard.

Being Pregnant can be hard.

Discipline can be hard.

Parenting IS hard.

Childbirth is hard.

Exercise is hard.

Growth is hard.

Owning a business is hard.

Loving *some* people is hard.

Forgiveness is hard.

Patience is hard.

When things get hard we have 2 options. We can run from the difficulty or we can admit that while yes these things are hard, we have the opportunity to address these challenges head on because frankly, some things in life are designed to make us better people and not just make us happy people.

Sometimes the purpose of something is not for mere enjoyment but instead to be transformed from the inside out and marriage and parenting can DEFINITELY fall into that category.

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Don’t get me wrong, are there some really amazing times… absolutely! And they outnumber the bad times. However, the bad times are present and when they are… it feels real and it sucks. But I am able to remember that marriage isn’t always to make me happy but holy instead.

Marriage is designed to reveal something bigger. For my husband and I… we long to use our marriage as a way to proclaim God’s love to the world around us. By me and my husband loving each other and choosing to work through the good, bad, & ugly things that come up… we show the world around us that valuable relationships take work. That sometimes we are on the same page and all is well and other times I have to confront something ugly in myself and get rid of it.

But even stubborn old me can look back at those times fondly knowing that because of our dedication to reconciling our issues…. I am a better person and so is he.

Keep on fighting my friend! It’s worth it!

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