I shared a few excerpts recently on my Facebook page from past posts I’ve written on marriage (here and here). It was humbling to see how many related to one another and it was encouraging to see how many marriages survived and didn’t die.
Marriage can be hard. It can be very, very hard. Two completely separate, independent, individuals with their own viewpoints, family members, mindsets, ticks, and habits coming together as one is nothing short of a miracle.
I think about how different James and I were raised, how different our families are, how different the world shaped our minds and hearts. But yet, somehow God found a way to do a work within us to bring us together as one.
I, recently, joked at how similar James and I are and James busted out laughing saying we were nothing alike. It’s true- James loves the outdoors and getting sweaty while I refuse to stay anywhere that doesn’t have a/c. I’ll play volleyball outside with our friends but I will for sure shower immediately afterward. Fact, ask them ;).
James tends to be the one who lingers before making a decision where I jump both feet in right away. I’m the planner while James just takes each day at a time. In college, my papers were done and ready to turn in weeks before the due date while James started his the night before
While talking about this, a friend of ours made the comment about how we’re similar in our foundation but the ways we differ are areas that compliment one another- and I couldn’t agree more.
We’re celebrating our ten year anniversary this summer and while I agree with my friend’s description of our marriage, the early years of our marriage looked very different.
We were two young kids trying to figure this whole marriage thing out while passionately loving each other. I’ve known James half my life and in some ways, we grew up together- but that didn’t make us immune to the challenges of living with another person as one.
The greatest decision one can make in their life is choosing to follow Jesus. That secures their eternal destination with Christ and in turn should create a desire to share Jesus with others (Matthew 28:16-20).
The second greatest decision one makes following their commitment to Christ is marriage. Marriage is the only relationship we see in scripture that binds you as one flesh with another person (Genesis 2:24). So, it’s important and not something to be ignored.
God cares about you and your marriage. He wants your marriage to be pure and held with high honor (Hebrews 13:4). He brought you two together and your marriage has the strength through Jesus to never separate (Mark 10:9).
I know it’s easy to think God doesn’t care about your marriage when you’re going through a rough patch. Especially when that rough patch feels more like the Grand Canyon.
It’s easy to focus only on the shortcomings of your spouse and see every area they’re failing in while simultaneously thinking about all the things you’re doing right.
It’s easy to throw in the towel after convincing yourself that your spouse will never change and they’re the reason for all the issues in your life.
Whether you two are the same person or two completely different people take comfort in knowing your marriage is important to God.
While marriage doesn’t complete you, it does enhance you and should bring glory to Christ and Him alone.
Don’t forget the important decision you made when choosing your spouse to be your life partner. Don’t forget the covenant you made with that person and God and hold it with high esteem.
Give your marriage the fighting chance it deserves. Friendships come and ago and some family members need to be loved from afar. But, your marriage should be fought for and the fight you put up should match the covenant you took.
If you’re facing troubles in your marriage, know that while you cannot control your spouse you can control yourself and how you respond.
Do you respond in bitterness while shinning a light on their faults or do you lift them up in prayer and ask God to change your heart to be a better spouse?
When a counselor or mentor helps guide your eyes to the hard truths, do you welcome them in your heart or fight their words claiming they can’t possibly know what they’re talking about since they don’t know the full story?
Your spouse will fail you, they’re human just like you and in turn, you will fail your husband. But, God never fails and He is what gets you through the hard times.
Cling to prayer and God’s word as you navigate daily life with your partner. Covet the prayers other’s speak on your behalf, and trust Godly counsel and wisdom given to you by those who love you and want what’s best- even when it’s hard to hear and admit to.
My heart in sharing this is to simply encourage you.
After my Facebook posts I mentioned earlier, I received some heartfelt messages from women who shared how deeply they needed that encouragement and I couldn’t help but feel that there were more out there than those who reached out.
I’ve walked a really hard path in my marriage and I needed to allow God to do a work in me as well as in James. I know how easy it can be to place blame on the other person and feel validated in your emotions. I know how deep the hurt can feel and the fear of never being able to come out the other end.
Friend, as someone who has come out of that rough valley I want you to know that not only is it possible, it’s also worth it.
Your marriage can be stronger than you ever imagined, your love could be deepened more than you thought you were capable of, and you will stand amazed at all God has done in you, your spouse, and in your marriage.
And once you have stood with Christ fighting for your marriage- you will do anything it takes to protect it because Christ will have shown you the value and the utmost importance your marriage is in His eyes.
As your friend, know that I’m standing with you and covering you and your marriage in prayer.
Mark 10:9: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
*Please know, there are times in a marriage when steps are needed to be taken to protect yourself (and your children). Don’t hesitate to get help to recognize when that is and how to safely walk away.