How do you respond when marriage becomes hard? It is easy to make a vow on stage but difficult to stay true to it in complex and unexpected life situations. It is tiring and, importantly, damaging to the relationship if you don’t know what is going on and how to respond.
Marriage is not a menial task. Rather, it needs to be taken with respect and diligence. Years back, as a young single person, I used to be surprised when I would hear of marital issues or divorces. By the way, this kind of news spreads like a wildfire! I couldn’t understand what in the world was preventing just two people from getting along. My faint understanding vanished when I got married. In many matters of life experience is the best teacher! Now I see what it means to be married and have great admiration for married couples.
Whether you find your soul mate by dating or courting or fixing, sooner or later you will get to a point where you and your spouse realize marriage is not easy. What is the status of your marriage? Are you hanging on without any sign of love?
It is impossible for marriage to be easy. After all, when two imperfect people come together to live you can’t expect marriage to compensate for all your weaknesses. In fact, I have experienced marriage as a mirror that made me clearly realize my weaknesses. You see, you can get away with many things when you live with your parents or friends, or even alone. But marriage is not a place to get away. It is going to clearly expose the weakness in you and the most important of them is one’s selfishness. Many are afraid of this and some because of this do not even want to marry. Many others, when faced with their own true reflections in the mirror of marriage, want to fight or break away without having the strength and support to deal with it. Nevertheless, difficult moments are meant to develop patience and humility when you need to smoothen rough edges and purify weak spots. Of course, the process is not a comfortable one.
Marriage is precious (Hebrews 13:4a). Here, I am intentionally using the word precious instead of the word ‘honorable’ used in most English translations. The word precious fits the meaning of the original word and verse context very well. As much as the value continues in the original state of institution, marriage continues to be attacked in every possible way to take away its purpose and glory. The biggest threat to marriage that we all need to watch out for is sexual immorality. This is being explicitly commanded in the above verse.
Finally, marriage is a God-given opportunity to choose and practice love when everything in your body says the opposite. Anyone in the world can love a lovable person. This does not require any practice nor a commendation. Marriage is, in fact, a testing ground for love. How are you expressing true love in your marriage? Isn’t it time for you to forgive what you have kept in your mind against your spouse? Or is it time to ask forgiveness for those terrible words that slipped off of your tongue? The hardest of them may be those moments when what you forgave resurfaces again and a beautiful opportunity to stretch your love arises. This, however, is possible only when you submit to the Lord to grow and exceed in love for one another (1 Thessalonians 3:12).
Let me wrap this up with some bullet points which help in my own marriage.
- Marriage helps to make you better when you choose to deal rightly when your weakness is exposed
- Don’t expect your spouse to be perfect when you are also imperfect
- Marriage is the best opportunity in the world for you to learn and practice love
- Ultimately it is the Lord who helps you to increase and abound in love to your spouse
My intention of writing this is to encourage you in your marriage. There are two voices speaking in all of us—one to break and another to create. This is going to be with man throughout his life on earth since the presence of sin is part of it. You win and create harmony when you love your spouse even in difficult situations in the same way you feel victorious when you say no to sin. Remember, your marriage is precious. Don’t let anything corrupt or dissolve it.
Dijo John-Renew In Knowledge