Marriage is hard. Sure, you’ve probably read that or heard it or have even thought it yourself. But sometimes we don’t really think the why part through. Why is marriage hard? Why does it take so much effort from a husband and wife (and a heaping helping of God’s grace) to keep things humming along? Why can’t it just be easy?
For some, the whole slogging through the tough days can make them question why they got married in the first place. It’s not all bad, of course, but then spouses develop the uncanny ability to push buttons, everything gets so complicated with kids and schedules, or there’s just no time to breathe.
Jen Thorn feels your pain. Guest blogging at the Time-Warp Wife, she wants you to find encouragement on those days when you secretly wonder if not getting married would have been better:
1. God’s not done with your husband.
If your Christ-following husband proves to be really difficult to live with or makes mistakes that annoy you, just remember that he’s still being transformed in Christ (this husband says a big amen to that). The process may come at a glacial rate, but it is happening. Pray for him and encourage him.
2. God’s not done with you either.
Marriage can cause submarine sins to break through to the surface. Just as your husbands flaws come shining through, yours often pop up, too. But the Holy Spirit continues to change your heart as He chisels away at your husband.
3. God has planned this path for you.
If we believe that God is sovereign (in charge of it all), then we can trust that He has us in this marriage for a reason. “Your life is no accident. It was planned out with the precision and goodness of our God, and this includes your marriage.” That should fill us with joy... even on the hard days.
4. God has a greater purpose for your marriage.
In Ephesians 5:31–32, the apostle Paul explains that marriage serves as a sign pointing to how Jesus loves His church (us). Your marriage, then, should be like a neon arrow directing people to Christ. “How do we do this? By loving how Christ loved us, by sacrificing the way Christ sacrificed for us (selflessly), by serving the way Christ served others.”
Need more advice? Dr. David Hawkins, a Christian marriage counselor, recently dished out 5 ways married couples can make healthy choices for their marriage. Here are two:
First, cultivate a renewed mind. We will never change our situation with the same mind from which we created and reinforced a problem. We must cultivate a renewed mind through the power of prayer, reading Scripture and seeking wise counsel.
Second, notice your choices. It is tempting to see the world in black and white terms, having only a limited number of choices. This is not true. Cultivate an open mind, willing to consider new options and new possibilities. Ask for feedback from trusted friends with a new perspective on your situation.
But we know there’s much more to be said, and that’s where you come in. How would you counsel a husband or wife who wishes they weren’t married? What advice would you give them?