If you’ve been married longer than a few months you’ve most likely come to this place. Marriage for a lifetime covers the whole gamut of life experiences: the good, the boring, and the horrible. Your marriage is no exception. Knowing this at the beginning will keep you off the roller coaster of blaming each other for the trouble.
Love is messy. Love can break your heart. Love can cause suffering on a level nothing else can.
So how do we navigate the pain and disappointment?
If you are a Christian the answer lies in this truth…
Jesus overcame sin by suffering on the cross for our freedom. In the same way He is telling us that it is through a suffering of sorts–laying down our lives, our desires, our preferences, for the good of another where we will find peace. This is the path to a healthy marriage.
“But,” you may say, “you don’t know what my spouse has done, or failed to do!”**
No, I don’t know the specifics, but God does. And He wants to impart faith to us while we are standing smack dab in the middle of the mess.
Ann Voskamp in her new book, The Broken Way, says, “Faith thanks God in the middle of the story.”
Easy words to type, but not as easy to do.
What is your story right now? Are you finding it difficult to thank God for the beautiful mess?
May I lift your eyes for a moment to consider what Christ, in God has done for you? He suffered for the joy that was set before Him. He did it for love–love of His Father and love for you and me! This is the Gospel and it’s the Gospel we need applied to our marriage when the fun has left your house leaving only strife in its wake.
“Love will always make you suffer. Love only asks, ‘Who am I willing to suffer for?’ This is the severe grace of love making me real. Real love is patient and it bites the tongue…picking up your cross feels most like patience.” Ann Voskamp
Patience?! Remember in 1 Corinthians 13 the very first definition for love is patient!
Patiently embrace the struggle and let God take your love deeper. Love that costs you something is precious. Your marriage is precious and worth fighting for through all the days you will face together.
No longer fun? That’s okay. Stay faithful to your spouse and patiently endure the mess and you’ll discover that a fulfilling marriage is more satisfying than fun could ever be.
**If you are in an abusive relationship please seek help. God never intended you to endure oppression from your spouse.