In Christian circles, marriage is often seen as the pinnacle of human experience. It can dominate the hearts and minds of young singles, who consider this sacred union the next stage in living their lives. However, what many people don’t realize is that marriage is not something to be taken lightly. True, when properly understood, marriage serves an important function in people’s lives, but when approached casually, these vows can become more of a burden than a blessing. No one knows this better than Natalie Snapp, who examined her own relational mistakes in a recent blog post.
Here she writes,
When our marriage is strained, when we walk through the inevitable valley that is so normal yet so painful, I feel as though sneaky tentacles have wrapped themselves around my heart and are slowly squeezing out life until I can’t catch my breath and I’m gasping for air. Because here’s what I’ve discovered: It’s not Jason’s job to be my personal God. Oh, the pressure. He cannot fulfill all of the things I want him to fulfill in me because, gasp, he’s made of flesh. Turns out, he’s human just like me. And only God can fulfill the stuff I expect Jason to fulfill.
The problem Natalie mentions in her post is something many young couples have begun to struggle with in their first years together. Men and women come into this new partnership with unreal expectations for their new spouse, and when things come up short, the relationship suffers. The truth is we are all human. We make mistakes, we have weaknesses, and only God can fill the place at the head of our lives. Trying to put another person, even someone you love, in his place will only lead to disappointment.
In an article by Lori Hatcher, the author notes how shifting their perspective to Christ helped them bring life back into their stagnant marriage,
Reading and praying together wasn't a magic bullet that revived our marriage, but it was a step in the right direction. It required sacrifice and commitment, but the payoff has been worth it. Eighteen years later, we still consistently meet together in the early mornings to read and pray. This practice seldom takes more than five minutes, but it is the habit that has helped our marriage survive some very difficult challenges.
Learning to love will always be difficult. Humans are selfish creatures, and love requires us to have patience, to put aside our pride, and persevere for the sake of another. True marriage demands even more, just look at 1 Corinthians 13:4, but like all things God created, it was made to be good.
*This blog posted 7/22/2013